|Sitali - the cooling breath|
Sitali pranayama is a well known practice. It 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 can extend your lifespan. Often the tongue may taste bitter at first. This is a sign of toxification. As you continue the practice the tastes of the tongue will ultimately become sweet.
Many of my female yoga students use the technique to control hot flashes. One woman taught several of her co-workers this form of breathing. It has been a boon in their high energy, fast-paced office environment as it helps them to regain calm composure when needed. Practice of Sitali will begin to cool the body's core temperature in about 4 minutes. It also 'cools' the mind or activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our gateway to personal tranquillity and relaxation.
To have the benefit of pranayama, please practice under the guidance of an instructor.