Sitali Pranayama, also known as the taco tongue breath or simply the cooling breath, helps cool down your mind and body, according to yoga practitioners. Your nervous system is what this breathing technique targets, and it’s great for soothing an angry or agitated mind, too. While there is more to uncover about the brain-gut link, there is some evidence suggesting that your gut’s brain (known as the enteric nervous system, or ENS) and the brain in your skull communicate (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).
Taco breath isn’t the only form of yoga that’s used to relieve stomach pain. In fact, breathing exercises, which are a central theme of the Indian practice of yoga, have been used to relieve IBS symptoms as well. The mindful and centering effects of yoga have been known to reduce gastrointestinal discomfort, regulate your nervous system, and reduce stress, per The IBS Dietician. This can be beneficial for IBS. “Sometimes, a low-FODMAP diet alone isn’t enough to take away all your tummy troubles. Yoga is a great way to improve your symptoms, while reducing stress, and improving flexibility,” shared pelvic reconstructive surgeon Dr. Rachel Pauls.
Now that you know you can curl your tongue to look like a popular Mexican food, breathe in and out, and bid goodbye to a stomach ache, here’s how you can practice this breathing technique.