Ujjayi (pronounced oo - jI - ee ) breath is frequently misunderstood. Several years back, I had a teacher that encouraged us to breath very loudly--"the louder you breathe, the more I know you are paying attention to your breath." He viewed it as an "advanced" yogic state.
Then there are others, like a local energy worker that says, " Pranayama [using the breath to extend life force] should feel as graceful and silky smooth as a ballet dancer."
Further still, I had a meditation student that absolutely loved Ujjayi breathing. She took the practice home with her and returned a couple of weeks later to say that her heart rate actually increased during the practice and was wondering why. I watched and listened to her Ujjayi and it was not a toning in the glottis (in the throat area), but rather a tightconstriction .
Ujjayi breathing, meaning victorious uprising, is NOT about constricting to the point of raising the heart rate and blood pressure. Quite the opposite. It is a method to automatically slow and steady the breath. It also greatly enhances awareness of the quality of your breath--and thus your energy and mind. As you steady your breathing and motion, the thoughts in the mind follow suit. This is one of the wonderful benefits to practicing pranayama ; Ujjayi being one of the many pranayama techniques available and a foundation for many of the more advanced life enhancing exercises.
If you'd like to grasp the details of Ujjayi check out this amazing article by Doug Keller . He explains and understand the true art of this wondrous practice more than any other teacher that I've run across.