#36alive 172: Sheetali Breath For Cooling Down In Hot Weather

If you’ve been sitting in front of the fan, drinking cold water, wearing as little clothing as possible, eating ice cream and ice lollies, or hanging around the freezer section of the supermarket for a little longer than usual, you might feel as though you’ve exhausted your list of ways to keep cool in this warmer-than-usual British Summer.

Today on the blog, we’re sharing an ancient Yogic technique known as Sheetali Pranayama, or Sheetali Breath which is an effective way of cooling down the body. The Sanskrit word Sheetali means ‘cooling’, as as you can imagine, this simple method was PranayamaSeries_05_V1extremely useful in India before fans and freezers.

This breathing technique is also said to ‘cool’ the mind and emotions, so can be used for someone who may be feeling ‘hot-headed’ or irritable.

Similarly to the way animals stick their tongue out when they’re hot in order to cool the body down, this method involved allowing air to pass over the tongue, and bringing that colder air into the body.

To practice Sheetali Pranayama:

  • Begin by rolling your tongue so it creates a straw-like shape.
  • If you’re not able to roll your tongue, simply stick your tongue out of your mouth as far as you’re able to.
  • As you breathe in, ‘suck’ the air through the rolled tongue.
  • Close the mouth and hold for a moment
  • Exhale gently through the nose
  • Repeat this for a few minutes, or until you feel the cooling effects


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