Ujayi Pranayama

Conscious, mindful breathing is the most direct route to Earth Connection.

Ujayi pranayama is an ancient yogic breathing technique that I learned in yoga class. I breathe this way when walking or sitting mindfully in nature too. It helps me connect to my body and to the nature that is my body. When I breathe this way, I feel more alive, awake, sensitized, and ready to connect with my larger body, the Earth.

Here's how I do it.

First, I take a few moments to notice how I breathe normally. I watch.  I take my time and watch for four or five cycles. Then I begin to lengthen my inhale. Now the exhale. I try to make them equal.

I breathe with my mouth open at first. I tighten the muscles at the back of my throat, slightly restricting the flow of air in and out of my windpipe. It makes a deep kind of hissing sound. Now I close my mouth and inhale and exhale through my nose only, maintaining the deep hissing sound which some have described as...

..."the sound of the ocean."

I pause for one to two seconds at the top of my inhale and again at bottom of my exhale. I try and slow my breathing down a little more and increase the length of the pauses.

Breathing in this manner while sitting comfortably in nature is deeply relaxing, meditative, and calming. I notice that it slows me down. I don't think as much. I notice more. I am in my body and out of my brain. It sets the stage for further work. 

I enter a state of communion and connectedness.

Ujayi Pranayama adds strength and conviction to any physical or meditative practice. All Returning To Earth curriculum is  more powerful for me when I breathe in this way. It is part of the RTE foundation. A tool we should all have in our kit.

When I engage my Ujayi breath, I notice the boundaries and borders between me and nature begin to dissolve and are lost. I feel, breathe, and live the oneness.


You reconnect with nature in the most intimate and powerful way by becoming aware of your breathing and learning to hold your attention there. This is a healing and deeply empowering thing to do. It brings about a shift in consciousness from the conceptual world of thought to the inner realm of unconditioned consciousness.

 - Eckart Tolle, Stillness Speaks