Sheetali (Sheetal – that which is calm and soothing)- Open the mouth and extend the tongue outside of the mouth, rolling it from the sides to form a tube. Inhale through the tube. Close the mouth and exhale through the nose. Make sure the breaths are slow, deep and comfortable.
Sitkari – Bring the teeth together lightly. Separate the lips so that the teeth are exposed. Fold the tongue so that it touches the soft palate in kechari mudra. If that is uncomfortable keep the tongue flat. Inhale slowly, through the teeth. Close the mouth and exhale slowly through the nose. Keep the breaths slow and relaxed.
Kaki Mudra – Though this is a mudra we are including it here due to its cooling effect.– Keep the eyes open and focus on the nosetip. Purse the lips into the shape of a beak. Relax the tongue and inhale through the lips. Close the lips and exhale through the nose. Let the breath be slow and relaxed.
- Cooling breath can be practiced in combination with other breathing practices such as Ujjayi and Bhramari. Either cooling breath can be practiced, whichever is most comfortable.
Benefits of Cooling breath
- Acidity such as heartburn
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Muscular relaxation
- Peptic or mouth ulcer
- Controls hunger or thirst, gives feelings of satisfaction
- Helpful for nausea
- Removes excess heat
- Allows prana to flow more freely through the body
- Can help cool the body, such as during hot weather or a hot flush
- Cools, calms and tranquilises the mind, in cases of anger or frustration
- Reduces emotional excitation
- Balances endocrine system
- Purifies the blood
- Useful to practice before going to sleep if one suffers from insomnia
- Sitkari has a beneficial effect on the teeth and gums which is beneficial during and after pregnancy when mouth health can be compromised.
Precautions and Contraindications
- Low blood pressure
- Asthma, respiratory disorders, excessive mucous, cold or flu
- Chronic constipation
- Avoid in a cold climate
- Avoid if one feels cold easily
- Addition for sitkari – sensitive teeth