May 1, 2007

Sitali and Sitkari Pranayams to cool your body in summer

Blame it on anything – ecology, industrialization or global warming – summers are getting hotter and hotter. No longer is intense heat confined to tropical countries like India and desert regions, it is becoming universal! Remember last summer? It was like being baked in an oven! Is it any different this year? Nah! In fact, it is worse. More gruesome days are yet to come.

How to cope up with this annual ordeal then? How to deal with the host of sweaty problems that comes tagging along with it? Though the human body has a fairly high heat-tolerance level, you can aid the body’s heat regulation mechanism in an efficient manner by slightly altering your lifestyle and habits. Proper summer habits like watching one’s diet, keeping oneself adequately hydrated, wearing loose cotton clothes, minimal makeup, slapping sunblock lavishly on the skin, protective eye gear – all these will help you immensely.

Oh, did I almost hear you exclaim “All these suggestions are hackneyed but nonetheless good enough and I have been following them meticulously. Are there any specific exercises to cool oneself?” Well, yes there are certain breathing techniques (Pranayams) like Sitali (Sheetali) and Sitakari which are especially recommended for summer by Swami Ramdev. Practicing these Pranayams not only cools the body’s core temperature but also the mind, making one feel serene, peaceful and calm in a jiffy. Feeling thirsty and water is unavailable? Don’t despair. Just 5 rounds of one of these two pranayams will alleviate your thirst in no time.

Sitali (Sheetali) Pranayam

Sitting in a comfortable posture, draw the tongue about 1 inch outside the lips, rolled up from the sides to form a channel like a bird’s beak. If you cannot roll your tongue, then let your tongue just touch your lower lip. Inhale or suck in the air through it. After inhaling the air through your mouth, close it; hold your breath and exhale through both the nostrils. Complete required number of rounds.

Sitkari Pranayam

Inhale by opening the mouth a little, keeping the tip of the tongue touching the lower front teeth and then suck in the air slowly with a hissing sound C C or (Si Si). After holding breath, exhale through both the nostrils. This pranayam helps to control thirst, hunger and laziness.

See also: Anulom-viloma Pranayam/ Kapalabhati pranayam/Bhramari Pranayam

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  1. Hi Aparna!

    Thanks for participating in this week's Carnival of Family Life, hosted at On the Horizon tomorrow, April 14, 2008! Be sure to drop by and check out all of the other excellent entries this week!

  2. Anant5:26 PM

    Cools the body. Removes disease from the mouth
    Should not be practiced in the winter or by people suffering from cold

  3. Ganesh9:14 AM

    Cools the mental, physical and emotional systems and reduces internal heat. Reduces stress and creates a sense of tranquility and peace. Reduces anger and irritation promoting calm.Reduces fever.
    Combats other Pitta related disturbances such as acidity, burning eyes, heat rash etc.

  4. Vrinda9:15 AM

    Stimulates and assists in digestion. Helps combat restlessness and helps induce sleep.

  5. Shiva5:10 PM

    It cools the whole body and the nervous system. It will have a pacifying and relieving effect for various troubles such as headache, fever etc. It activates the lever and spleen, improve digestion and relieve thirst. Shitali pranayama is highly recommended as an immediate remedy for nervousness.

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  6. Goutam8:30 AM

    This Pranayama should not be practiced in case of heavy cough or cold, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and low blood pressure.

  7. Prabhat8:33 AM

    This practice helps to cooling down your mind and body. The regular practice of this breathing style is helpful in reliving acidity, hypertension and purifying your blood. It gives natural glow on your face.

  8. Ravishankar9:19 AM

    Helps deal with stress more effectively.
    Helps lower blood pressure.

  9. Mataji4:16 PM

    This technique usually cools the mouth and may have both a cooling and a relaxing effect upon the whole body. Lips should close at the end of inhalation, preparatory to holding the full pause with chin lock. Closure of the lips ends the hissing sound, si, with a "sip."

  10. Anonymous4:18 PM

    a cooling effect may be noted and, indeed, sought through this and the foregoing technique whenever needed. The tongue is drawn back into the mouth and the lips are closed at the end of inhalation. We can breathe out either through the throat or, alternatively, through the nostrils.


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