Sitali Pranayam (cooling breath pranayama practice)

- - Guides + How To

cooling breath sitali pranayam yoga breathing exercise

The cool factor. How to get it? Practice Sitali Pranayam, also known as Cooling Breath. If you’re hot or hot-headed, this is your cure. Yoga breath exercises are powerfully transformative — this one is perfect for summer heat, excess Pitta energy, and chilling a hot temper!

Benefits of Sitali Pranayam:

  • regulates digestive + sexual energy
  • relaxes the body + mind
  • cools anger + fever
  • detoxifies
  • brings concentration + clarity + calm

sitali pranayam how to yoga breath exercise

How to Practice SITALI PRANAYAM (Cooling Breath):

  1. Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine.
  2. Take Gyan Mudra (first finger and thumb touching) and rest your hands on your knees.
  3. Curl your tongue (like making a “taco” when you were a kid) by curving the sides upward. Let your tongue stick out just past your lips.
  4. NOTE: If your tongue doesn’t curl, bend the sides up as much as you can and make a slight “o” with your mouth. You’ll still get the cooling drag of air across your tongue exactly as intended.
  5. Inhale deeply through the tongue and mouth. You’ll feel a cooling sensation as the air glides through your tongue. Breathe into the belly, filling yourself up.
  6. Exhale fully through your nose.
  7. Repeat this cycle for 3 minutes. You can also do 26 repetitions in the morning and again in the evening, or you can commit to a full 108 repetitions for each day. Do what is right for you.
  8. To close, on the last inhale, retain your breath. Exhale and relax.


  • Your tongue may taste bitter at first — a sign of detoxification and purification. This is good! As you continue to practice, your tongue will become sweet.
  • The shifts you’ll feel after practicing Sitali Pranayam are profound, like stepping out of an old you and into a new, clear, purified self.

Sitali Pranayam instructions as written above © Y is for Yogini

Sitali Videos, for the Visual Learners:
Gurmukh (love her!)
Narrated by Carolyn Cowan

Jump on the Sitali train! It will rock your respiratory world. I’m here to answer any questions you have along the journey. And if you want to send pics of yourself making the taco face, I promise to cherish them always.

Love + Coolness.

artwork credit: ann marie maxwell, with colorful additions by YIFY; photo credit: life magazine

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soothsayer. illusion slayer. intj/mastermind. writer + artist + strategist + innovator. california born, city of angels bred. gypset world traveler. la face with an oakland booty. queen of the jungle who doesn't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

8 Comments to Sitali Pranayam (cooling breath pranayama practice)

  1. Meredith LeBlanc

    MWAH!!!! Ok, I tweeted you about the new kriya before I looked here :p DER! I was doing Sitali with Apan mudra driving to NJ this weekend keeping the driving nerves at bay.

    Love you ♥♥♥

  2. Lo – I have to admit I have not done the last few kriyas because I’ve been really into IAM meditation – but this one sounds pretty cool so I am going to give it a go! Will report in soon and you’ll be getting a taco face pic from me for sure!