Pranayama

3 breathing practices for cooling off and calming down

Pranayama can be a simple way to find balance and beat the summer heat. Discover 3 breathing practices for cooling off and calming down.

Your breath provides a window into your current energetic state: Shallow, labored breaths, like those you experience during a tough workout, indicate an activated, heated sympathetic nervous system (your fight-flight-freeze response). Deep, slow breaths, on the other hand—the kind you experience when you slip into Savasana or sit in meditation stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system response and ease you into a cooling “rest and digest’’ state. If the hot temperatures and pace of summer have left you feeling overheated and sluggish, these pranayama practices can function as tonics to invite calm and equilibrium.

Easy definition of Pranayama

Pranayama is a system of techniques used to harness and manipulate universal energy known as prana. It is an integral aspect of yoga, often incorporated into asana practice or used as a preliminary step for meditation.

The term is derived from several Sanskrit roots; prana meaning “vital life force,” yama meaning “control” and ayama meaning “extension” or “expansion.” The breath is symbolic of prana, and pranayama can be understood as methods to extend and expand vital life force energy through the deliberate control of respiration. This helps one to raise one’s prana (or Kundalini energy in this case) up the deep spine to the spiritual eye or sixth chakra, which brings one to enlightenment.

Before you start

Take a moment to check in with yourself. Sit in stillness and observe, without judgement, how each inhalation and exhalation feels. What sensations are you experiencing and which physical movements occur? Then, fully breathe in and out, allowing your body to completely exchange outgoing carbon dioxide with incoming refreshing oxygen. This anchors your focus to the present moment so you can receive the full benefits of these cooling pranayama practices that release excess heat, making them beneficial after an athletic asana practice or a challenging workout.

3 breathing practices for cooling off and calming down

Sitali or Sitkari Pranayama

To practice cooling Sitali Pranayama, bring the sides of your tongue up toward each other to make a U shape. Draw your breath in through it like you are sipping air through a straw. Exhale through your nose. Continue for 8–10 rounds. If you cannot roll your tongue, try Sitkari Pranayama: Part your lips and lightly touch your upper and lower teeth together. Inhale through the gaps between your teeth, with your tongue floating just behind them. You may hear hissing sounds as you breathe in. Exhale through your nose. Continue for 8–10 rounds.

Benefits

  • it is beneficial in diseases of tongue mouth and throat.
  • It cures diseases of spleen, liver, indigestion and fever.
  • It controls high blood pressure; it purifies blood and is mostly practiced in pittaj diseases.
  • It cures dental problems like pyorrhea, diseases of throat, mouth , nose, tongue etc.
  • It reduces sleep and controls body temperature.
Sitali or Sitkari Pranayama - Yoga Kia Ora

Chandra Bhedana Pranayama

This breathing technique—also known as moon-piercing breath is associated with a cooling, introspective, lunar vibration, the opposite of heated, outwardly-focused solar energy, which makes it a perfect balance to summer’s exuberance. With your right hand, use your thumb to close your right nostril. Breathe in through your left nostril, filling your torso with air. Seal both nostrils and hold the breath for 2–3 counts. Release the right nostril and slowly exhale. (You will inhale only through your left nostril and exhale only through your right). Repeat for 12 rounds.

Benefits

  • Chandra Bhedi Pranayam reduces body heat.
  • Useful in heart burning problems.
  • Very effective in high blood pressure.
  • Useful in fever.
  • The mind becomes steady by the daily practice of this Pranayam.
  • Helps in reducing tension, stress, and other mental problems.
  • Reduces the flow of gall.
chandra bhedana pranayama - Yoga Kia Ora

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

This technique can balance your energy—inviting calm or boosting your alertness. Curl your right ring and pinky fingers into your palm. Join your middle and index fingers and point your thumb upright. Rest your left hand on your thigh. Gently press the extended two fingers to seal off the left nostril as you inhale for 4 counts through the right. Close your right nostril by pressing down with your thumb, releasing the left nostril as you exhale out of it for 4 counts. Inhale through the left nostril for 4 counts. Close the left nostril, open the right, and breathe out of it for 4 counts. Practice 4–6 rounds.

Benefits

  • Infuses the body with oxygen.
  • Clears and releases toxins.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Calms and rejuvenates the nervous system.
  • Helps to balance hormones.
  • Supports clear and balanced respiratory channels.
  • Helps to alleviate respiratory allergies that cause hay fever, sneezing, or wheezing.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama - Yoga Kia Ora

Treat yourself with a Pranayama Retreat

The perfect get away retreat for a physical and spiritual detox. Its time to reconnect with yourself.

Make a peaceful environment

By creating a comfortable and cosy environment, we give yourself more oportunities to focus your mind on your pranayama practice.

Encens

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Encens Holder

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Buddha statue

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Cushion

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Pareo

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Yoga may

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Combine your pranayama practice with Yoga

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