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Don't Skip this Yoga Step: The Cool Down

One would think that cooling down isn't exactly a top priority during Winter...and yet, I've been a big fan of the cooling breath this past week. Maybe it's the detox properties of this breath that I've been craving or perhaps it's the opening in the throat center that intrigues me. Or maybe it's just how I feel after practicing this pranayam.

I don't like to promote quick fixes but I can't deny that often all it takes is 5 minutes of breathing or a yoga posture or two to change how I'm feeling for the better. Yes, a regular yoga practice is where the benefits lie but quick hits can quickly make a positive shift in your physical, emotional, and mental state.

So what's the pranayam that has been my go-to this week? Sitali Pranayam. It's believed to be a self-healing breath as well as a breath that helps dissolve anger and detox the body. Click here for PDF with simple instructions for this pranayam. Click here for an instructional video.

When I do this breath, I like to keep my curled tongue extended during both the inhale and the exhale (the video doesn't offer this instruction, but I highly recommend it). And don't worry if there's a bitter taste on your tongue when you first attempt this breath -- it'll pass. Sometimes I finish off this breath with one minute of Breath of Fire through a curled tongue and/or Breath of Fire through the left nostril.

Call it a quick fix or a cool down or a chill out or whatever else you like. I call it 5 minutes of rejuvenation.



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