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60: Study: The Cooling Effect of Pranayama

Breathing exercises are purported to have myriad benefits: some are cooling, heating, detoxifying, invigorating, calming, restorative. In this episode, we review a recent study on sheetali and shitkari breathing exercises and body temperature. We discuss the role of breathing in studio yoga classes, why we might incorporate sheetali or shitkari, and how we would frame the exercise. If you’re curious about breathing practices, this episode is for you!

In This Episode

  • The Study: “Body Temperature and Energy Expenditure During and After Yoga Breathing Practices Traditionally Described as Cooling.” (12:13)
  • Sheetali and shitkari breathing exercises were examined in this study (13:45)
  • In general, body temperature increased for all breathing exercises in the study (20:07)
  • Metabolites in urine after the breathing exercises (24:26)
  • Women’s body temperature is sensitive to estrogen and progesterone (25:58)
  • Why did body temperature and metabolism rise with these breathing exercises? (26:45)
  • Is there a place for mouth breathing in our yoga practice? (29:03)
  • Why this study was only done on men (37:10)

Resources & Links

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