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Sheetali Pranayama, Seetkari Pranayama : Steps and Benefits

Sheetali PranayamaSheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath Technique) is an effective way to cool the body and calm the mind while simultaneously expelling toxins from the body.
It is also said to relieve a variety of stomach and lower-abdominal ailments.
The word Sheetali (शीतली) means “the one that can cool you down“.

Steps in Sheetali Pranayama

  • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position or in Vajrasana.
  • Take two or three deep inhales and exhales through the nose to prepare yourself.
  • Bring the tongue all the way out and roll it in the shape of a tube (curling the sides in towards the center to form a tube). If you have problem doing this method, then skip and try Seetkari Pranayama as described below. If you can’t roll your tongue, just purse the lips making a small “o” shape with the mouth.
  • Inhale through the tube of the tongue and at the end of inhalation, lower the chin to the chest in Jalandhara Bandha and hold the breath for 6 to 8 seconds.
  • When ready to exhale, lift the chin up, close the right nostril with the right thumb. Using Ujjayi breath, exhale slowly through the left nostril. This completes one round.
  • Repeat this process for 5-10 times. Best way is to start with 5 times a day and slowly increase it to 10 times per day.

Seetkari Pranayama Steps

Seetkari PranayamaSeetkari” (सीत्कारी) means the breathing technique that “produces the ‘seee’ or the ‘seet (hissing)’ sound”.

  • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position or in Vajrasana.
  • For 2-3 minutes, observe the flow of breath at the tip of the nose to bring in a feeling of being centered and inward focused.
  • Open the lips and bring the teeth together lightly.
  • Take a long deep inhalation through the gap between the teeth.
  • At the end of inhalation, lower the chin to the chest in Jalandhara Bandha and hold the breath for 6 to 8 seconds.
  • When ready to exhale, lift the chin up, close the right nostril with the right thumb. Using Ujjayi breath, exhale slowly through the left nostril. This completes one round.
  • Repeat this process for 5-10 times. Best way is to start with 5 times a day and slowly increase it to 10 times per day.

Benefits of Sheetali Pranayama and Seetkari Pranayama

  • Both Sheetali and Seetkari are effective in cooling the the entire body, nervous system and also the brain.
  • Reduces stress, anger and axiety effectively.
  • Lowers the Blood Pressure.
  • Cures Insomnia and enables deep relaxing sleep.
  • Prevents premature greying of hair and hairfall.

Precautions before practicing Sheetali Pranayama and Seetkari Pranayama

  • Avoid these methods during the extreme cold days of winter (unless your body heat is excess).
  • Avoid if you are suffering from asthma, cold, cough and congestion.
  • If you have history of chronic constipation, stop doing these breathing techniques as they cool the area around Swadhishtana Chakra).

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