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Sheetali Pranayama

Sheetali Pranayama

Chakra awareness: Vishudhi Chakra

Practice of Sheetali Pranayama evaporates the saliva of the tongue and moistens the surface of the mouth. As a result, the air that is sucked into the mouth becomes cool. The prominence of coolness can be felt in the mouth and in the process of respiration, the same ‘cooling down’ air from the mouth moves through the trachea to the lungs to the blood vessels and the other parts of the body, thereby, replacing the excessive heat with ‘cooling down properties’ and thereby generating an overall ‘calming down’ effect.

Method

Sheetali Breathingx1

  1. Assume any sitting meditative posture
  2. Extend your tongue out
  3. Wrap it in from the sides so that the sides of the tongue are trying to touch each other in the middle
  4. The rolled tongue is in a cylindrical form
  5. This cylindrical opening is visible and is pipping out from the lip which are open in an ‘O’ shape
  6. Slowly, in a rhythm, inhale the air from the opening as if it is being sucked into your throat and then traveling down the throat to fill up the stomach with the air. The sound created during inhalation will be ‘sh sh sh sh sh….’ sound
  7. Relax the tongue, close the lips softly and exhale from the nostrils
  8. This is one round of Sheetali Breathing
  9. You can start with 10 rounds and gradually increase the number, as per your requirement

Sheetali Pranayama

  1. Practice “Sheetali Breathing” as explained above
  2. Inhale and apply kumbhak (retain your breath)
  3. Apply Jalandhar Band and Mool Bandh
  4. Hold your breath for as long as you can without straining yourself
  5. Release your moola bandha, bring your chin parallel to the floor to release Jalandhar bandh and exhale through your nostril in a rhythmic manner
  6. Make sure that the exhalation is normal and in a controlled manner. Uncontrolled exhalation means you have exceeded your comfortable capacity of holding your breath
  7. You can start with 5 rounds and gradually increase the number as per your comfort
  8. Once you are comfortable in this practice, you can apply the ratio of 1:4:2 inhalation, retention and exhalation. Make sure this is a smooth transition and not a forced one. Also the retention should start with low ratio and slowly move to the normal ratio

Note

In case, you are not able to manipulate your tongue to create a cylindrical shape, create an ‘O’ shape in between your lips and inhale and exhale through that opening. You will get the same benefits.

Benefits

  •  It reduces Acidity
  • It reduces high BP
  • Induces SleepSheetali can be practiced before hitting the bed so that the body and the mind are at ease and can acquire the required equilibrium to induce deep sleep
  • With its cooling properties, it is seen to be helpful during Fever as it brings the body temperature down
  • Recommended to cure Peptic ulcer
  • Practicing during hot weather will help maintain the coolness inside and outside
  • Practicing Sheetali can deal with Kapha-Pitta disorder

Contraindications

  • Not to be practiced by those who have low BP, asthma and bronchitis
  • This pranayama should not be performed during winter
  • The retention of breath should be for minimal period or the system will get heated up
  • People with constipation should not do it

Precautions:

As the filtration of air, when inhaled through the mouth, is lower compared to the nostril, one needs to watch precaution in terms of pollution level.  Ensure that you practice this pranayama in a clean environ.  Ignoring the above, will contaminate the lungs and could lead to serious problems.

 

 

 

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