Shitali Pranayama or The Cooling Breath, like all mouth-inhalation techniques, is only to be used sparingly in situations where the body feels over-heated. By rolling your tongue and inhaling through the mouth as shown in the video you will feel the air being cooled as it passes. Breathing like this for several minutes will cure heat exhaustion and cool the body down from the inside out. It is very important to note that mouth-breathing is something to be completely avoided except in extreme circumstances where the nasal passages are blocked or you’re gasping from lack of oxygen. Mouth breathing is directly responsible for the contraction of many contagious diseases like colds and catarrhal infections. Experiments have been performed on hundreds of soldiers and sailors showing that those who slept with their mouths open were much more likely to fall ill and contract contagious diseases than those who breathed properly through their nostrils. During one of the Navy experiments a smallpox epidemic broke out resulting in many deaths among the mouth-breathers, yet not a single nose-breather suffered.
“The organs of respiration have their only protective apparatus, filter, or dust-catcher, in the nostrils. When the breath is taken through the mouth, there is nothing from mouth to lungs to strain the air, or to catch the dust and other foreign matter in the air. Moreover, such incorrect breathing admits cold air to the organs, thereby injuring them. Inflammation of the respiratory organs often results from the inhalation of cold air through the mouth. The man who breathes through the mouth at night, always awakens with a parched feeling in the mouth and a dryness in the throat. He is violating one of nature’s laws, and is sowing the seeds of disease. On the other hand, the nostrils and nasal passages show evidence of the careful design of nature in this respect. The nostrils are two narrow, tortuous channels, containing numerous bristly hairs which serve the purpose of a filter or sieve to strain the air of its impurities, etc., which are expelled when the breath is exhaled. Not only do the nostrils serve this important purpose, but they also perform an important function in warming the air inhaled. The long narrow winding nostrils are filled with warm mucous membrane, which coming in contact with the inhaled air warms it so that it can do no damage to the delicate organs of the throat, or to the lungs.” -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath”
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