In the health world, recently, breathwork has been all the rage. As a person who is up to date with many health practices and news, I have been seeing increasing focus put on breathing and wellness. For over 5000 years, yogis have been focusing on their breath and using it to regulate wellness and balance. Over the past few months, public health pros have been emphasizing the importance and helpfulness of breathwork.
There are versions of mindful breathing for almost every situation. You can find breathing exercises that calm you down, center you, clear your mind, and some that claim to help your body detox. Even breathwork that can actually cool you down!
Curled tongue breathing is said to be one of the most cooling breaths in yoga and Ayurveda.
Also known as Sheetali Pranayama, curled tongue breathing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. All you have to do to properly practice this pranayama breathe is curl your tongue, and breathe through it. Sounds simple enough!
As much as I like to think I am, I'm no expert at yoga and meditation. And this interesting way of breathing seemed an appropriate level for my skill and experience. So with coolness on my mind, I went outside on a 90-degree day to see what would happen.
As I was breathing in through a curled tongue, I was "meditating":
Calm. Cool. Relaxed.
And let me tell you, there were some results! I don't know if my whole body necessarily felt cool, but my tongue definitely did! Also, I wasn't in excruciating heat either. I was just outside, after a run, on a summer day and I did feel some cooling zen.
Next time you're feeling really hot give this a try. Curl your tongue and inhale through it like you would a straw, exhale through your nose and repeat for 1-5 minutes to feel the refreshing effects of coolness and ventilation.
P.S. If you can't curl your tongue don't fret! There is a version of cooling breathe for you too: Sitkari Pranayama. For this one, you just breathe through your front teeth and exhale through your nose.