Are you irritated by the summer heat? Flushed with anger? Plagued by hot flashes? Long ago, the yogis discovered a cooling pranayama practice that can soothe you in the time it takes to drink a glass of water.
Deep in the Himalayas, ancient sages observed and imitated the world around them in the noble attempt to master body, breath, and mind. They noticed the curve of a bird’s lower beak, a new green leaf uncurling, and the hiss of a cobra—and emulated those shapes and sounds in a practice called sitali (the cooling breath). In this pranayama, the inhalation is moistened as it passes through the curl of the tongue (alternately described as a bird’s beak and an uncurling leaf), so that you are “drinking” water-saturated air
Yogis, long ago, discovered that Sitali Pranayama (cooling breath) was a great way to soothe, relax and cool body and mind.
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Increased concentration
- Controls hunger and quenches the thirst
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Helps bad breath
How to practice Sitali
Sit comfortably in an easy pose with a straight spine and neck in line.Close your eyes, inhale and exhale naturally for a few breaths. Open your mouth and make an ‘O’ shape with your lips, no need to make your lips too tight.
Curl your tongue round at the sides and project from your mouth slightly, making a smaller O with your tongue.
Inhale deeply in as if you are sucking through a straw – letting the air pass cooling your tongue and throat
Bring your tongue in and close the mouth, exhale slowly through your nose, releasing the hot air.
Varvara Solomonidou,Wellness Specialist, Personal Trainer, Seminar & Conference Lecturer, Pilates Master Trainer “AthensTrainers® Ultimate Pilates System®”, Member of Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), Member of European Lifestyle Medicine Organization (ELMO), DNAFit® Certified Trainer, General Manager & Owner of AthensTrainers®
PHOTOS: FOTIS FOTOPOULOS
MODEL: KONSTANTINA BAKARA, YOGA INSTRUCTOR, ATHENSTRAINERS® ASSOCIATE
SOURCE: BODY MAGAZINE, ISSUE 51