Shitali means cooling. It is a Pranayama which cools the whole body. In this Pranayama, air is inhaled through the mouth in slowly and constantly and exhaled through both the nostrils in the same way. This cools the whole body and at the same time relaxes the central nervous system.
Bring your tongue forward to touch the teeth from inside. Open your lips slightly and lift the upper teeth a bit for gap between upper and lower teeth for sucking air. Keep your spine and head straight. Close your eyes and be relaxed. This is the position of readiness for Shitali Pranayama.
Steps For Practice Of Shitali Pranayama
Start inhaling air through the mouth in such a way that air is passed all over the tongue. Take as much air as you can comfortably.Just when the inhaling is over, start exhaling the air though the nostrils slowly and constantly and throw out all the air.
Just when exhaling is over, start inhaling through the mouth and between the teeth and exhaling through the nostrils continuously. One inhaling and one exhaling make one round.
Do this for ten rounds.After doing ten round of this Pranayama, rest about thirty seconds. During the rest, keep your mouth closed and breathe normally. Feel the cooling effect of the Pranayama in the mouth, head and also all over the body. After resting for the desired period make ten more rounds in the same way as during the first round of practice.
Do twenty to thirty rounds of this Pranayama daily in units of ten at a time, and rest for thirty seconds after every ten units as described above. It is important that while resting, keep your mouth closed and keep breathing normally. Do not talk while resting. Silence while resting will have greater effect of cooling on the nerves all over the body.
Benefits Of Shitali Pranayama
It has a great energizing, soothing, relaxing and cooling effect on all the nerve channels and on the whole body. People suffering from high blood pressure, gastric troubles, tension and anxiety will find this very effective in removing these disorders.
In yogic literature it is said that if one feels thirsty or hungry at a place where water and food are not available, this Pranayama satisfies both thirst and hunger.
Since this Pranayama has a great cooling effect on the system it is just possible that some practitioners may catch cold or get a sore throat by practicing it. If this happen ,they are advised to gargle with hot saline water. This gargling with salted water will remove the cold caused due to Shitali.