Sheetali Pranayama, also known as cooling breath, is a wonderful breathing exercise to practice in order to keep cool during the hot summer months. This pranayama is said to not only remove excess heat from the body, but it also keeps the mind and emotions cool, calm and in check during fiery Pitta season.
This pranayama is traditionally done with a rolled tongue. If you are not able to roll your tongue, instead gently place the tip of your tongue to the top two teeth.
The how to:
1. Find a comfortable seat. A great option is to sit cross legged on a pillow, blanket or bolster. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
2. Start with a body scan, checking in from the top of the head and moving down the body. Notice how you are feeling physically, mentally & emotionally. Take note of any areas which show signs of excess heat.
3. Once you feel ready to begin the breathing technique, roll your tongue. Breath in through the mouth with your tongue rolled. When you are ready to exhale, close the mouth and breath out through the nose. Continue this for about 8-10 rounds, doing your best to keep the in and out breaths equal in length.
4. Allow the breath to resume a natural rhythm, breathing in and out through the nose. Take a few minutes to sit in meditation and take note of any cooling sensations.
*As with all pranayamas, if at any point you feel lightheaded, come back to a normal breath rhythm and continue again as you feel ready.