Is getting out of bed a challenge? Do you feel like a dense fog has descended upon your brain? If you don't feel quite up to snuff these days, I highly recommend you give Brahmari Pranayama, or bumble bee's breath, a try.
It is said that the humming alone can help open the lotus in your chest, otherwise known as the heart. Some of us work pretty hard to keep our hearts closed off and protected, but that can get exhausting.
The vibrational sound "Hum" is the bija mantra for the element ether. By using this mantra, you can create more spaciousness inside and allow things to flow more freely.
According to Ayurvedic practice, the benefits of practicing bumble bee's breath are numerous and include:
- Calms the mind
- Allows one to feel more centered
- Expands consciousness
- Soothes ailments of the throat
- Relieves stress
- Reduces anger
- Induces sleep
- Improves thyroid functions
- Helps tone the central nervous system
- Promotes Pratyahara - gaining mastery over external influences, controlling the sense organs, and going inward
- Find a comfortable seat that allows for an elongated spine.
- Gently close the lips — the teeth should not be touching.
- Use your thumbs to close off your ears.
- Place your index and middle fingers gently over your eyes. Do not apply pressure.
- Rest your ring fingers alongside your nostrils.
- Place your pinky fingers softly across your lips.
- Take a deep inhale through the nostrils. Drop the chin slightly towards the heart.
- Exhale slowly through the nostrils while creating a low-pitched humming sound. The sound is coming from the back of your throat. Imagine a little honey bee buzzing around a sunflower.
- Repeat until you have completed a set (up to 10 rounds is good.)
- Release the fingers, bring the head back to center, and resume normal breath pattern.
Here's a brief video of the technique if you are a visual person.
It has been suggested that bumble bee's breath releases the following hormones:
- Tryptophan - the feel-good dopey hormone that is released after eating an enormous Thanksgiving dinner
- Serotonin - known to help with depression
- Melatonin - aids in sound sleep
- Acetylchline - helps relax the muscles
And the list goes of benefits goes on. Indeed, I have a teacher who had a client who complained of hearing loss. She was unable to use the phone or listen to music. He suggested she do Brahmari breath each morning. This woman was very dedicated to the practice and committed full force. So committed was she that she rigged up a system of two chairs to help hold her arms up when they got tired. Miracles of miracles, slowly her hearing began to return and she was able to use the phone unassisted.
I encourage you to practice this breath every morning for a week. See if it lightens your step and makes you feel a greater sense of ease.
Writer Lauren Sauer is a graduate from the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and a certified 500 hour Kripalu Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher. As an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, she is passionate about educating others to become their own health advocate, to live with the rhythms of nature and to simply slow down and breathe. She currently resides in the beautiful Berkshires as the intern with the Kripalu School of Ayurveda.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to sell any product.