Sheetali Pranayama and Akash Mudra - Steps, Benefits and Effects
Posted: Oct 06, 2018
Yoga is a science in itself and the mudras and pranayama in yoga have a profound effect on the body, mind, and soul.
Mudra - Mudra is a sort of posture or a physical lock your body takes on to manipulate various aspects of you as an individual. Depending on the reverence of the practice it has profound effects on the body and the mind.
Pranayama - It is nothing but a breathing practice which involves very specific actions to be done in a prescribed fashion and utmost concentration.
Sheetali - the word itself means "the one that can cool you down" in simple terms. Sheetali pranayama benefits are many. Practicing this Pranayama not only cools the body’s core temperature but also the mind thus making one feel serene, peaceful and calm in a moment. When you are feeling thirsty and water is unavailable, just five rounds of one of this two pranayama will alleviate your thirst.
- Sit in any comfortable cross-legged sitting posture with the spine upright, arms and shoulders relaxed.
- For the next few breaths, observe the flow of breath at the tip of the nose. A feeling of being centered and inward focused comes in as you do this.
- Bring the tongue all the way out and roll it in the shape of a tube.
- Take a deep, long inhalation through the tube in the tongue.
- At the end of inhalation, lower the chin to the chest in Jalandhara Bandha and hold the breath for 6 to 8 seconds. Retain the breath only as long as it does not impact the quality and depth of the following exhalation.
- When you are ready to exhale, lift the chin up, close the right nostril with the right thumb. Exhale slowly through the left nostril using Ujjayi breath. This completes one round.
- Repeat for five deep breaths.
- At the end, bring the breathing back to normal and relax.
Sheetali Pranayama Benefits:
- The practice of Sheetali Pranayama before sunrise increases memory and intelligence.
- This Pranayama refreshes the body, mind & purifies the blood.
- This is also good for high BP, constipation, indigestion, acidity, ulcers, fever, skin disease and spleen enlargement.
- By purifying the blood, it beautifies the skin, brightens the face and brings luster in the eyes.
- He, who practices this Pranayama regularly, will not be affected by poison and viral infection.
- It removes excess heat in the body & cools the system thus reducing anger, anxiety, and stress.
- Those people who feel tired, lazy and sleepy while getting up in the morning or even during the day, must practice this pranayama.
- Sheetali pranayama benefits the secretions of reproductive organs and all the endocrine system thereby harmonizing them.
It will increase Kapha (mucus) since it’s a cooling breath. Hence you must avoid practicing it if you have cold and respiratory-related issues. Also, avoid overdoing this exercise during winters. You must avoid exacerbating Kapha and terribly cooling the system.
Akash Mudra is done where the middle finger and the thumb are pressed at the tips, while the other fingers remain held straight. The middle finger represents the element space which is further associated with Jupiter. And here Jupiter is the Guru. One can improve one’s qualities as a teacher with the practice of Akash Mudra. Akash Mudra benefits are numerous.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your legs crossed.
- Now, with your thumb’s tip, touch and then press your middle finger. Do this with both hands.
- Keep rest of the fingers straight.
- Rest your hands on your knees. Your palm should be facing upwards.
- Sit in this position for as long as you can.
Akash Mudra Benefits:
- It is helpful in developing extrasensory powers and intuition.
- It can help you to get rid of the chest pain.
- It also helps you in detoxifying your body by eliminating metabolic wastes from your body.
It keeps the person positive and away from all types of negative emotions.