Sitali Pranayam (cooling breath pranayama practice)
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
- brings concentration + clarity + calm
How to Practice SITALI PRANAYAM (Cooling Breath):
- Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine.
- Take Gyan Mudra (first finger and thumb touching) and rest your hands on your knees.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Exhale fully through your nose.
- 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.
- 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
I’ve never tried Sitali Kriya before. I’m excited to do this with you!
I have been to a couple of yoga retreats where it has been offered but never had the nerve to actually try it!
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 ♥♥♥
I love my yoga but have never tried Sitali Kriya before.
A little too cold for us Winter folks wayyyyy down south…
This desert girl lives for this breathe in the summer. I have already started teaching it to my students. I am so in!
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!
This sounds amazing. Are you still in your 40 day practice? I would love to hear your results.