Bhramari Pranayama or Bumble Bee Breath, is a soothing pranayama practice that has wonderful and sometimes immediate effects. This technique is very simple. Inhale fully through both nostrils and hum for the length of the exhale. In a nutshell that’s it. Humming with each exhale. There are other things you can do with the hands for this breath to enhance a sense of pratyahara or containing the senses. Even with the hum, you can find any pitch and volume. In fact, it is interesting and even fun to play with the pitch while experiencing this breath. 2-3 minutes of this breath can have wonderful benefits:
· Clears the mind, which develops inner peace and calm
· It is said to improve concentration, memory and confidence.
· Activates the throat chakra by letting your truth be heard through your authentic voice, speaking in ways that others will be able to hear you clearly.
· Develops your listening skills both within yourself and with others and therefore facilitating your communication in deep ways.
At our most recent staff meeting some of our teachers had great wisdom about this practice. I’d like to share their insights below:
Andrea Nozykowski shares:
I have learned Bhramari breath as a very physical pranayama, which makes it perfect for our asana of the month. My teacher taught me to use the vibration of the sound we create in this technique to clear out the lungs. We tend to hold the last bit of air in the bottom of our lungs. This is usually stale air, void of oxygen, taking up useful space. On the exhalation, as you are humming, lift your pelvic floor and draw your abdominals inward towards the spine. Focus on the space near the end of the breath/humming vibration with the intent of fully emptying the lungs. On the inhale allow the belly to relax and expand, filling up the lungs with fresh, oxygen-rich air. After a few rounds of Bhramari breath you’ll wonder why you held onto that last bit of breath for so long!
Ringgo Abarro offers:
Yes, Bhramari Breath the Bee Breath.
Yes, I remember this from teacher training. I studied and found myself practicing by sending the “hmmmm” to different parts of the upper body.
Practice with eyes closed. Take an inhale. Exhale with the “hmmmm”
1. Place your hands on your chest, heart or sternum and feel the energy vibration.
2. Place your hands on your throat and feel the energy vibration.
3. Place your hands on your face, cover the face and feel the energy vibration.
4. Place your hands on our ears, cup your ears and feel the energy vibration.
5. Place your hand on your lap, palms up and feel the energy vibration.
Keep the eyes closed and come back to regular breath. Feel the rise and fall of the torso. Just feel.
Jaime White offers this expertise:
Humming/Bhramari breath is one way to improve vagal tone in the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve connects our brain to the major areas of the body such as the face, throat, heart, lungs, gut and other organs. Vagal tone is important because it allows the nervous system to respond effectively to a stressor or threat and then easily return back to a calm state. Without that high vagal tone, we tend to get stuck in a stress response— perhaps feeling anxious, “on guard”, fatigued, or foggy for extended periods of time. Having low vagal tone can also contribute to inflammation, auto-immune disorders, heart disease and other conditions. As you practice bhramari breath this month, notice if it has an effect on your mood, concentration, energy levels and overall sense of wellbeing.
Have a great time practicing this breath this month! Let us know what your experiences are!
With great respect and love,
Founder of Maitri Yoga