Sitali Pranayama

Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “regulation of breath.” There are many different types of pranayama. Sitali Pranayama is a great cooling breath.

This breathing technique is not only excellent for cooling the body on hot days but can also calm the mind and relieve stress. 

So on days when you’re feeling overheated or stressed out, give Sitali Pranayama a try.

Sitali Pranayama Technique

Sitali Pranayama can be translated as “cooling breath”. It is achieved by drawing air through the curled-up tongue, which results in the cooling effect. 

Some people can’t curl up the tongue or have difficulty doing so. If you are one of those people, you should try the alternative technique, Sitkari Pranayama.

How To:

  1. Start in a comfortable seated position, either on a chair or in a cross-legged sitting asana, just make sure that you can sit up straight in this position for some time.
  2. Close your eyes and activate your core.
  3. Take some full deep breaths to focus on your breathing. 
  4. Open the mouth slightly, place your tongue between your lips and curl it up to form a straw with your tongue.
  5. Then suck in air through your tongue as you would through a straw.
  6. Exhale through your nose.
  7. Inhale and exhale like this 5-8 times.
  8. Afterward, take a couple of deep normal breaths again before opening your eyes.
  9. You should feel a bit more refreshed now.

The Benefits of Sitali Pranayama

  • Cools the body
  • Helps to relieve anger and irritation
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Regulates Pitta imbalance, especially in summer months
  • Improves awareness and focus
  • Aids in digestion
  • Can help during hot flushes
  • Is said to calm hunger
  • Helps to reduce fever
  • Can help to reduce high blood pressure 

Contraindications of Sitali Pranayama

As this breathing technique cools off the body you should not practice this Pranayama on cold days.

Additionally, you should not practice the cooling breath if:

  • You have generally a cold constitution
  • If it is winter and you have a prone kapha or vata constitution.

When to practice Sitali

After a vigorous and powerful workout or yoga class, this breathing technique can cool you off nicely.

Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed by fiery emotions like irritation and anger it can help to calm you down.

At times when you feel sluggish, you can practice this pranayama to improve your focus or to boost your energy.

Final Thoughts

Sitali Pranayama is great to cool off our body as well as calm our emotions, it is easy to do, and practicing this only for a short time during the day can provide you with the benefits you need.

So on days when you feel overheated let it be temperature-wise or emotionally, give this cooling breath a try.

If you have difficulty curling up your tongue, try Sitkari Pranayama instead.

Have fun.



What is Sitali Pranayama good for?

This breathing practice is particularly effective for cooling off the body and easing the mind

Who should not do Sitali Pranayama?

Sitali Pranayama is not recommended for people who have low blood pressure, asthma, or a cold.

When should you do Sitali Pranayama?

In Ayurveda, it is advised to practice this breathing technique during summer or during the hottest time of the day.