In my Yoga classes this time of year we often integrate some breathing practices to help survive and thrive in the intense heat and humidity of the Connecticut summers. A mainstay of these practices is is the classic Yoga breath technique, Sitali Pranayama. The following is to serve as a reminder there are low tech ways to keep cool, and at the same time enjoy so many other benefits Yoga can bring..
Sitali breath is a powerful cooling and cleansing breath with benefits from the mundane to the “miraculous”. Yogis believe it can be used as a very simple breathing practice to cool off in the summertime heat, to cleanse and cool heated emotions such as anger. In addition Yogis believe it can support cooling of inflammation and help detox the body.
To perform Sitlali Pranyama
**As always**,when practicing any Yoga or meditation techniques you accept responsibility for all you do and work in accordance with your medical needs and limitations. Read the website disclaimer for more information. I encourage you to seek out instruction and guidance from a teacher as you need answer any questions and to ensure the most positive outcome of this and any practice.
***To o begin, make sure you can take time to safe and undisturbed. Sit in a cross legged position if possible, spine straight. Otherwise sit comfortably in a chair or other meditative position you can use, Your hands can be open with palms face up or in jnana mudra with index finger touching the tip of the thumb as pictured to the left.
***Next curl your tongue and extend it out the mouth. For beginners the inhale through the curled tongue is to a count of 4, the exhale through the nose is to a count of 4. If you can’t actually curl your tongue(this is a genetic trait), you can extend the flat tongue and breath over it.
***Breathe consciously and feel the cool breath flow in on the soft tissue of the tongue, feel the warm moist air flow out of the nostrils on the exhale.
***To end, inhale and hold the breath briefly, then release.
***As you begin you can do this for 3-5 minutes per sitting or 26 breaths in the am and 26 breaths in the PM to gain benefit.
Enjoy the benefits of Sitali breathing!