Shitala means cool. This Pranayama cools the system, hence the name.
- Sit in Padmasana, Siddhasana, or Virasana
- Keep the back erect and rigid. Perform the Jnana Mudra with the hands. Here Jalandhara Bandha is not done during inhalation but later.
- Open the mouth and form the lips into an ‘O’.
- The sides and tip of the tongue touching the teeth should be lifted and curled up. The shape of the tongue will resemble a fresh curled leaf about to open.
- Protrude the curled tongue out of the lips. Draw in the air past the curled tongue with a sibilant sound (sssss) to fill the lungs completely. The air is drawn in as if through a pipette or a drinking straw. After full inhalation withdraw the tongue and close the mouth.
- After full inhalation, lower the head, from the nape of the neck, to the trunk. The chin should rest in the notch between the collarbones. The head is now in the Jalandhara Bandha position.
- Now hold the breath (antara Kumbhaka) for about 5 seconds, practicing Mula Bandha.
- Exhale slowly with an aspirate sound (hhhhuuuuuuuuuuum) through the nose as in Ujjayi.
- This completes one cycle of Sitali Pranayama.
- Lift the head and repeat the cycle for 5 to 10 minutes.
- After completion lie down in Savasana.
Benefits of Sitali Pranayama:
- Sitali Pranayama cools the system and soothes the eyes and ears.
- Sitali Pranayama is beneficial in cases of low fever and biliousness.
- Sitali Pranayama activates the liver and the spleen, improves digestion and relieves thirst.
- Persons suffering from high blood pressure should omit antara Kumbhaka.
- Those with heart trouble should not attempt Sitali Pranayama in the beginning.