We tend to expose more of our body to sun especially during summer which results in the loss of water from our body by process of draining (Sweat) and so there is a lack of resistance and energy. Sheetali and Sitkari Pranayama have a calming and cooling effect upon the body and mind. These are especially useful in summer when several people experience restlessness due to heat. Practicing these Pranayama not only cools the body’s core temperature but also the mind thus making one feel serene, peaceful and calm in a moment. These have great energizing, soothing, relaxing and cooling effects on all the nerve channels and on the whole body. These pranayama also helps in stemming acidity of the stomach and blood pressure.

SHEETALI PRANAYAMA

First be seated comfortably in any of the meditative postures like Padmasana, Siddhasana or Sukhasana. Keep the waist, back, neck and the spinal column erect. Rest your hands on the knees. Keep the eyes gently closed and relax the whole body. Now gently bring the tongue outside the mouth as far as possible without feeling any tension or strain. Roll up both the sides of the tongue, so that the tongue forms a tubular structure, like a straw. Now inhale from the mouth through the ‘tubular’ tongue. As the air flows over the moist tongue, it greatly reduces the temperature of the inhaled breath. The inhalation should be deep without strain on the lungs or diaphragm. After inhalation, draw back the tongue, close your mouth and exhale through the nose.

SITKARI PRANAYAMA

First be seated comfortably in any of the meditative postures like Padmasana, Siddhasana or Sukhasana. Keep the waist, back, neck and the spinal column erect. Keep both your hands on the knees. Sit comfortably closing your eyes. Bring your jaws together. Now place the front portion of the tongue against the front teeth and the rest of the tongue on the palate. Keep the lips open. Now inhale through the mouth. Inhale through the right and left side of the lips while making the sound “Si-Si”. After inhaling, close your mouth. Retain breath. After retaining your breath comfortably as long as possible,exhale through both nostrils.

Begin by practicing 10 rounds and overtime increase both, the duration of each round as well as the total number of rounds. For general benefits, practice upto 15 rounds. However, for relief from symptoms created by hot weather, do upto 50 rounds.If you have Low Blood pressure then these pranayama can bring it further down. So you must be careful. If you suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma, wheezing or bronchitis, please avoid these breathing exercises. Those with heart disease may do so but without breath retention. Chronic constipation sufferers should also refrain from this practice.