Śitali Pranayama

At Yoga Synergy (Bondi), I learned a basic prāṇāyāma technique called Śitali (Tongue Hissing), a cooling and detoxifying breath to curb fever, anxiety, and control appetite. This is in contrast to the Ujjayi Prāṇāyām (Victorious or Cobra Breath), an ocean breath that builds internal heat.

In Śitali Prāṇāyām, air is inhaled through the protruding tongue that is curled into a tube. As air passes over the moist tongue during inhalation, it cools and refreshes the throat.

Other yogic breathing techniques include Bhramari Prāṇāyām (Humming Black Bee Breath) and Śitkari Prāṇāyām (Teeth Hissing Breath).

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2 comments

    1. Hi Dolores
      Thank you for your question. Regarding Śitali Prāṇāyām: before you inhale, you would need to uncurl, draw back and wet the tongue, because the tongue dries when exposed. There is no specific instruction for exhalation, which is the reason that Śitali Prāṇāyām (on inhale) can be combined with Bhramari Prāṇāyām (on exhale).
      Bhramari Prāṇāyām represents a technique of pratyahara, as it encourages sense withdrawal. It is (simply) a long mmm sound instead of the full a-u-m sound. Bhramari Prāṇāyām is commonly practiced together with shanmukhi (closing of the seven gates/mouths) mudra.
      2 ears + 2 eyes + 2 nostrils + 1 mouth = 7 gates
      Bhramari Prāṇāyām calms the nervous system and helps to treat symptoms of pitta (fire+water), e.g. restlessness.

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