The word shitali translates to soothing or cooling in Sanskrit. Thus, this type of pranayama means cooling breath. The primary objective of this pranayama is to calm the body by lowering the temperature of the body.
The effect of lowering the body temperature is calming of the person. This can have a lot of positive results. Firstly, it decreases the heartbeat rate and as a result, reduces the blood pressure. It also calms the nervous hence healthier nervous system and more relaxed state of mind. Due to the lowered body temperature, metabolism takes place in an ideal environment hence making shitali pranayama highly effective against hyperacidity and ulcers. Other cited advantages of its practice include increased control over hunger and thirst and effectiveness in stress management.
Due to these numerous positivity associated with the practice of shitali, an avid or regular practitioner is said to age at a slower speed and maintain a youthful look.
How to do Sheetali Pranayama – Cooling Breath
- Sit in a comfortable asana with palms on the knees.
- Roll the tongue from the sides so that it forms a narrow tube. The tongue is folded from both the sides and the edges almost meet at the center on the top.
- Breathe in slowly. First fill the abdomen, then the chest and finally the neck region. This is the complete yogic breath.
- Pull the tongue inside the mouth and close the mouth.
- Bend the neck forward to do the chin lock, also called the Jalandhara Bandha
- Hold the breath for some time, as much as you are comfortable
- Release Jalandhara Bandha and exhale slowly through the nose
- This is one round of Sheetali Pranayama. One can do as many rounds as you may feel comfortable.
Benefits of Sheetali Pranayama
1. It removes excess heat in the body & cools the system thus reducing anger, anxiety and stress.
2. The practice of Sheetali Pranayama before sunrise increases memory and intelligence.
3. This Pranayama refreshes the body, mind & purifies the blood.
4. Those people who feel tired, lazy and sleepy while getting up in the morning or even during the day, must practice
5. By purifying the blood, it beatifies the skin, brightens the face and brings lustre in the eyes.
6. This is also good for high BP, constipation, indigestion, acidity, ulcers, fever, skin disease and spleen enlargement.
7. It harmonizes the secretions of reproductive organs and all the endocrine system.
8. He, who practices this Pranayama regularly, will not be affected by poison and viral infection.
9. Both Sheetali and Seetkari are effective in cooling the the entire body, nervous system and also the brain.
10. Cures Insomnia and enables deep relaxing sleep.
11. Prevents premature greying of hair and hairfall.
Precautions of sheetali pranayama
1. Avoid this pranayama in extreme cold weather. Also avoid if having cold, cough, asthma, tuberculosis, breathing problem, lung disorder, arthritis, low blood pressure or chronic constipation problems.
2. Those with heart problems should consult a Yoga expert or a Doctor before attempting Sheetali Pranayama.
3. If you have Low Blood pressure then this pranayama can bring it further down. So you must be careful.
4. You may feel little cold or tingling sensation in the throat due to cold air but this is normal.
5. Under No circumstances the proportion of the breathing should be forced.
6. If you feel dizzy then please stop the practice and continue normal breathing.
7. If you have history of chronic constipation, stop doing these breathing techniques as they cool the area around Swadhishtana Chakra).
To Read This In Hindi – Sheetali Pranayam in hindi