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Yoga breathing techniques: sitali pranayam or refreshing breath

Yoga breathing techniques
Photos:women group yoga / stock.adobe.com
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Yoga breathing techniques: sitali pranayam or refreshing breath

Yoga breathing techniques, Sitali pranayam breathing can bring peace to the soul and strengthen your lungs. Additionally, breathing can help your body and mind reach a state of calm and happiness.

Breathing for yoga sitali pranayam or refreshing breath will bring peace to the soul and strengthen your lungs. Know this type of breathing, relax and enjoy yoga to achieve the balance between body and mind.

Pranayam breathing is a breathing method to achieve control of vital energy in life. The name pranayam comes from Hinduism, thus joining the words prana and Ayama.

The first means the vital energy to do everything in life through physical activity. For its part, the second means the expansion of the lungs when breathing.

Yoga seeks to create a spiritual connection through physical activity. The history of yoga is based on Hinduism; In this discipline,  breathing seeks to generate movement in the internal forces of the body. Breathing is the basis of yoga, so the air will be the fuel that will give you the strength to execute the postures and keep your mind calm.

Yoga breathing techniques
Photos: Yoga breathing techniques / stock.adobe.com

For Hinduism, the body is made up of energy centers or chakras. Sitali pranayam breathing seeks to create the perfect balance between the chakras.

Quiet your mind with sitali pranayam breathing. We will explain how to do sitali pranayam breathing and, in addition, we will show you what are the benefits for the body and mind.

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How to do sitali pranayam breathing(Yoga breathing techniques)?

Sitali pranayama breathing is rhythmic and dynamic,  it will activate the airways and expand the lungs. With these steps, you can do it in your yoga practice.

  • First, focus on your breathing. Take your own pace and be aware of the inhalation.
  • Rushing your breath can make you dizzy because more air will enter your body than it is used to.
  • Afterward, sit cross-legged in the meditation position. The left leg is attached to the groin and the right leg over the left.
  • Then place your back straight without stiffness, the spine will be in line, as vertical as possible. Relax your back without curving your spine.
  • The chin is slightly tucked and the shoulders are back. Don’t drop your shoulders.
  • Then place your hands on your legs, each on its respective side.
  • Begin your breath by inhaling and exhaling slowly.
  • Lastly, take a mental breath count. Inhale, hold and exhale.

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The main difference between the sitali pranayam breath and the fire breath is the speed and awareness between the two. The first is a slow breath that seeks to calm the heart rate and, on the other hand, the breath of fire is fast and without pauses.

Thus, in sitali pranayam breathing, inhalations and exhalations are counted. Time intervals are established when breathing, increasing the number of seconds in each respiratory cycle.

The relationship between inhalation, retention and exhalation can be 6-3-6. You must inhale for a count of six, then hold the air for a count of three, without putting tension on the body. Finally, breathe out slowly for a count of six and relax your muscles.

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Benefits for the body and mind (breathing techniques)

Sitali pranayam breathing seeks to empty the lungs of air and to become conscious when breathing. Thus, in this type of breathing it is intended to achieve active relaxation, not passive relaxation.

Specifically, research published in 2010 in the journal Nepal Medical College indicates that performing this type of exercise for 5 minutes could cause systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate, to decrease. That means that these types of exercises are beneficial for the health of our cardiovascular system.

On the other hand, awareness when breathing can give us a greater sense of energy, producing a state of greater alertness and awareness of the life force. This clarity could allow you to change your energy, in addition to prompting you to be more positive in the situations you face in life as well as to put stress aside.

Sitali pranayam breathing helps to become aware of emotions. It could thus help you break the patterns of undesirable subconscious habits and addictions.

It is important to take into account the relationship between inhalation, retention, and exhalation in sitali pranayam breathing. Thus, little by little you will improve your technique and achieve the maximum state of concentration. This type of breathing will take you into meditation, to seek spiritual balance.

Try to put problems aside and balance your mental and physical energy through breathing. Yoga can provide you with the well-being you are looking for. It is no miracle, but it could be of great help!

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Anna Andersonne
Anna is a mother, yoga teacher, and psychologist. At YOGA LOAD she is the heart of the editorial team and writes about yoga, true happiness, and sustainability. Her articles are published in the Yoga Journal, Happy Way and GingerMag.