Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Cool Breath

Posted by terrepruitt on June 19, 2017

When I was young I remember waiting impatiently for my dad to get home one day. The second I saw his truck I was out the door running to it. I distinctly remember bombarding him with questions before he even opened the truck door. We had been assigned to do a little research. You probably did it too in school. You had to go home and check with your family to see if their ears were attached with or without lobes and to see if they could roll their tongue. I think that my mom could do it, but my dad could not. But I could be wrong on that. I don’t know about my brother. I don’t remember if I checked with him or if he wasn’t home or what.  Funny . . . I remember running up to my dad’s truck to ask him, but I don’t really remember the results.  Currently, it is almost summer, but the temperatures think it is summer and we are having unbearable heat. I was thinking about cooling asana and I came across a pranayama that I had not remembered studying, is supposed to help cool the body.

First of all, (back to the tongue rolling) when I was in school they taught us the ability to roll your tongue was genetic. But I am finding out now, that there have been many studies that point to it not being genetic. One family study in 1951 sampled a large group which showed “non-rollers” had “roller” children . . . they concluded that couldn’t happen if rolling was simply “a simple one-gene, two-allele genetic character, with rolling completely dominant to non-rolling”.

Now back to the pranayama. There are many pranayama and even more variations. Pranayama is a limb of yoga and is – at its very basic – breath control. They are ways of breathing in different ways. Each one said to help (and sometimes hinder) specific issues. There is one technique called Sitali, which is a cooling breathing technique.  As I mentioned, it has been hot here so I feel many of us could use techniques that will allow us to cool our body down.

This pranayama is easy and can be practiced by anyone that can safely practice asana.

A lot of instructions on pranayama instruct the practitioner to be in a specific position. I would recommend assuming the instructed position when possible, but also, since pranayama is used to target specific issues, I also believe it can be done when needed. Say the ideal way to practice a technique is cross-legged with your eyes closed in a calm place with no distractions . . . but you are needing/wanting to find some calm while stuck driving in traffic. I would encourage you to try the technique, but obviously you are not going to be able to sit cross-legged, traffic is not a calm situation, and you should not be closing your eyes, but Samavrtti or Equal Breath pranayama during traffic, might help make it more bearable.

So for this one, if you can . . . yes, sit in a calm distraction free area on the floor in sukhasana using whatever props you need to be comfortable. But if not, try it where you are able.

________________

Sitali

Relax your shoulders and lengthen your spine. Let your face relax.

Then curl your tongue and let it stick out from your pursed lips.  Just let it stick out, no need to jut it out far. Then inhale through your mouth letting air come through your rolled tongue. Take a full inhale.  Then bring your tongue into your mouth, close your mouth, and exhale slowly through your nose.

Repeating it at least 5 times. More if you want and you are able.

If rolling your tongue is not something you can do, just put your tongue up against your lower front teeth, purse your lips as if you are going to whistle, then inhale, allowing the air to pass over your tongue. Take a full inhale.  Close your mouth.  When you are ready to exhale do so slowly through your nose.

________________

As I often say, there are many variations on how to do asana, same with pranayama.  There are variations to this, but this is the basics.  Inhale through your mouth over the tongue, exhale through your nose.

Seems easy enough.  Did you try it?  Did it help cool you down?

6 Responses to “Cool Breath”

  1. I tried it. I don’t feel warm at the moment since the evening is cool after afternoon showers, but this looks like an useful pranayama. I was able to roll my tongue. Thanks! I’ll keep it in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda said

    I just tried it! It really is a “cooling” breath!! My cat was surprised when I started breathing and he looked over at me 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha. Was it making a sound that attracted the cat’s attention. They (cats) are so funny. I am glad it worked for you. It has been so hot here I am not sure. But it could be working, but it is just so hot it doesn’t feel like it (to me).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

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