Whew! If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is here! Even if you're in the cooler parts, you know the heat is on its way. So how can we get into the practice of cooling off before the heat builds up to a boiling point?
As I was moving rocks and pulling weeds in my backyard this weekend, I remembered my favorite tool for cooling off IN THE MOMENT. Those of you who have been studying with me for a while already know where I'm headed: sitali pranayama.
Pronounced shee-ta-lee, this cooling breath exercise may look a little silly, but it's well worth the embarrassment. (And if you're tuning out like, "I got this. Moving on!" then I challenge you to do one minute before you click the back button and see how you feel :)
Here's how to bring the cooling magic:
That's it! It's an easy and chillaxing 2-step breath. And if you can't roll your tongue, no worries! Simply purse your lips and inhale as if through a straw, allowing the cool air to flow over your tongue. The beautiful part is you can do this anytime! I actually do this while gardening, and there's no reason not to while walking, driving, cooking, or watching a movie. The best prevention to summer heat, short tempers, and extra inflammation is the mindful accumulation of cool. Add this to your morning meditation and yoga practice all summer, and you will find your mind calmer and your joy a little closer.
I invite you now to pause your day and take a sitali chill-pill with me now. It doesn't just cool your body, it calms your thoughts as well. And couldn't we all use a dose of THAT right about now?
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