Temperatures are finally rising and summer is here, whether you’re in the UK or France. The long sunny days and warm nights bring their own challenges, as we find it hard to keep cool. So here’s a little tip for you from the huge yogic area of pranayama, or breathing exercises.
Sitali breathing cools your central nervous system, making it a great way to take the heat out of the day, whether that’s literally or metaphorically. Yes, this technique even works when we get hot under the collar during moments of stress or conflict. Give it a try next time you feel like you might snap.
Sitting or standing comfortably, breathe in deeply and lower the chin to the chest on the exhalation. Just before you breathe in, extend your tongue out of your mouth and curl the edges towards the centre, making a tube. As you breathe in suck the air through the tube feeling the cooling effect as the air crosses the moisture of your tongue. While breathing in also raise your chin towards the sky enough to extend the throat but not crunch into the back of your neck. Pull your tongue back into your mouth as you lower your head and exhale through your nostrils. Repeat up to ten times.
Sitali isn’t the most subtle of breathing techniques so you may prefer to practice in private unless – like me – you don’t mind looking silly once in a while in order to keep cool and calm.
Until next week, enjoy the sunshine.