Strange title denoting a very useful technique! Watch the video, and this combination of famous sci-fi character and ancient yogic breathing skills will become clear.
Important notice: In the video, I used the original “Star Wars Theme” by John Williams. Due to copyrighted material, YouTube told me that in some countries (for example, Germany) it will not be possible to watch the video. My apologies for that. If the above video is not playable for you, you can try to watch it via Vimeo. Here is the LINK TO THE VIDEO.
Here are some additional explanations.
The intensity of the “rushing sound.”
It may be that I have overdone the intensity of the “Darth Vader” sound in the video, but I did it intending to make it audible. “Snoring” sound may come into the picture when an overall activity becomes equally vigorous. Keep in mind that breathing like this should not be grueling but pleasurable. You should not strain. Just breathe comfortably while narrowing the glottis.
In the video, you have two examples – slow breathing (suitable for 50-60% of your maximum heart rate), and faster breathing (suitable for 65% up to 85% of your maximum heart rate). However, how slow or fast you will breathe depends on your body!
Start with the slow pace, build it up in balanced warming up exercise of your choice (in THIS ARTICLE, you can learn about the Sun Salute, one of the most efficient warmings practices). For example, ten inhale/exhale rounds per minute can be a good starting point.
Of course, you should keep the breathing pace as low as possible while inhaling enough oxygen. With time, the breathing pace will go down, the heart rate also, but the intensity of your movements will go up.
Time is required
The use of the “Darth Vader Ujjayi breathing” is one of the most important steps in training for the experience of the Zone. However, adjusting the body to a new way of functioning is a slow process. You will need at least 4 to 6 months to become an expert. In the meantime, your performance may temporarily go down. Namely, you will tend to switch to mouth breathing. And, during the moments of the greatest effort, it will be hard to keep the Ujjayi rhythm so that you will slip back into the old habit. If you wish to continue with Ujjayi breathing, you will have to slow down. With time, the body will adjust to a new way of oxygen intake.
Professional athletes usually don’t have time to make such an adjustment to their bodies. They can’t afford to go down with results for so long, even though, in the long run, results may become better.
Recreational athletes are in a better position. We have time to do it. There is no pressure regarding the results. And it is worth every second spent trying the new method! Once you adjust your body, the potential for improvement is unimaginable.
Once you can breathe like this during the whole time of your training, you can take two different directions:
- If you are performance orientated, you can keep the breathing pace and heart rate at the same level while increasing your strength, speed, endurance, or whatever is the measure of your sports performance.
- If you are experience orientated, you can make your breathing pace and heart rate even lower while keeping the performance on the same level, thus creating in your consciousness a fantastic experience of “doing nothing” while “doing everything”. The experience of the Zone will be open to you!