Sheetkari Pranayama - The Hissing Breath
Sheetkari pranayama or the Hissing Breath is ususally done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas.
Sheetkari = Hissing or sipping
Sheetkari pranayama is mentioned in the yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika.
Sheetkari is very similar to Sheetali pranayama.
In Sheetkari, the tongue is not rolled into a tube; instead, it is rolled up to touch the upper palate. The teeth are then clenched and the lips are kept apart. Those who find it difficult to do Sheetali pranayama can easily practice Sheetkari and get similar benefits.
How to Do Sheetkari Pranayama
- Sit in a comfortable asana with palms on the knees.
- Roll the tongue upwards so that the lower part of the tongue touches the upper palate.
- Clench the teeth together. Pull the lips apart so that the teeth are exposed.
- Breathe in slowly. First fill the abdomen, then the chest and finally the neck region. This is the complete yogic breath. When breathing in, a slight hissing sound is produced. This is similar to the hissing of a snake.
- Bend the neck forward to do the chin lock, also called the Jalandhara Bandha.
- Hold the breath for some time, as much as you are comfortable.
- Release Jalandhara Bandha and exhale slowly through the nose.
- This is one round of Sheetkari pranayama.
- Practicing this pranayama daily helps to improve memory and intelligence.
- Sheetkari pranayama helps to purify blood and refreshes the body.
- It is highly beneficial for people who lack energy and tend to feel tired during the day.
- It helps to reduces excess heat from the body and helps in controlling negative emotions like anger and anguish.
- It provides brightness to the skin.
- It provides an immunity boost to the body and helps it to fight diseases like common cold or flu.
- Practicing this pranayama can also provide relief from ailments related to reproductive organs and all the endocrine system.
- Low blood pressure
- Heart problems
This pranayama can lead to irregular bowel movements, so if you have problems related to chronic constipation, avoid practicing this pranayama.