One of my favorite recordings is Ella Fitzgerald singing Cole Porter’s “Too Darn Hot!”. The first time I heard it , I was in junior high, and my best friend ‘s mom had the anthology of Ella singing all of the Cole Porter songs, with orchestral arrangements by Nelson Riddle. We would listen to it over and over, and thought the lyrics were pretty risque! Today, when I walked out into the sunny, humid morning, it came to mind immediately. I can remember every lick Ella sang–oh how I wish I could sing like that!
Later this morning when I was at church, one of the older ladies was saying how she doesn’t do well in the heat, and It made me want to teach her sitali, a yoga pranayama practice that helps cool you down. Here’s how to do it:
Inhaling through the mouth, curl the tongue so it’s like a straw. As you take a nice deep belly breath, imagine you are cooling every cell in your body. Close the mouth, hold for a few seconds, and exhale–with control–through the nostrils, slowly. Do 5 rounds or so, see what happens.
Not everyone can make her tongue into a straw. Here is another pranayama, called sitkari, with similar benefits. Begin by gently clenching and baring the teeth, as if you were smiling through clenched teeth. Curl the tongue back so that it touches the soft palate. Inhale through the teeth, making a sucking sound. You will feel a coolness as the air is entering the sides of the mouth. When you have inhaled completely, hold the breath a few seconds, and focus on the cool sensation in the gums and tongue. Exhale slowly and deeply, and repeat for 3 to 5 rounds.
I recently had some dental work done, and used sitkari as a healing balm–it’s very good for gum health. Yoga has a cure for everything!