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Apr 28, 2017

Beat the heat with Sitali & Sitkari Pranayam (breath work)

While staying in Delhi I know, I am no exception to get effected with the scorching summer heath. You guys must be using all the possible means to beat the heat right from coconut water to watermelons, buttermilk, curd and lassi etc. As long as something is really not ice chilled can be consumed without much adverse effect on the digestive system but one can always have other resorts like yoga and Pranayam which can magically cool the breath and bring down the body temperature almost immediately. There are mainly two breathing practices which are mechanisms to produce cooling effects in our body like any other electronic device does to a room. The sages of Himalayas used these yogic practices to prevent their body from extreme heat and cold in the most natural manner. In these yogic practices our own body is used as a machine and with certain breath-work one can produce the cooling breath within ourselves. The simplest for a comman man are - SITALI and SITAKARI PRANAYAM. One would like to know the meaning of Sitali word - it indicates something which gives cooling effect. Even Sivananda Yoga include sitali and sitkari pranayams in their discourses.

Lets learn how to practice sitali & sitkari step by step. 

SITALI PRANAYAM -  Sitali cools the body immediately and improve the moisture level within                                                the system. 
 How to practice
1- Sit cross legged with your spine straight
2- Close your eyes and breath normally for a few minutes
3- Now make an O with your lips
5- Curl your tongue and place it in the opening of your mouth with an O shape.
6- Now start breathing from your mouth and pull the air through the tongue which will then get deep filled in your lungs.
7-  Exhale through your nostrils. 

Continue doing for 2-3 minutes and come back to your normal berating. With practice this can be done up-to 8-10 minutes in one  stretch without any problems. 

SITKARI PRANAYAM - What if I can't curl my tongue ?  Okei.. Try Sitkari then :)

How to practice
1- Sit cross legged with your spine straight.
2- Close your eyes and breath normally for a few minutes.
3- Gently press your upper and lower jaw and separate your lips a bit apart so that air can pass through your teeth smoothly.
4- Slowly inhale through the gaps of your teeth. This creates a slight hissing sound.  
5- Close your lips and slowly exhale from your nostrils. 

Normally you can do it for 15-20 times without any problems. 

CAUTIONS - Because both these breath works are very effective in cooling down our body's temperature, they must be performed only during the summer season and are not advised to be practiced in the winters when temperature is already on a lower side. This may aggravate the respiratory & lung problems. Both Sitali & Sitkari pranayam if practiced with required precautions can give tremendous health benefits. Baba Ramdev also has uploaded detailed videos on  practicing Sitali & Sitkari on the youtube. These links may serve as a ready reference.

SITALI pranayam youtube video
SITKARI pranayam youtube video

These are easy yogic techniques to learn and even simpler when you practice it. Go guys...... try it out to be cool at no cost at all. Just a few breath and you will be - Thanda Thanda Cool Cool...

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