Yoga (Sanskrit: योग) is a commonly known generic term for the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace. It is practiced in many different ways all over the world. Specifically, yoga is one of the six āstika ("orthodox") schools of Hindu philosophy. One of the most detailed and thorough expositions on the subject is the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, which defines yoga as "the stilling of the changing states of the mind" (Sanskrit: योग: चित्त-वृत्ति निरोध:). Yoga has also been popularly defined as "union with the divine" in other contexts and traditions. Various traditions of yoga are found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism.
Ujjayi breathing is a breath technique employed in a variety of Hindu and TaoistYogapractices. In relation to Hindu Yoga, it is sometimes called "the ocean breath". Unlike some other forms of pranayama, the ujjayi breath is typically done in association with asana practice.
Ujjayi is a diaphragmatic breath, which first fills the lower belly (activating the first and secondchakras), rises to the lower rib cage (the third and fourth chakras), and finally moves into the upper chest and throat. The technique is very similar to the three-part Tu-Na breathing found in Taoist Qigong practice.
Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The "ocean sound" is created by moving the glottis as air passes in and out. As the throat passage is narrowed so, too, is the airway, the passage of air through which creates a "rushing" sound. The length and speed of the breath is controlled by the diaphragm, the strengthening of which is, in part, the purpose of ujjayi. The inhalations and exhalations are equal in duration, and are controlled in a manner that causes no distress to the practitioner.
Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (November 18, 1888 – February 28, 1989) was an Indian yoga teacher, ayurvedic healer and scholar. Often referred to as "the father of modern yoga," Krishnamacharya is widely regarded as one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century and is credited with the revival of hatha yoga.
Krishnamacharya held degrees in all the six Vedic darśanas, or Indian philosophies. While under the patronage of the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Krishnamacharya traveled around India giving lectures and demonstrations to promote yoga, including such feats as stopping his heartbeat. He is widely considered as the architect of vinyasa, in the sense of combining breathing with movement. Underlying all of Krishnamacharya’s teachings was the principle “Teach what is appropriate for an individual.”While he is revered in other parts of the world as a yogi, in India Krishnamacharya is mainly known as a healer who drew from both ayurvedic and yogic traditions to restore health and well-being to those he treated. He authored four books on yoga—Yoga Makaranda, Yogaasangalu, Yoga Rahasya, andYogavalli—as well as several essays and poetic compositions.