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Sheetali Pranayama "Cooling Breath"

This is a very refreshing breathing technique, amazing on warm summer days because it helps us cool down our body while soothing our muscles and nervous system, reducing anxiety, fear and depression.

1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. Close your eyes and relax the whole body. 2. Take two or three deep inhales and exhales through the nose to prepare. 3. Extend the tongue outside the mouth as far as possible without strain. Roll the tongue, curling the sides in towards the centre to form a tube. Stick the end of the tongue out between your pursed lips. If you can’t roll your tongue, just purse the lips making a small ‘o’ shape with the mouth. 4. Practice a long, smooth and controlled inhalation through the rolled tongue, allowing the air to pass over your tongue thus creating a cooling sensation. 5. After you inhale, draw the tongue in, close the mouth and exhale through the nose. Then again stick the curled tongue out and repeat. The breath should produce a sucking sound. A feeling of icy coldness will be experienced on the tongue and the roof of the mouth. This is one round. 6. With practice, the duration of the inhalation should gradually become longer to increase the cooling effect. Gradually increase the number of rounds from 9 to 15. For general purposes 15 rounds is sufficient (and up to 60 in hot weather).

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