Ocean Breathing

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What is Ocean Breathing?

Ocean Breathing is a simple method of using muscles in your throat to resistance to your breath. When the passage of air narrows, the diaphragm has to work harder to pull the air through and it produces a sound like the ocean. This becomes resistance training method for your diaphragm, your primary breathing muscle.

Ocean Breathing, also known as 'Ujjayi' (literally: "victorious) breathing, can also be used in tandem with other practices to build strength, control, and heat in the body. Because ocean breathing produces a gentle sound, it can also be used as a point of focus for the mind and is harmonizing for the nervous system. Studies also show that training your diaphragm is excellent to lower high blood pressure and improve cognitive function. This one should be in your tool box.

How is it done?


Inside your throat is an aperture called the glottis. This is what closes when you swallow so food does not go into your windpipe. The glottis is usually in an open or closed position (when swallowing) but can be held in a state somewhere in between. This is what you do if you whisper or if you were to use your breath to fog up a window before cleaning it. That is essentially the technique of Ocean Breathing, called as such because it makes your breathing sound like the ocean.

You may notice that it is probably easier to do when exhaling. Some people find that it is challenging to do while inhaling. The reason for this is that it takes more muscular strength to keep this aperture in a slightly closed position while air is being sucked through it. This however, is where the benefit is so it pays to practice.


The sound should be a faint and gentle one. Not too raspy or loud.

Resistance Breathing

Building on the principle of Ocean Breathing, you may want to look at other forms of putting resistance on your breathing such as using an IMST device, better known as a 'breathing trainer'.