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  • Asha Venkatarao

Chandra Namaskara and Sheetali / Sheetkari Pranayamas

We are all familiar with Surya Namaskaras, but have you tried the less-known salutation, the Chandra Namaskara? Did you know that the kind of Pranayama you do regulates your inner heat and can keep your inner fire balanced?

Read on to understand more about Chandra Namaskara and Sheetali & Sheetkari Pranayamas.


The traditional Surya Namaskaras are considered to be a Yang practice; active, increasing energy and heat inside the body. On the other hand, The Chandra Namaskara is associated with Yin energy; slower, receptive, cooling in nature. Although the Sun and Moon salutations offer different energies, they also blend very well together.

Sun Salutations are often practiced at the start of a yoga class, to awaken the body and create energy and heat. Like Sun Salutations, Moon Salutations can be included as part of a longer class or by themselves. They are especially nice to do in the evening to calm and soothe the body. The meditative, calming quality of the poses helps to form a strong connection to the breath, preparing the body and the mind for a restful night’s sleep.

Including both the sequences in our seasonal routine helps create harmony and balance at many different levels; in summer we can include more Moon Salutations, while in winter, we can include more Sun Salutations.

The next time, on a full moon night, try doing a few rounds of Moon Salutations; it's an amazing experience!!


The practice of Yoga allows us to shift the emphasis based on the seasonal changes around us. When summer season is around us, we can enjoy a yoga practice with Moon Salutations, along with cooling Pranayamas like Sheetali and Sheetkari.

Let's learn about the cooling Pranayamas,

Sheetali and Sheetkari techniques of breathing cool down the body, having a positive calming effect on the nervous system and restore hormonal balance.


Sheetali Pranayama - The word 'Sheetali' means to cool down, taken from the word 'Sheetal'.

Instructions:

  • Set comfortably in any meditative pose like Padmasana, Sukhasana.

  • Keep your both hands on knees and bring palms to Chin Mudra

  • Now bring your tongue all the way out and fold both sides of the tongue like a tube or straw.

  • If that's challenging, open the mouth to form an 'O' shape.

  • Take a long, deep inhalation through the mouth.

  • After Inhalation closes your mouth and exhales with both nostrils.

  • Repeat this 10 times.

  • Relax for a few moments and repeat the 2nd cycle of 10 breaths.

Sheetkari Pranayama - This technique is similar to Sheetali, with a little difference in the way of the inhalation.

  • Sit in any meditative pose in which you are comfortable.

  • Keep your eyes closed and try to touch the tongue upward.

  • Join the upper and lower row of teeth.

  • Now open your lips and start inhaling while making a slight hissing sound.

  • After inhaling, close your lips and breathe out through the nose.

  • Repeat this for 10 rounds.

  • Relax for a few moments; begin the 2nd cycle of 10 breaths

Whether you are doing Sun Salutation or Moon Salutation, performing the Sheetali or Sheetkari pranayamas, take the opportunity to go within and connect with yourself.

Tap into the Inner source of strength & balance serenity inside and remain connected with it all through the day, come summer or winter!!





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