Sitali Pranayama, often known as 'cooling breath', is a breathing technique that cools the body and calms the nervous system.
Sitali Pranayama is recommended by Ayurveda throughout the summer months and during the hottest parts of the day to relieve the heat that builds up in your body.
This breath is supposed to relieve weariness, bad breath, fever and high blood pressure, as well as quench thirst and hunger and promote a love of solitude. It can also help with concentration and reduce rage, anxiety and agitation.
Sitali is frequently suggested in Ayurvedic therapies for patients with a pitta dosha imbalance. Pitta energy frequently requires assistance to cool and quieten down.
Also known as Sheetali in Hindi, Sitali is derived from the root word 'Sheet', a Sanskrit root word that means 'cold' or 'frigid.' The term 'Sheetal' can be considered a noun, meaning 'something that has a cooling or calming effect.'
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How to do Sitali pranayama properly?
Sitali Pranayama cools the body, gives moisture to the system and calms the pitta imbalance, which is frequent during the summer months, according to Ayurveda.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to perform the Sitali Pranayama properly:
- Sit in a relaxed position that aligns with your head, neck and spine.
- Close your eyes, and breathe diaphragmatically for a few minutes before opening your mouth and forming an 'O' with your lips.
- Fold the tongue lengthwise, and protrude it from the mouth (approximately 3/4 inches).
- As if drinking via a straw, breathe deeply across the tongue and into the throat.
- As the stomach and lower ribs expand, concentrate on the soothing sensation of the breath.
- Exhale thoroughly through the nostrils while drawing the tongue back and closing the mouth.
Benefits of doing Sitali pranayama regularly
Many distinct Sitali Pranayama benefits have been found over the years by scientists and medical professionals. Regular Pranayama practice can help you reap the following benefits:
1) For anxiety: Sitali Pranayama can assist in quietening your body's stress response, allowing you to recover to a state of relaxation and functioning.
2) Lower blood pressure: Lowering blood pressure is one of the top advantages of Sitali Pranayama. That is especially beneficial if your blood pressure builds frequently when you're stressed.
3) Strengthening respiratory muscles: Try the Sitali Pranayama for asthma or for targeting the abdomen muscles. It can improve and strengthen your lung capacity.
4) Improved cognitive function: The Sitali Pranayama is designed to help the mind focus more clearly, help quieten anxious thoughts and improve awareness about the present.
5) Mangaging addictions: Regularly practising the Sitali Pranayama can help develop a sense of serenity, which can aid in the management of addictions. It can also assist you in becoming more conscious of and in control of your urges.
6) Improves digestion: It improves the digestive system's ability to function properly by increasing blood flow throughout the body.
7) Boosts immunity: Practicing this pranayama daily can help you improve your breathing, allowing your body to filter the air you breathe in more effectively.
8) Aids in treatment of PTSD symptoms: Pranayama is a technique for relaxing the body and mind, which aids in the relief of PTSD symptoms. It's very useful when dealing with trauma triggers or stressful situations.
Tips to remember while doing Sitali Pranayama
While performing the Sitali Pranayama, you should be aware of the following precautions:
- It's preferable to do this breathing exercise on an empty stomach for the best results.
- Make sure your back and neck aren't bowed or curved, as that will prevent Prana from flowing freely through your subtle body.
- Avoid doing the Sitali Pranayama during the winter and very cold weather, unlike other pranayamas, as it can cause respiratory difficulties.
- Before attempting the Sitali Pranayama, anyone with a cardiac condition should visit a doctor or an experienced yoga instructor.
- This pose is not recommended for people with normal blood pressure and chronic illnesses such as migraines or chronic constipation.
- It's also not recommended for people who have asthma, cough, cold or congestion, as it can worsen their condition.
The Sitali Pranayama is ideally practised in hot weather or after a rigorous asana or heating pranayama practice, as it lowers the body temperature (like bhastrika).
Overall, the Sitali Pranayama is an excellent yoga exercise that can be performed at any time and in any location to offer relief and relaxation to the body and mind. It also aids in the reduction of body heat and fever, as well as tension and worry.
It's a breathing technique that can be done while at work to help relax the mind and soothe the body. You can even perform it while at home, taking a 10–15-minute break. It aids in the reduction of rage.
Q. Have you tried Sitali Pranayama?