The humming bee breath, also known as Bhramari Pranayama is a calm breathing practice that helps us connect with our truest inner nature and calms our nervous system. Bhramari, which means “bee” in Sanskrit, is the name of this pranayama because it makes a sound at the back of the throat that sounds like the gentle humming of a bee.
Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama
Just like all other asanas and pranayama in yoga, Bhramari pranayama is a package of positive sensations to the mind and body. Here are a few from the package:
- Quiets the mind
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Dissipates anger
- Lowers blood pressure
- Supports the health of the throat
- Strengthens and improves voice
- Supports the healing of bodily tissues
- Induces sound sleep
- Stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands
Contraindications of Bhramari Pranayama
Bhramari should not be practised by pregnant or menstruating women. Additionally, people with epilepsy, extremely high blood pressure, an active ear infection, or chest pain should not take it. The practice of bhramari should also not be done while lying down.
When can you practise Bhramari Pranayama?
Like the majority of pranayamas, Bhramari pranayama is most effective when performed without food. Even though bhramari can be done at any time of the day, it is most effective in the early morning and late night when there are fewer distracting sounds and our inner perception is sharpest.
Steps of Bhramari Pranayama
Sit in a position that is comfortable for you. Sitting cross-legged on the floor with a cushion or blanket is the most comfortable way to elevate the hips. On the other hand, you might decide to sit toward the front of a seat, with your feet level on the floor.
- To maintain a straight back, neck, and head, allow the spine to lengthen.
- Bring the tip of your tongue into the space behind your upper front teeth while gently closing your lips and keeping your teeth slightly apart. Throughout the exercise, maintain this mouth position while frequently checking to ensure that the jaw remains relaxed.
- The next step is to close each ear with the thumbs, then reach across the eyes with the middle, ring, and pinky fingers so that the tips of these fingers gently press against the bridge of the nose.
- Place the index fingers at the midpoint of the forehead, just above the eyebrows.
- To get started, take a long, deep breath through your nose and bring it all the way to your belly.
- Drop the chin to the chest and slowly exhale, mimicking the humming of a bee with a steady, low-pitched “hmm” sound at the back of the throat.
- Make sure the sound is steady, soft, and smooth.
- The tongue’s position makes it possible for the vibration to resonate throughout your head, affecting the brain’s tissues.
- As you bring your awareness to the centre of your head (known as the Ajna chakra) while remaining completely still, let the sound fill your head and spread throughout your body. Join the sound and let the vibration spread throughout your body.
- To perform the exercise again, slowly straighten your neck at the conclusion of the exhalation and inhale once more through the nostrils.
You can start and continue with 7 repetitions or gradually increase them to a total of 17 repetitions by adding one repetition each week. Allow your breath to return to normal after the final exhalation and observe these changes if any:
- What are your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual feelings?
- What kinds of energetic shifts do you notice?
- Where in your body do you feel sensations, and how is this different from when you first started?
Open your eyes gently when you are ready, focusing some of your awareness inside. If it’s early in the morning, stand slowly and give the rest of your day your full attention. If it is evening, try to maintain the vibrational calm in your body as you get ready to go to bed.
- What is the benefit of Bhramari pranayama? It promotes inner peace, which in turn leads to self-healing. The Bhramari pranayama brings down one’s circulatory strain, thereby alleviating hypertension. Because it relaxes the brain, it is recommended as a nightly practice for better sleep. It is also a great way to calm the mind.
- Who should not practice bhramari? Women who are either pregnant or menstruating should not practice Bhramari. Additionally, people with extremely high blood pressure, chest pain, epilepsy, or an active ear infection should not take it. It should not be done while lying down too.
- What are the side effects of Bhramari pranayama? Bhramari Pranayama does not cause any side effects. However, to reap the benefits of Bhramari asana, certain requirements must be met such as pre-existing health conditions. Bhramari yoga should not be practised by women who are menstruating or pregnant.
- What is the method of Bhramari pranayama? Stretch your shoulders while sitting down, keeping your spine straight. Close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose to perform the Bhramari Pranayama. Maintaining control of your breathing now, slowly exhale to produce a deep, steady humming sound similar to a bee buzz.
- Does Bhramari increase eyesight? Yes, the Hummingbird exercise known as Bhramari Pranayama helps to improve focus and eye-to-eye coordination.
The aforementioned instructions are meant to provide a general and secure introduction to bhramari. Advanced practitioners may also hum on the inhalation, as in ujjayi pranayama, and sometimes add variations like breath retention (khumbaka) and muscular locks (bandhas). The best way to learn these additional strategies is in person from a qualified teacher.
Robert Haynes, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.