Sheetali is a tranquilizing technique.
Sheetali pranayama came from the word Sheetal (Sheet season).
The root Sheetal or Sheet means something cold as the cool air, calmness, peacefulness and passionless.
Also, India has 6 different seasons and Sheet is considered the coldest season (15th December to 15th February).
According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika (sutra 58):
This kumbhaka, named sitali removes problem of glandular enlargement, disease pertaining to spleen and others etcetera, (is being against) fever, imbalance of pitta humour, hunger, thirst, and also various poisons.
Sheetali pranayama is answer to heat, stress, anger and irritation.
This practice cools the body and affects important brain centers associated with biological drives and temperature regulation.
It helps in all the pitta problems like acidity, ulcer, excessive sweating, burning sensations in any part of the body (eyes, urinary track, skin…).
It cools and reduces mental and emotional excitation.
Encourages the free flow of prana throughout the body.
Gives control over hunger and thirst.
Generates a feeling of satisfaction, calmness, peace and tranquility.
People suffering from kapha disorders (coughing, cold, sinusitis,…), respiratory disorders (asthma,…), low blood pressure should not practice this pranayama.
Kapha people should not practice in winter or in cool climates.
Sit in any comfortable meditative asana.
Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
Exhale longer and extend the tongue outside the mouth as far as possible. Curl the sides of the tongue so that it forms a pipe/tunnel.
Inhale deeply and longer in a controlled manner though the rolled tongue.
At the end of the inhalation, draw the tongue in, close the mouth and exhale longer through the both nostrils.
After the exhalation, repeat the same thing again and again.
A cooling sensation will be experienced on the tongue, the roof of the mouth, in the throat, until the heart chakra.
9 to 11 breaths. Pitta people can practice up to 24 breaths.
Practise with the guidance of your teacher.