Sitali which means cool, is a method of yogic breathing that reduces the fire energy principle we call pitta which is associated with catabolic processes in the body. Yogis likely have our animal friends to thank for this one - try it below and you be the judge.
1. Purse your lips into a tiny "o" shape, like a reaching kiss. Keep your tongue inside floating , so it doesn't touch teeth or gums.
2. Slowly inhale through your mouth, feel the cooled air. If your mouth becomes dry, be patient and slow it down more.
3. To exhale, use the tip of your tongue softly against the top inside roof of your mouth. Exhale even more slowly as you inhaled. The air will exit your nose, so feel the heat exiting too.
1. Curl up the sides of your tongue and stick the tip outside your lips. Use your teeth gently to keep tongue in place, lips kept as relaxed as possible.
2. Inhale slowly as in step 2 above then exhale through your nose as in step 3.
3. In a more advanced method, breath is retained and chin locked against collarbone (jalandhara bandha).
To experience these instant cooling, calming effects, start with 3-4 minutes of relaxed practice. Never strain, never struggle. Rest about half way through and enjoy a few quiet moments afterward. To enhance your concentration think the word "cool" with each in-breath and the words "I am" with each out-breath. Now...SMILE.
FROM A STUDENTS' PERSPECTIVE
One yoga student reports that she combines Sitali with drinking plenty of room temperature water when she does outdoor work in the Houston summertime. "I used to get very overheated and suffer from complete exhaustion while doing heavy yard work. I'd be wiped out for the rest of my day." Her futile attempts to combat these effects by alternating heavy physical activity with lots of iced tea only increased these effects. After deciding to adopt a more yogic approach… "I take Sitali breaks in the shade and drink water without ice. I find myself cool, more energized and ready to go again."