Two of my favorite things summer and tacos. However, I won't be sharing any taco recipes with you today. I will be sharing a recipe for keeping the mind and body cool however.
Sitali Pranayama or in layman's terms Taco Tongue Breathing is a traditional yogic pranayama (breathing technique) for settling the heat that could accumulate through out the summer season. Okay, it really means Cool Breath but you'll understand the taco reference soon enough.
In Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, the summer season is know as the pitta season. Pitta represents the elements of fire and water. There are a number of ways to settle that pitta fire when it starts to blaze a little too wild. One of those ways is Sitali Pranayama or what I'm calling the Taco Tongue Breath.
This breathing technique not only cools the body but cools a fiery, agitated mind. Find your temperament heating up, use Sitali Pranayama to chill out!
Practicing Sitali Pranayama
1. Find a comfortable seat
2. Once seated take 3 deep cleansing breaths - Inhale through the nose and audibly exhale through the mouth.
3. Come back to your natural breath
4. Curl your tongue in the shape of a taco - Some people literally don't have the ability to curl the tongue, that's okay there is an alternative method, bring your tongue to touch the back of your teeth.
5. Once the tongue is situated, inhale through the taco tongue or the teeth - as if you are drinking the air in through a straw.
6. Exhale completely through the nose.
7. Repeat this for about 3-11 minutes depending on how you feel.
How and Why to use this Pranayama
The breath can be used as medicine in yoga and Ayurveda.
Because the breath is being used as medicine, meant to ease or alleviate a specific condition its important to know why you are using this technique and when to apply it.
Sitali Pranayama is meant to cool the body and the mind from excess heat in the body. You wouldn't want to use this technique in the winter when the body needs to stay warm.
Sitali Pranayama can be used to alleviate:
- Heat exhaustion
- Hot flashes
- Anger (Hot Head)
- Excess Pitta Dosha
- After being outdoors all day on a hot summer day
- If you work outdoors doing physical labor in the heat/sun