In this VLOG, Rose Kress shares the perfect breaths for keeping cool in the summer time. Learn how to cool your head and body, while calming your mind. These practices are great for anxiety, hot flashes, anger, migraines, indigestion, general heat in the body, and summer.
These two breaths are quite rare in yoga, in the sense that they are practiced by inhaling through the mouth. The purpose of the breath is to mind. This happens because of the movement of air over the wet tongue.
Shitali Pranayama (pronounced shee-talee), means “cooling breath.” Traditionally it has been used to cool the whole body. Shitali is practiced by curling the tongue, you might even call it taco shell breathing.
Sitkari Pranayama (pronounced seet-karee), means making a hissing sound. It is practiced by drawing the air in through the mouth over the tongue making a hissing sound. The adaptation we use in LifeForce Yoga is to draw the breath in through the lips in the shape of a straw. This keeps the cool breath moving over the tongue so we do not irritate sensitive teeth. You might even call this breath tostada shell breathing.
Directions for Practice
- Sit in a comfortable position with the spine erect. If you wish, you can come to a supine position—flat on your back.
- Open the mouth and form the lips into an “O”.
- Push the tongue out through the opening so that the edges curl up forming the shape of a leaf about to open.
- If this is not possible, keep the lips in the “O” shape and place the tip of your tongue against the opening.
- Draw in air through the tongue slowly as though sipping through a straw.
- After a full inhale, draw the tongue into the mouth, gently tuck the chin as you place the tongue on the roof of the mouth and slowly exhale through the nose.
- At the very end of your exhale, wet the tongue by coating it with saliva.
- This is one round – continue for 5 minutes.
- Feel free to take integrating breaths between each round.
- Add a visualization of a cool or cold place, imagining yourself practicing this breath in that place.
- Use peppermint in the mouth to aid the cooling process.