Sheetli Pranayama

Pranayama is a yoga practice that loosely translates to breath control. Prana has several translations like 'life, breath, energy, strength' and yama has several as well 'regulation, control, expansion, stretch.'

B.K.S. Iyengar quoted in his book Light on Yoga, 'Pranayama is the heart of yoga. Yoga is lifeless without pranayama.'

Today, as I'm sitting in an air-conditioned room while we're seeing another day in the high 90s in Texas, I want to focus on cooling the body.

I started practicing the sheetli pranayama specifically for cooling my body. I often do this when I practice my yoga asanas (when I move my body into different yoga poses) before I begin or after I finish.

The recommendation is to practice pranayama early in the morning on an empty stomach. If you are already suffering from respiratory problems, a heart condition, a headache or fever, please consult a physician before practicing pranayama.

Let's dive into sheetli pranayama to cool you down!

1) Come into a comfortable seated position.

2) Place your hands on your knees and close your eyes.

3) Begin to focus on the natural flow of your breath.

4) Open your mouth and curl your tongue, making it like a straw.

5) Inhale through your mouth, and feel the coolness of the air on your tongue as it enters your body.

6) Close your mouth, and exhale through your nose. Feel the heat of the air as it leaves your body.

7) Continue to inhale through your mouth with tongue curled and exhale through your nose.

8) This can be done for 10, 20, or 30 breaths. It is completely up to you.

It doesn't have to be summertime to do this pranayama. It can be done at any time to help reduce heat build up in the body.

Stay cool :)

Nikki xx

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