Punching those High Temperatures

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 05, 2011

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Punching those high temperatures

It is a proven fact that summer heat can make us all go lethargic and to some extent red with anger. What to do in such scenario? Better go the natural yoga way! This breezy pranayama practice can pacify you in no seconds.

It was in the unfathomable place of Himalayas that primordial sages followed a righteous path to conquer over all sensory organs, especially mind, body and breath.

It was then that they revealed a practice names as sitali – the cooling breath. During their long hours of meditation saints became aware of the bend of a bird’s lower beak and a new-fangled green leaf uncurling, and further copied these shapes and sounds in this practice.

Bypassing the curl of your tongue, this particular pranayama, makes your breath moistened (theoretically portrayed as a bird’s lower beak and a green uncurling leaf), in order to allow water-saturated air to pass through.

Sitali particularly restricts your hunger and thirst levels and nurtures love and affection for solitude, in addition to building your breath responsiveness. This practice provides moisture to the system which in further calms the body. Further, in the dialect of ayurveda, it helps in alleviating pitta disproportion, which is quite common in the summer months. In addition, this practice diminishes weariness, awful breath, elevates blood pressure levels and fevers.


Practicing the Asana

  • Allow your body to sit in a comfortable position with your head, neck, and spine in perfect configuration.
  • Breathe diaphragmatically for quite a lot of minutes, close your eyes while opening your mouth forming a shape of “O” by your lips.
  • Curl the tongue laterally and reveal it out of the mouth (about 3/4 of an inch).
  • As you would drink through a straw, breathe in deeply inside the mouth.
  • The cooling awareness of the breath should be the centre of attention as the abdomen and lower ribs enlarge.
  • Now, slowly by withdrawing the tongue and closing the mouth, exhale completely through the nostrils.
  • Return to diaphragmatic breathing for quite a few more minutes, after performing sitali for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Slowly but surely you can work your way up to a 10-minute practice.


An alternate to curling your tongue

  • Allow your body to sit in a comfortable position with your head, neck, and spine in perfect configuration.
  • Smoothly compress your lower and upper teeth mutually taking your lips apart as much as you comfortably can while exposing your teeth in air.
  • Your focus of attention should be producing the hissing sound of the breath, while breathing in slowly through the gaps in teeth.
  • Further to it, seal your mouth and exhale slowly through your nose. This practice is called sitkari. Repeat this process up to 20 times.
  • In adding together with the cooling effects, Hatha Yoga Pradipika suggests that sitkari gives steadiness to the endocrine system and helps in building vivacity.


Words of caution

As sitali and sitkari condenses the body temperature, one should always practice this asana in hot weather conditions or after an energetic and heated asana like bhastrika.

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