Humming bee breath

Are you busy as a bee?

Humming bee breath (bhramari pranayama) is a great way to calm the mind and relax your whole body, and a perfect way to take some time out during this busy time of year.

Whether your life is always a crazy hive of activity or you're feeling a bit like a drone, this pranayama will get you humming again. Humming bee breath simulates the sound of a flying bee, creating relaxing vibrations within the skull which tranquillize the mind-body and bring it back into harmony.    

To perform humming bee breath, sit in any comfortable meditative pose. Close your eyes and bring awareness into your entire body. Let your body become still yet relaxed. 

Begin by inhaling slowly and deeply through the nose. Close your ears with the second and third fingers of each hand by gently pressing the ear flaps into the ear canals. Keep the ears closed and exhale while making a soft deep humming sound like a bee. Concentrate on the sound, keeping it continuous and low-pitched. When the exhalation is finished, lower your hands to the knees and breath in slowly. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Humming bee breath is best practiced in the early morning or late at night on an empty stomach. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika further advises practicing bhramari pranayama after asana and before meditation. The sound vibrations produced by this breathing technique are very soothing and are  beneficial for relieving mental or physical tension and ensuring a good night's sleep.

by Dr Heather Moritz