Welcome to day twenty nine of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
In Ayurveda, we have this gorgeous breathing exercise called Sitali Pranayam. This technique really helps to cool and calm the nervous system, as well as the physical body. Therefore, any time you are feeling particularly aggravated or irritated, or if you are physically feeling very hot, this is a really fabulous and simple exercise to do.
How to practice Sitali Pranayam
The breathing technique we use is to breathe in through the mouth and out through the nose. Now when we breathe in through the mouth, we are ideally looking to breathe in through a curled tongue. (Please watch my YouTube video where I demonstrate how this technique should look). Not everyone can curl their tongue as it is a genetic talent! However, if you can do it, breathe in through the central line of the tongue, and then out through the nose. Make sure you are breathing nice and long and as slow as your natural breath capacity allows.
If you can’t roll your tongue, do not worry! Instead, we can make an ‘o’ shape with the lips. When we breathe in using this method, there is a feeling of air coming up through the still central area of the tongue, and then back out through the nose. (Again, please watch my YouTube video so you can see how this technique should look).
On the exhalation, you can really feel and sense the shoulders relaxing and the muscles across the front of the chest relaxing; everything just cooling, calming, and shifting down a level.
How frequently can I practise this?
You can repeat this breathing technique perhaps five or six times, just until you feel a sensation of coolness washing over the body. When you do, you know that you are done as you will feel slightly cooler, calmer, and more collected.
Practice this exercise as often as you need to across the course of a day, or maybe every few days. It is particularly effective if you are going through the menopause; when you get any hot flushes, you can try this and hopefully it will calm and cool things down for you quite quickly.
For more tips about breathing, check out Day 11 – Mindful Breathing to learn more.
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why not how this cooling breathing technique has worked for you? You can find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube.