by Beth Haley
Tacos have been a long-time summer favorite. They’re easy to make and there are so many different ways to make them from veggies to fish.
Another way of coping with the summer heat is with Sitali Pranayama (cooling flow) or taco breath. Sitali offers quick cooling during hot days and can also help with hot flashes and pitta imbalance. In addition, it can be helpful with fevers, bad breath, fatigue and high blood pressure.
To prepare for this pranayama, sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight. Inhale and exhale deeply through your nose a few times.
Making an O shape with your lips, roll your tongue upward like a tube or taco. Sticking your tongue out between your lips, inhale slowly like you are sipping air through a straw. Let your breath fill your chest and belly. Hold for five seconds.
Withdrawing your tongue, close your mouth and exhale through your nose. Slowly empty out your lungs, drawing your bellybutton toward your spine.
If your tongue does not curl, try Sitkari Pranayama instead.
For sitkari pranayama, you can rest the tongue against the inside of your bottom teeth and closing your teeth gently, inhale through the gaps between your teeth. This makes a hissing sound. Closing your mouth, exhale through your nose.
You can also extend a flat tongue and rest it on your bottom lip. Practice the same inhale and exhale exercise you would do with sitali.
Make sure and moisten your tongue!
Try practicing this technique for 3-5 minutes or gradually work up to 10!
Sitali and sitkari pranayama both reduce body temperature so they are best done in hot weather or after exercising.