Cool It! Sitali Pranayama

This was originally shared in the August 2016 newsletter. Sign-up here to get it in your inbox. 

To help you stay cool for the rest of the season, check out the breathing exercise outlined below. It's a little different (that's how Midwesterners say it's weird), but also kind of fun so definitely try it out. 

This Pranayama (breathing exercise) is called Sitali Breath (aka Cooling Breath) and its benefit is to help reduce heat within the body. To practice this breathing technique you will inhale through an extended rolled tongue and exhale through the nostrils with the mouth closed. Detailed steps below. 

I actually can't do this one without thinking about the curled tongue scene from Free Willy! So here are how-to examples from Jesse, Willy, me, and BKS Iyengar :)

Steps for Sitali Pranayama:

1) Find a comfy seat on the floor or in a chair. 

2) Roll your tongue and stick it out like it's a straw and you're going to sip in air. If you can't roll your tongue you can just stick it out.

3) Inhale through your rolled tongue. Focus your awareness on the cool temperature of the air as it enters your body. 

4) Briefly pause at the top of your inhale. Bring your tongue in and close your mouth. 

5) Exhale through the nostrils. Feel the warm heat of the air as it leaves your body. 

6) Continue this pattern for several rounds. Close your eyes and tune into the temperature change of your breath on every inhale and exhale. 

7) Return to a few rounds of natural breathing in and out of the nostrils to close out and notice if you feel any changes with your breath, body, and mind. 

8) Take a selfie of your rolled tongue and send it to me ;)