Sheetali Pranayama - The Cooling Breath

Sheetali Pranayama or the cooling breath is usually done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas. Sheetali Pranayama cools the body. Sheetali in sanskrit means ‘cooling’. Sheetali pranayama is mentioned in the yoga texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and Gheranda Samhita.
Sheetali Pranayama | HealthInsta

Sheetali pranayama or the Cooling Breath is usually done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas.

In sanskrit,

Sheetali = Cooling

The purpose of the Sheetali pranayama is to reduce the body temperature, this may have positive effect on the endocrine glands and nervous system. In ancient text of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swami Swatmaram says that person becomes young and attractive by practicing this pranayama.

How to Do Sheetali Pranayama

  1. Sit in a comfortable asana with palms on the knees.
  2. Roll the tongue from the sides so that it forms a narrow tube. The tongue is folded from both the sides and the edges almost meet at the center on the top.
  3. Breathe in slowly. First fill the abdomen, then the chest and finally the neck region. This is the complete yogic breath.
  4. Pull the tongue inside the mouth and close the mouth.
  5. Bend the neck forward to do the chin lock, also called the Jalandhara Bandha.
  6. Hold the breath for some time, as much as you are comfortable
  7. Release Jalandhara Bandha and exhale slowly through the nose
  8. This is one round of Sheetali pranayama.
One can do as many rounds as possible.

Benefits

  • Sheetali pranayama is useful in diseases related to tongue, mouth and throat.
  • It is very beneficial in diseases of the spleen.
  • Helpful in fever and indigestion.
  • Controls the High B.P.
  • Useful in Pitta related diseases.
  • It purifies the blood.
  • Best for cooling down the body temperature.
  • Best for fighting against the Insomnia problem.
  • It calms the mind, and it’s an effective stress buster.
  • If our mind is calm we can easily deal with anger and anxiety.
  • Effective in hyperacidity.

Contra-Indications

  • Low blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Heart disease
Avoid doing Sheetali pranayama if you are suffering from a cold as it is counter productive. But if you are in a hot environment, it is ideal for cooling the body.

Sheetali involves folding of the tongue to form a tube like shape. Some people may find it difficult to fold their tongue. They can do an alternate practice Sheetkari pranayama, which gives similar benefits.