Sitali pranayam can be used in conjunction with others postures or it may be used at any time of day, in any situation to help to cool the body and to bring the mind into a state of meditative awareness. It’s a great breath practice to use for spring and summer. The only things that makes this meditation different from regular Sitali Pranayam is that it is done for 23 minutes and you end by inhaling and pressing the heels of the hands into the cheek bones and exhaling powerfully.
The ancient yogi’s studied and understood the benefits of this breath. They believed that ti’s very cleansing, especially for the digestive system and the liver. It helps to balance the liver and the spleen and it will strengthen the nervous system and adjust the electromagnetic field. If you can persevere to the full length of time it can also adjust your jaw and neck. Most importantly it can make you feel very pleasant, loving and happy!
It is a common response to feel itchy, agitated or angry as you do this meditation. The itchiness comes from the nervous system adjusting itself. It’s important to keep up and go through this grouchy response. If you can keep your breath deep and focused you will begin to let go of these old responses of the mind and the meditation will become very deep and pleasant.
From a perspective of Oriental Medicine the liver is adversely affected by anger, frustration and resentment. By channeling your anger through your meditative practice you can cleanse not only your body but also your mind. When the liver is healthy, rather than being frustrated or angered by obstacles, we learn to go with the flow, to find creative solutions to the problems that naturally arise in our experience of human life.
The experience of this in my practice has been incredibly beneficial. Several times whilst practicing this meditation I felt agitated and my mind became fixed on a problem. As I continued, the emotions released and deep understanding emerged. A sense of neutrality and compassion developed and suddenly insights began to arise within my awareness. I could think of new courses of action that I had never considered an option before. Rather than being stuck in my emotion and focused on the problem I could let go and allow solutions to arise. On one occasion as I continued with the meditation I found that fluid began to seep from my eyes, not tears of emotion but just fluid being released, a sure sign that toxins were leaving my system. I have found this meditation very beneficial for dealing with stress, I have also seen a great improvement in my health and I have found myself less prone to stress related conditions such as eczema and hay fever.
To do this meditation you simply sit with a straight spine with both of your hands relaxed on the knees with the palms facing down. The eyes are closed. Poke your tongue out and roll it into a U shape. Inhale your breath slowly and deeply through the tongue and then exhale slowly and completely through the nose. Continue for 23 minutes. To end the meditation inhale deeply and press the heels of the hands just underneath your cheekbones. Exhale powerfully and repeat two more times.
By Gurudaya, edited by Kundalini House
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