Ocean Breath (Ujjayi Breath)
This breath practice creates a gentle rasping sound, similar to waves lapping against the shore. It's the same pattern of breathing we assume when we're in a deep sleep. It can be a little tricky to grasp at first, however I highly recommend persevering with it as it's wonderfully soothing for the central nervous system and is a great tool to help with insomnia. You can also use it during labour to help manage the sensation of the contractions :-)
How to do it:
1. Becoming aware of the breath
Sit or lie comfortably and become aware of your breath. Feel the breath flowing in and out of your nose. Settle into a steady rhythm making the inhales and exhales of equal duration.
2. Adding the ocean sound
Gently constrict the back of the throat to create a gentle rasping sound. To start you may find it easiest breathing through the mouth - on the exhale breathe as if you're breathing on glass to create a mist and on the inhale imagine sucking the mist back off the glass. Once you've got the hang of it, half way through an exhale gently close the mouth and continue the breath through the nose while maintaining the gentle constriction at the back of the throat.
I use this breath technique whenever I'm having problems falling asleep and literally within 3 breaths I'm snoozing!
I hope you find this practice useful :-)