Sheetali Pranayama - Cooling Breath
During the summer months the fire element dominates the body. Not only is the actual temperature high, but our activity levels are at their peak. We are eating a lot of food as we interact with friends and neighbors and that also contributes to the fire in the body. Fire is very useful for the body: we use it to digest food, information, and experiences. But when there is excessive fire we develop rashes, inflammation, and irritability. Sheetali Pranayama is the Yogic practice of cooling the body with the breath. Sheetali means “that which is calm, passionless, and soothing.” Sheetali is very effective in hot weather, during heated arguments, and when the body is out of balance due to excessive heat, like when you feel totally drained after a long day in the sun.
What To Do
- Sit in any comfortable position.
- Extend the tongue out of the mouth, folding the sides of the tongue inward to make a tube.
- Inhale deeply, sucking air through the tube of the tongue.
- Close the mouth and exhale through the nose.
- This is one round.
- Practice 9-15 rounds to help cool the body after intense asana practice.
- Up to sixty rounds may be practiced in extremely hot weather.
- Helps to cool the body temperature.
- Promotes mental calm.
- Works to reduce inflammation in the body.
- Reduces hyper acidity.
- Assists in reducing high blood pressure.