When temperatures reach over 100 degrees, it's hard to stay cool! We keep the studio at a comfortable 74-75 degrees, but it feels hotter, even inside, on these hot August days. Though we are lucky animals in that we sweat, sometimes it just seems we can't cool down quick enough. Notice how most other mammals pant? Any breath exhaled through the mouth is a cooling breath.
A specific breath pattern to use to cool you down is sitali breath. To practice sitali breath, sit or stand in a comfortable position. You can close your eyes or keep your eyes soft. Curl your tongue lengthwise and, open your mouth and let your tongue extend between your lips. Inhale deeply across the tongue into the mouth, as if sipping through a straw. Withdraw the tongue, close the mouth and exhale completely through the nostrils. Practice this for several breaths, up to a few minutes. Focus on the cooling sensation of the inhale. If you can't curl your tongue (a genetically inherited trait), part your lips slightly and inhale across the top of the tongue.
The moisture cools us as we inhale, just as in the winter the moisture warms the breath.
Don't forget to stay hydrated and keep breathing!