Beat the Heat -Sitali the Cooling Breath

sitali_breathIt’s hot out there! Practice Sitali breath to cool you down.

Deep in the Himalayas, ancient sages observed and imitated the world around them in the noble attempt to master body, breath, and mind. They noticed the curve of a bird’s lower beak, a new green leaf uncurling, and the hiss of a cobra—and emulated those shapes and sounds in a practice called sitali (the cooling breath). In this pranayama, the inhalation is moistened as it passes through the curl of the tongue (alternately described as a bird’s beak and an uncurling leaf), so that you are “drinking” water-saturated air.

Sitali cools the body, adds moisture to the system, and soothes a pitta imbalance(common in the summer). Besides building breath awareness, this practice is said to calm hunger and thirst and cultivate a love for solitude. In addition, this practice reduces fatigue, bad breath, fevers, and high blood pressure. Continue reading

Beat the Heat with Cooling Yoga Asanas…

According to Ayurveda, fiery Pitta energy dominates in our environment in the summer time. This can lead to an unwanted accumulation of Pitta—with its hot and sharp qualities—in your body. If you have a Pitta-dominant constitution, you’ll want to be especially mindful of avoiding overheating in the summer.

You don’t need to give up your favorite asanas in order to stay balanced. How you approach your practice is just as important as which asanas you choose. You’ll still want to adequately warm up your muscles and build some purifying internal heat, but you don’t want to overheat or have the heat linger too long in your body.

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