Why we love Bhramari Pranayama: As we’re exhaling and creating the droning sound, like that of a bee, we’re also lengthening our exhalations – which in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the side in charge of resting and digesting. Calming, centering, grounding…bee’s breath is just what we need these days!
🐝Bhramari is the Sanskrit word for “bee,” and this pranayama or breath exercise is so named for the humming sound produced – like the gentle low buzz or droning of a bee. We like it best for its ability to drown out an anxious mental loop, and find it incredibly grounding and centering.
Bhramari Pranayama (Bee’s Breath):
- Calms and quiets the mind
- Releases cerebral tension
- Stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands, supporting their proper functioning
- Soothes the nerves
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Dissipates anger
- Lowers blood pressure
- May have a positive effect on tinnitus
- Bolsters the health of the throat
- Strengthens and improves the voice
- Supports the healing of bodily tissues
- Induces sound sleep
“The busy bee has no time for sorrow.”
– William Blake
How to Practice Bee’s Breath:
- Sit comfortably but upright, with a stable foundation to support you.
- Gently close the lips, keeping the teeth slightly apart, and bring the tip of your tongue to the space behind the upper front teeth. (Keep the jaw relaxed throughout your practice.)
- This part is optional: You can actually use your thumbs to “close” your ears (for me, not all the way feels better) and then gently cover your eyes with cupped palms. There are other ways to practice with the fingers fanned out, but this is most comfortable for me. It does take the experience a little deeper inward.
- To begin, take a deep breath in through the nostrils.
- Begin to exhale slowly, making a steady, low-pitched ‘hmmm’ sound at the back of the throat—like the humming of a bee. Focus on making the sound soft, smooth, and steady. The positioning of the tongue allows the vibration to better resonate throughout the head.
- Continue for as many repetitions as you like. After the final exhalation, allow your breath to return to normal and observe any changes that have occurred.
- Maybe you can even feel the vibration continue throughout your head and body after you’ve stopped humming!
🐝How do you feel after your bee’s breath practice?🐝
Bee Breath is also featured in a blog post I wrote for Prema Yoga Institute, as part of my Yoga Therapy Training. I learned a little more about Bee breath during my Breath Coach course – and it turns out there is even more benefit to this technique than I could imagine! Read MORE.