Sitali (cooling breath)
Sitali Pranayam, also known as Cooling Breath helps to reduce Pitta, extremely beneficial for all doshas during the hot summer months, raised tempers or generally mental agitation. Also recommended for those going through the ‘hot flashes’ associated with menopause.
SITALI PRANAYAM (Cooling Breath):
- Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine.
- Take Gyan Mudra (first finger and thumb touching) and rest your hands on your knees.
- Curl your tongue (like making a “taco” when you were a kid) by curving the sides upward. Let your tongue stick out just past your lips.
- NOTE: If your tongue doesn’t curl, bend the sides up as much as you can and make a slight “o” with your mouth. You’ll still get the cooling drag of air across your tongue exactly as intended.
- Inhale deeply through the tongue and mouth. You’ll feel a cooling sensation as the air glides through your tongue. Breathe into the belly, filling yourself up.
- Exhale fully through your nose.
- Repeat this cycle for 3 minutes. You can also do 26 repetitions in the morning and again in the evening, or you can commit to a full 108 repetitions for each day. Do what is right for you.
- To close, on the last inhale, retain your breath. Exhale and relax.
- If you are unable to curl the tongue (I still haven’t mastered this!) a beginner alternative is to purse your lips in an extended ‘O’, as if you were reaching out for a kiss 😉
- Your tongue may taste bitter at first — a sign of detoxification and purification. This is good! As you continue to practice, your tongue will become sweet.
- The shifts you’ll feel after practicing Sitali Pranayam are profound, like stepping out of an old you and into a new, clear, purified self.
- This pranayama can be done even when the nostrils are blocked
- regulates digestive + sexual energy
- relaxes the body + mind
- cools anger + fever
- brings concentration + clarity + calm
- cools the system, the eyes and ears.
- lowers fever
- It activates the liver and spleen,
- improves digestion and relieves thirst.
- It is beneficial to halitosis.