Your BREATH is probably the most potent yoga tool. You can use it to energise, to focus, to relax, to balance, you name it! It's also FREE and ALWAYS AVAILABLE to you, yay!
I'm very passionate about this topic because whenever I work with breath I just feel sooooo good afterwards. I'm usually using it to clear emotional baggage which is dragging me down or to relax if I wake up in the middle of the night.
With just a few rounds of breath you can literally change the biochemistry in your body and have a huge impact on your nervous system (this is now scientifically proven!).
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you one a breathing technique which is cooling for your mind and grounding for your heart. Let’s talk about SITALI breathing.
HOW TO DO SITALI BREATHING
Sit in a comfortable position, either crossed legged on the floor or sitting on the edge of a chair with the 2 feet grounded into the floor. Hands resting on your legs. Close your eyes.
Protrude your tongue out of the mouth. Curl the sides of the tongue up so that it forms like a straw. Breathe in slowly from the mouth and breathe out from the nose. Start with 9 rounds of breath.
If you can’t curl the sides of your tongue like a straw, press your tongue behind your upper teeth. Breathe in slowly from the mouth and breathe out from the nose. Start with 9 rounds of breath.
Take it one step further
Once you’ve mastered one of the 2 options above, you can add breathing ratios like 4:4, 5:5 or 6:6. This means 4 counts breathing in, 4 counts breathing out (for a 4:4 ratio).
WHEN TO DO SITALI BREATHING
SITALI breathing has a cooling quality. When breathing through the mouth the air is not filtered and warmed up (like when you breathe through the nose). Breathing in through the mouth is acceptable for short periods of time. Don’t do it if you’re in an extremely polluted atmosphere (like on the side of a motorway!) or in excessive cold weather. You can practice it after your asana practice (aka yoga class), a powerful heating workout or before going into a meeting you feel a bit anxious about.
When you breathe through the teeth or tongue, the air is cooled by the saliva and this cools the blood vessels in the mouth, throat and lungs. In turn the stomach, liver and the whole body is cooled (your mind too!). This breath soothes away mental tension and it can help with high blood pressure.
Also, the fascia (or connective tissue) of the tongue is directly connected to the muscles around the heart. Hence, when you breathe SITALI you also invite a grounding quality to the heart.
GIVE IT A TRY
I’ve a short video on Instagram, where you can practice a few rounds with me. Give it a try and then leave a comment to let me know how was your experience?
Thank you for reading until the end, you rock!
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Until next time…
Be WILD, be YOU!