Bhramari Pranayama | Bhramari Breathing | “Buzzing Bee Breath”
Bhramari Pranayama is a safe and easy breathing technique, with potential benefits when paired with practices such as meditation. Like other pranayama’s, its effectiveness comes in part from its ability to trigger the autonomic nervous system. In addition, it’s therapeutic effect, can lead the way for aiding in relieving symptoms of stress, and anxiety, offering a more focused and relaxed mind. Bhramari Pranayama is composed of the Sanskrit word “Bhramar” which means bee. In fact, bhramara means “big black bee”.
To understand different types of pranayama, it’s important to note, engaging in these practices means you are deliberately focusing on breath. It becomes more of a voluntary motion, as oppose to involuntary. ‘Prana‘ itself literally means vital life force (breath), followed by ‘ayama‘, meaning control. This practice usually consists of 3 phases. Inhalation, retention, and exhalation.
Bhramari is just one type of pranayama. Furthermore, it focuses on a longer exhalation, compared to inhalation, activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
Bhramari Pranayama Sequence:
- Firstly, sit in a comfortable meditative, cross-legged pose, like Sukhasana, keeping the spine erect;
- Then, place your hands over your eyes and close your ears with your thumbs;
- Breathe normally and relax the body and mind;
- Keep your mouth slightly open and your teeth apart;
- Take a slow, deep breath and fill your lungs deeply;
- Then exhale slowly, emitting a continuous hum from the throat (Mmmmmm), producing a fluid and harmonious sound for the duration of the exhalation.
- Feel the vibration, being aware of the continuous hum that the sound produces.
- In addition, try not to tighten facial muscles, keeping them loose and relaxed.
Start with 3 cycles of ‘Buzzing Bee Breath’.
Alternatively, you may start eliciting a humming noise, and then move to a more silent practice. Consequently, imagining yourself making a humming noise on exhalation for a few cycles as well.
Benefits Of Bhramari Pranayama:
Bhramari Pranayama has several touted benefits. In fact, many believe by changing up frequencies or pitches of the ‘humming sound/vibrations’ may help in specific situations. For example,
- Helps soothes and calm the mind;
- Relieve tension and anxiety;
- May help reduce blood pressure;
- Effective against insomnia;
- Improve concentration;
- Opening passage for those suffering nasal congestion
- Strengthen self-confidence
When To Do Bhramari Pranayama?
Their is no “right” answer here. Consequently, this is a very subjective question. Oftentimes, The best time to practice pranayama is based on individual needs. However, choosing a time of the day with few distractions or noises to interfere with inner perceptions may be best. That being said, Bhramari Pranayama can be practiced at any time of the day, helping relieve mental tension(s).
Tips To Make The Most Of Bhramari Pranayama:
As beforementioned, it’s important to remain comfortable and relaxed. This includes not just from a mental standpoint, but a physical one. Concentrating on the vibrations, while remaining tension free is vital for this breathing technique.
In addition, make sure you don’t press your ears too firmly, and keep your mouth closed with your teeth slightly apart for the duration of the practice. Your elbows should be shoulder height, with your neck remaining relaxed. Do not perform this technique while lying down.
Another variation to basic pranayama practices is Bhramari, or ‘buzzing bee breath’. A personal choice that can help in sessions of meditation or meditative style yoga sessions.