ocean breath technique

Ocean Breath

Inhale and exhale through the nose with a slight constriction in the back of the throat, creating an ocean sound.


Achieve relaxation and calm through deep, focused breathing 😌


Stress and shallow breathing disrupt relaxation and mental focus, making it difficult to mentally and physically get quiet:

  • Challenges in coping with stressful situations
  • Inability to silence mental chatter 📢
  • Difficulty finding a calming focal point with other techniques
  • Ineffectiveness of other breathing techniques


Ocean Breath 🌊 or Ujjayi Pranayama, is a controlled breathing technique that helps to calm the mind and body. 

In a nutshell:

  1. Sit comfortably with a straight back.
  2. Inhale slowly through your nose (deeply into your belly), slightly constricting the back of your throat.
  3. Exhale through your nose, maintaining the constriction in your throat.
  4. Repeat this process, focusing on the sound of your breath, resembling ocean waves.

My Take

Years ago, I first learned about Ocean Breath in an extraordinary meditation course from Art of Living. Initially, it was a bit bizarre and even amusing to hear a group of people making an ocean-like sound in a room (actually, it sounds like you are mimicking Darth Vader 🙃). However, once I got more into this great course and this technique after a while, I found it strongly relaxing and pleasant.

What’s cool is that Ocean Breath requires you to take deep breaths into your belly, activating the vagus nerve and hence enhancing the calming effects.

I like Ocean Breath for quickly calming down in stressful situations – provided no one is around when practicing (otherwise, it possibly increases the stress level 😄).


  • Easy to learn
  • Improves focus
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Can be practiced (almost) anywhere


  • Might feel awkward at first (yeah 🙈)
  • Not suitable for those with throat issues


Based on my experience, here are a few learnings and findings:

  • Quietness: I personally need a quiet space to focus on the sound of my breath.
  • 10-20 minutes: Reserve time for it. I am a fan of investing substantial time and energy right away into a new technique. Hence, I typically spend 20 minutes for a session, really letting the body get into new stuff. To me, everything under 10 minutes is difficult to evaluate or feel. The body needs time, IMO. Having a breathing sound makes it also easier to focus.
  • Technique: To produce the ocean-like sound with your throat, I found the following very helpful: slightly narrow the passage at the back, as if you were softly whispering the letter “H” during both inhalation and exhalation while keeping your mouth closed and breathing through your nose.
  • Smile: I put a little smile on my face while practicing it. This can boost the calming effects further (yeah, smiling impacts your body ☝️).