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Sitali Pranayama – Benefits – About

Sitali Pranayama a type of pranayama (breath control) in Hatha Yoga. The most important benefit of Sitali Pranayama is that produces a cooling effect on the body and mind.

Sitali Pranayama is a variety in which puraka is done through the mouth along the tongue, the two sides of which are upturned in the form of a channel like the beak of a crow. The tip of the tongue is drawn out of the mouth. Recaka is done through both nostrils.

The technique of Sitali pranayama is described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II.56-57), Yogakundala Upanishad (I.30-31), Yoga Shikha Upanishad (I.95), and Sandilya Upanishad (I.13.4).

Sitali pranayama is believed to help in overcoming disorders of the rectum, pancreas and liver.

  • Pranayama has three components
  • Slow, uniform, and complete inhalation called puraka
  • Holding of breath inside or outside – abhyantara or bahya kumbhaka
  • Slow, uniform, and complete exhalation called recaka

Abhyantara kumbhaka itself has no varieties; there are varieties of only inhalation and exhalation.

For puraka, one may use the left nostril alone, the right nostril alone or both nostrils together; or puraka may be done through the mouth. Similarly, for recaka, one or both nostrils may be used. However, recaka is never done through the mouth. Eight varieties of pranayama are described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II.44). in the ninth variety, puraka and recaka are done through anuloma viloma (alternate nostrils).