Bhramari Pranayama: A Breath to Calm Your Whole Being
Looking for a calming, uplifted exercise that can also help battle seasonal allergies?
Try basic bhramari pranayama, or humming bee breath. It’s a simple yet powerful breathing technique in which a humming sound is produced on the exhalation.
What is Bhramari Pranayama?
Bhramari is a Sanskrit term that refers to a type of Indian bee and Pranayama is the formal practice of breath control in yoga. This yogic breathing technique is called bhramari because the humming sound produced during the practice is like the gentle humming of a bee.
If practiced regularly, this bhramari pranayama can relieve stress and cerebral tension, reduce anger and anxiety, improve sleeping patterns, and lower blood pressure. It also strengthens the throat muscles, which will alleviate regional ailments and improve the voice.
So, how to practice this mood boosting and voice nurturing technique?
How to Practice Bhramari Pranayama
- Sit in a comfortable, upright position. This can be on the floor with the support of a blanket, pillow, or yoga block. Or, sit in a chair with good posture.
- Use your thumbs to softly press in the tiny flap of cartilage located on the outer part of the ear, adjacent to the cheek. This subtle gesture reduces external noise and allows us to be more in-tune with the healing sound vibrations we’ll create with this breathing exercise.
- Optional – use the index and middle fingers to lightly cover the eyelids (see photo).
- Inhale through the nose and exhale slowly and with control while making a steady humming sound. The sound should be smooth and even feeling. Its vibrations should be felt in the in the front of the skull and even in the sinuses. These vibrations literally massage the nervous system and throat muscles. Keep humming until the end of the breath. At this point, take a slow and even breath through the nose and hum again.
Start with 5 to 10 rounds. Overtime, practice for 5 to 15 minutes. And, be sure to maintain that nice posture!