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Cool Off Breath by Breath with Sitali Pranayama

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Ugh, this heat. Sure, it’s the (smallish) price we may have to pay for lovely weather most of the year, but wen the temperature lingers around 100 degrees it’s hard not to feel at least a little cranky and uncomfortable.

If that’s you right now, stop what you are doing and try this!

Sitali Pranayama is a cooling breath practice that cools and calms your body. It does require the genetic ability to roll your tongue up like it’s a taco. If you were not blessed with that very useful ability, no worries, you can get the same benefits by pursing your lips like you are drinking out a straw and lightly pressing the tip of your tongue against your teeth.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Sit up comfortably as you would at the start or end of a yoga class in a comfortable seated position such as cross legged.
  2. Take a few deep breaths in your nose and out your mouth to ground and prepare.
  3. Roll your tongue up and stick the end of it out your pursed lips (or do thing with your mouth pretending you are drinking out of a straw, making the lips into an “o” shape, tip of tongue to teeth).
  4. Inhale this way through the tongue with the mouth open. The air entering the mouth will feel cool.
  5. Exhale out the nose with the mouth closed.
  6. Repeat several times, savoring the cooling affect.
  7. Go about the rest of your day feeling a bit cooler, calmer, and collected.

If you still feel cranky after that, try practicing in front of a mirror, the face you are making will probably make you laugh.

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