There are two main forms of pranayama that employ the cooling breath.
- Sitali pranayama is most
often associated with the cooling breath because sitali
translates as “cooling” or “soothing.” To practice sitali pranayama, the tongue is rolled and then the breath is drawn in
through the tongue as if through a straw.
- Sitkari pranayama is
practiced with the mouth open, but the teeth closed. The breath is
drawn in through the teeth, creating a hissing or sipping sound;
hence, the name, sitkari, which translates as “sipping.”
This cooling pranayama is recommended for yogis who find it
difficult to roll the tongue.
Because of its cooling effect, these
forms of cooling breath are believed to benefit the nervous system
and endocrine glands. The cooling breath is also thought to have
the following additional benefits:
- Reduces excess bile
- Reduces fever
- Controls hunger and thirst
- Lessens stress
- Relaxes the body and mind