With the temperature soaring, it is absolutely essential to protect oneself from the harsh summer heat — whether it be by staying hydrated, dressing properly in breathable cotton fabric, or avoiding outdoors during the peak afternoon hours. But did you know that exercise — which is otherwise associated with sweating — can also help you stay cool? Well, don’t get perplexed; much like for almost every other ailment, there is a yoga asana that can help you beat the heat, too. Sharing details about the same, celebrity yoga trainer Anshuka Parwani, took to Instagram and wrote, “Summer is here and so are the heat waves. The temperature is going up and the sweltering heat can get too much sometimes. Along with drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, here is a breathing exercise #sheetkari that will naturally help to decrease your body temperature and stay cooler. Happy summer”.

What is the sheetkari breathing exercise?

It is a type of pranayama for cooling and hydrating the body, said Jiggyasa Gupta, Fitness Coach, Fittr, adding that sheetkari also helps balance the pitta in the body which, in turn,  “helps to stay cooler”.

She further said that sheetkari reduces heat that has been generated by the body and helps in strengthening the lungs. “It can also improve skin health,” she told indianexpress.com.


Health benefits of sheetkari

Yoga expert Mansi Gulati shared the health benefits of sheetkari as:

1. Sheetkari improves the oxygen-rich blood flow to the skin, which nourishes the different layers of the skin. Ultimately, it contributes to clear and toned skin.

2. This mudra provides a cooling effect as the practitioner inhales while doing this mudra

How to perform sheetkari?

Gupta shared steps to perform sheetkari. They are:

1. Sit in a comfortable asana (padmasana or vajrasana) keeping the spine and head erect. Close your eyes and relax the body and mind. Put the hands on the knees or in gyan mudra.

2. Place the lower jaw teeth on the upper jaw teeth and then place the tongue behind the teeth and keep the lips separated to be able to breathe through the mouth

3. Keep the tongue flat and chest open and feel the cool air through the chest.

4. Keep the tongue in the same way as it was initially.

5. Now hold your breath for a few moments and then release the breath from the nose.

6. At this point, retain the breath for as long as comfortable

7. With this, you have completed one round. Repeat about 10-15 times and gradually increase the count and time

Things to keep in mind?

Below are a few things you should keep in mind before performing sheetkari. They are:

* Sheetkari should not be performed during :

– Flu, congestion and mucus
– Asthma, bronchitis, and respiratory diseases
– Low blood pressure
– Cold weather, especially for vata and kapha types (as per Ayurveda)

* Don’t do this Pranayama after a meal. Always practice yoga breathing on an empty stomach or 3 hours after a meal

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