As the summer heat continues to rise, here is a simple practice to help keep you cool.

Sithali Pranayama

To experience the instant cooling and calming effects of the Sithali Pranayama, start practicing these breathing exercises for 3 – 4 minutes in relaxed manner without straining or stuggling. Rest about half way through and enjoy a few quiet moments afterward.

Start by sitting in a comfortable meditative posture with the spine straight. Curl the tongue and protrude it slightly past the lips. Inhale deeply and smoothly through the tongue and mouth. Exhale through the nose. Continue for 3-4 minutes. Then inhale — hold. Pull in the tongue. Exhale and relax. Repeat this for two more cycles. To enhance your concentration think the word “cool” with each in-breath and the words “I am” with each out-breath. Now…SMILE.

The Sithali Pranayama soothes and cools the spine in the area of the fourth, fifth and sixth vertebrae. This, in turn, regulates the sexual and digestive energy. This breath is often used for lowering fever. Great powers of rejuvenation and detoxification are attributed to this breath when practiced regularly. Doing 52 breaths daily are said to extend your lifespan. Often the tongue may taste bitter at first. This is a sign of toxification. As you continue the practice the taste of the tongue will ultimately become sweet.

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