CHANDIGARH,26.11.20-Since this pranayama cools the body, it is called sheetali pranayama This Pranayama is performed in summer only.

PROCEDURE
Sit in Padamasana or sukhasana or any other comfortable meditation posture. Close the eyes and relax the whole body.

Extend the tongue outside the mouth as far as possible without straining . Roll the sides of the tongue up so that it forms a tube. Practice a long, smooth and controlled inhalation through the rolled tongue.
At the end of the inhalation, draw the tongue in, close the mouth and exhale through the nose.

Practice yogic breathing throughout.
The breath should produce the sound of sucking. A feeling of icy coldness will be experienced on the tongue and roof of the mouth. This is one round.

Do this five times to begin with and increase the number upto ten times. The duration of inhalation should also be increased with practice.
AWARENESS on the tongue, the sound and the cooling sensation of the inhaled breath.

This Pranayama can also be performed with ANTAR KUMBHAKA I.e at the end of inhalation, Retain the breath inside for a few seconds. The retention time can also be increased with practice.
It may also be combined with bandhas as advanced practice.

CAUTIONS
Do not practice in polluted atmosphere or during cold weather as induction of dirty/ cool air directly into the lungs may cause harm.
Practice inner retention for a short time only as prolonged KUMBHAKA May have heating effect.

People suffering from low BP or respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis and excessive mucus should not practice this pranayama. Those with heart diseases may practice without retention. Those with chronic constipation should also avoid it.

BENEFITS
It cools the body in summer
Removes anger, removes mental and immotional excitement and encourages free flow of PRANA.
It induces muscular relaxation, mental tranquility and can be used as a transquillizer before sleep.
It gives control over hunger and thirst and generates a feeling of satisfaction.
NOTE those who are not able to fold the sides of tongue, may practice SEETKARI having the same benefits( to be explained in next article).

Dr M K VIRMANI
Naturopath & Yoga Therapist
Chairman Chandigarh Yoga Association
( Affiliated to Yoga Federation Of india)
M-9815992473,8800000330.