Breathing techniques

Sitkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath) – Pranayama For Hypertension & Acidity


Sitkari Pranayama – Hissing Breath

Sitkari Pranayama also called the hissing breath, is one of the breathing techniques in Yoga which cools down our body and mind. Sitkari is similar to Sheetali Pranayama.  Whereas in Sheetali Pranayama, the tongue is rolled into a tube, in Sitkari Pranayama it is rolled up to touch the upper palate. This Pranayama too has a positive impact on the nervous system and endocrine glands, as in Sheetali Pranayama. A person becomes young and charming by practicing this breathing exercise.  A Person is able to control thirst and hunger with the daily practice of Sitkari Pranayama.

Sitkari Pranayama Steps

  • Spread a Yoga mat and sit on it in any comfortable meditation posture with palms on the knees.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
  • Hold the teeth lightly together.
  • Separate the lips apart so that the teeth are exposed.
  • Roll the tongue upwards so that the lower part of the tongue touches the upper palate.
  • Breathe in slowly and deeply through the teeth.
  • First fill the abdomen, then the chest and finally the neck region as is done in Yogic breathing.
  • At the time of inhalation, a slight hissing sound is produced.
  • Exhale slowly through the nose in a controlled manner.
  • Time taken to exhale should be twice the time consumed in inhalation.
  • This is one round.
  • Practice 5 to 7 seven rounds.

Sitkari Pranayama with Antar Kumbhak (Internal Retention)

  • Follow the same procedure till inhalation as above.
  • At the end of inhalation, retain the breath inside for 7 to 8 seconds.
  • Then breathe out slowly.

Sitkari Pranayama with Addition of Bandhas

  • Follow the same procedure till inhalation as above.
  • At the end of inhalation, lower the chin to the chest (perform Jalandhara Bandha).
  • Hold the breath for 6 to 8 seconds.
  • Breathe out slowly with full control, taking nearly twice the time that the breath was held in Jalandhar Bandha.

Sitkari  Pranayama Precautions

  • Do not practice Sitkari Pranayama in a cold weather.
  • Do not practice Sitkari Pranayama in polluted weather.
  • Do not perform Antar Kumbhaka for a longer time as prolonged Kumbhaka has a heating effect.

Sitkari Pranayama Contraindications

  • People suffering from cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis and low blood pressure should not practice Sitkari Pranayama.
  • People suffering from heart ailments should avoid retention of the breath.
  • People suffering from chronic constipation should avoid Sitkari pranayama.
  • People with sensitive teeth, missing teeth or dentures should practice Sheetali Pranayama instead of Sitakri Pranayama.

Sitkari Pranayama Benefits

  • Sitkari  Pranayama balances excess pitta.
  • It affects important brain centers associated with temperature regulation.
  • Sitkari hence cools the body and clears excess heat from the system.
  • It mitigates hyperacidity in the digestive tract.
  • Sitkari Pranayama is very good for inflammatory skin conditions.
  • It helps calm inflammation throughout the body.
  • This Pranayama calms the mind thus supporting mental tranquility.
  • Sitkari Pranayama is very good for the health of teeth (particularly pyorrhea).
  • The practice of Sitkari Pranayama alleviates excess hunger and quells excess thirst.
  • Sitkari Pranayama or Hissing Breath is very good for people suffering from hypertension & anxiety.
  • A person becomes young and charming by practicing this breathing exercise.

Sitkari Pranayama Sequence

Since Sheetkari has a cooling effect, it can be preceded by any kriya which generates heat like Bhastrika or Bhastra Ujjai. Meditation can be done after this Pranayama as It cools and calms down the mind and body. The general course of breathing exercises for a Yoga Session can be done in the following order –

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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