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Bhramari Pranayama—Bee Breath

Need to find a moment of calm? Learn Bee Breath, or Bhramari pranayama, to help reduce tension and stress.

The Bhramari pranayama derives its name from the black Indian bee called Bhramari. The exhalation in this breathing technique resembles the typical humming sound of the bee. Bhramari pranayama is effective in instantly calming down the mind. It is one of the best breathing exercises to free the mind of agitation, frustration, or anxiety and get rid of anger to a great extent.

Practice this simple technique anywhere—at work or home to instantly de-stress. It works to soothe the nerves, especially around the brain and forehead. In addition, the humming sound vibrations have a natural calming effect.

How to do Bhramari pranayama (Bee Breath)

  1. Sit up straight in a quiet, well-ventilated corner with your eyes closed. Keep a gentle smile on your face.
  2. Keep your eyes closed for some time. Observe the sensations in the body and the quietness within.
  3. Place your index fingers on your ears. There is a cartilage between your cheek and ear. Place your index fingers on the cartilage.
  4. Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, gently press the cartilage. You can keep the cartilage pressed or press it in and out with your fingers while making a loud humming sound like a bee. You can also make a low-pitched sound, but it is a good idea to make a high-pitched one for better results.
  5. Breathe in again and continue the same pattern 3-4 times.

Typically, you’d do this technique after the warm-up at the start of a yoga practice; however, it can also be performed afterward.

Variations in Bhramari Pranayama

  • You can also practice Bhramari pranayama lying on your back or right side. While practicing the pranayama in these positions, make the humming sound, and don’t worry about keeping your index fingers on the ears. You can practice the Bhramari pranayama 3–4 times daily.
  • To enhance your experience, you can also keep your fingers in Shanmukhi mudra, a hand position, while doing this Bhramari pranayama. Place your little fingers of both hands on your chin from either side, place your ring fingers similarly on the upper lips, the middle fingers on the sides of the nose, close your eyes gently and place the index fingers on the eyelids and the thumb on the ears.
  • Alternatively, place your thumbs on the ear cartilage, index fingers on the forehead just above your eyebrows, middle fingers on your eyes, ring fingers on your nostrils, and pinky fingers just next to the corners of your lips.

 

Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama

  • Provides instant relief from tension, anger, and anxiety. In addition, it is a very effective breathing technique for people suffering from hypertension as it calms down the agitated mind.
  • Helps mitigate migraines
  • Improves concentration and memory
  • Builds confidence
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Calms the mind in preparation for meditation.

Precautions

  • Ensure that you are not putting your finger inside the ear but on the cartilage.
  • Don’t press the cartilage too hard. Instead, gently press and release with the finger.
  • While making the humming sound, keep your mouth closed.
  • Do not put pressure on your face.
  • Stay within the recommended repetitions of 3-4 times.

Contraindications

None. Once this pranayama is learned correctly from a yoga teacher, anyone of any age can practice it. The only prerequisite is that you do it on an empty stomach.

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