Bhramari Pranayama – de-stress & calm an anxious mind

When you want to do something to instantly calm your mind, Bhramari pranayama is your best choice. It is an excellent breathing practice to rid your mind of anger, anxiety and frustration. It is a simple, easy-to-do technique and you get hooked on to it.

Bhramari is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Bhramar’, which means a black Indian humming bee. It is called so because the sound created during the exhalations resembles that of a humming bee. I remember one time when I was practicing Bhramari and my husband walked into the room wondering what sort of buzzing sound was it. He looked at both our phones if it was vibrating, looked behind the TV, the laptop and also went to the bathroom to check. Due to all the commotion he was making, I happened to open my eyes slightly and noticed he was desperately looked for the source of the sound. Although I could have told him it was me, I decided to be playful and continued with my pranayama. He finally tracked the sound was coming from me and shouted out my name! I couldn’t hold it anymore and burst out laughing. Later, I explained to him that it was a type of pranayama and that he should try it out too! So, don’t be surprised if you experience similar funny things when you practice this pranayama.

Bhramari pranayama also called humming-bee pranayama has a soothing effect on the brain and helps to de-stress. The ears and the eyes are closed in this practice which helps to internalize the mind. It has tremendous therapeutic potential. The buzzing sound during the exhalations activates the parasympathetic nervous system whose job is to rest and digest, slow down the heart rate and decrease the blood-pressure. Just a few breaths of Bhramari can calm an anxious mind. For those of you, who don’t find the time to meditate, can make this your starting point and continue from there.

How to practice Bhramari pranayama:

Bhramari Pranayama

  • Sit in any comfortable meditative posture and close the eyes.
  • Place the index finger on the cartilage of the ears.
  • Take a deep inhalation through the nose and as you exhale, make a loud humming sound like the bee. This is also called ‘m’ kara chanting, the last part of ‘Om’ which consists of three sounds a-u-m. Make sure the mouth is closed when you do the exhalations
  • Continue in the same pattern for 8-10 rounds.
  • Once you have finished the rounds, release the hands down and keep the eyes closed. Observe the sensations in the body. Feel the vibrations and witness the calm within. Open the eyes with a few blinks.

Shanmukhi mudra:

Bhramari Pranayama

You can also practice Bhramari with Shmukhi mudra. For this, close the ears with the thumbs, place the index fingers on the eyebrows, close the eyelids with the middle finger and place the ring and little finger on the cheeks. Inhale through the nose and as you exhale, make the humming bee sound.

This can be practiced by everyone. Practice this pranayama on an empty stomach.

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