Sitali Pranayama

Hey Peninsula Yogi’s, I hope your enjoying your Sunday activities. It feels like we are in for a very hot day, high 30′s is the forecast.
I continually mention in class that Yoga is much more than movement. I’ll share a pranayama (breathing technique) they might help you stay cool today.

Sitali pranayama is performed by curling the tongue and creating a tube, the breath is inhaled through the tube which bypasses the bodies in built air conditioning system. The exhalation is long and slow via the nostrils. The breath should not be forced.

Drawing air into your body directly through the tubed tongue reduces the bodies internal fire (pitta element) and cools the whole system.

This technique will help curb anxiety and hot flashes.

Practice for 15 rounds. Drink plenty of room temperature water. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

This is only a very basic introduction to sitali, like all pranayama the advise of an experienced teacher should be sought.

The Yoga Body

(Fact or Myth)

I’ve been asked lately about the “perfect” body type for Yoga, which is a reasonable inquiry. If you consider the premise that Yoga is a philosophy of the mind and not a form of exercise, a question relating to a body type is completely irrelevant.

The identification as Yoga as exercise is a misnomer, Yoga Sutra 1.2 enunciates “yoga citta vrtti nirodah”, which translates as “Yoga is the restriction of the fluctuations of the mind”. The ancient Sages were not contemplating how to develop a particular body shape in their vast and encompassing discoveries. They certainly weren’t considering what type of body shape would look best on the cover of the latest Yoga journal, far from it. They were actually working with subtle energies and consciousness.
The question of body type relates to conscious movement practises known as Asana, which is one part of a very broad based philosophy. The wellness benefits of yoga movement are incredible but singularly are not Yoga.
To answer the question concerning a “perfect” yoga body. A tall person in certain asana would have an advantage, so would a short person, a flexible person, a mobile person, a strong person, a person with great balance. The bottom line is your body type is irrelevant. Your height, flexibility, mobility, strength or balance will not restrict you or exclude you from asana practice. There is no perfect yoga body, everyone can benefit and improve with regular practice and competent coaching regardless of body type.
A qualified Yoga Teacher who has anatomical and biomechanical experience and a deep understanding of asana practices and sequencing will develop a practice and modifications relevant for each person’s unique body type.
If you can breathe and feel you can practice Yoga asana.