Shitali – cooling
Pranayama – breath
Shitali pranayama cools the system and soothes the eyes and ears.
It is beneficial to those with fever, biliousness and even halitosis.
- This pranayama is prohibited for those with low blood pressure.
- Cold and tingling in the throat is normal.
- Heart and asthma patients should not hold breath.
- Do not practice this pranayama in winters.
- Stop if you feel dizzy.
How to Perform Shitali Pranayama
- Exhale fully.
- Protrude the tongue from your mouth (stick it out) and roll it like a tube.
- Draw in the air through the tongue (as though through a straw), filling the lungs completely. The breath is thus moistened.
- Bring your tongue into the mouth, lower your head (jalandhara bandha) and hold your breath as long as is comfortable.
- Exhale slowly through both nostrils.
- This is one cycle.
- Do this pranayama 10 to 20 times.
- This pranayama can be done while standing or walking.
- Practice this pranayama in the morning and evening during summer.
An alternative cooling pranayama is Shitakari Pranayama, which is the same exercise, only it is done with your lips pouting out in the shape of an “O”.
- Purifies blood
- Stimulates parasympathetic nervous system (has a calming effect, relaxes muscles and helps manage stress)
- Gives you control over hunger and thirst
- Cools body by removing excess heat
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps to cure acidity, ulcers, indigestion
- Reduces excess bile
- Cools fevers
- Reduces the effect of poison, snake bite