Pranayama Series -Bhramari for stress and anxiety

Bhramari Pranayama or the humming Bee Breath produces a sound similar to the humming of a bee. Bhramari comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Bramar’ which means a kind of black Indian bee. Bhramari pranayama has a soothing effect on the brain and calms the mind.In Bhramari pranayama the humming sound is produced during slow exhalation. The eyes and ears are closed using the fingers during this process. This cuts off external sense inputs of sound and sight and helps to internalize the consciousness. Practice of Bhramari pranayama can be a prelude to Nada Yoga or the science of meditation on internal sounds.

PRACTICE

> Sit in a comfortable meditative pose. Padmasana, Siddhasana, Ardha Padmasana, Swastikasana or even Sukhasana can be used as a sitting posture. Keep the spine erect. Do not do this in a lying down position.

> Breathe normally and relax the whole body.

> Keep the mouth closed and the teeth apart.

> Plug both the ears with the index fingers and close the eyes. Some also use the thumb to close the ears. In this variation, the eyes are kept closed by using the middle finger.

> Take a slow deep breath and fill the lungs fully.

> Then exhale slowly, making a continuous humming sound from the throat. The sound should reverberate in the head.

> Feel the sound vibration in the head. Be aware of only the continuous drone that the sound produces. This drone is similar to the humming sound of the bee.

> This is one round.

> Start with 5 rounds and increase it as per your convenience.

> Plug both the ears with the index fingers and close the eyes. Some also use the thumb to close the ears. In this variation, the eyes are kept closed by using the middle finger.

BENEFITS

> Bhramari pranayama calms the nerves and reduces tension and anxiety.

> It helps to reduce anger and frustrations.

> It gives the practitioner a good sonorous voice. It can also help remove throat ailments.

> It helps to reduce blood pressure.

> Bhramari pranayama is a good prelude to the practice of Nada yoga. In Nada Yoga, the consciousness is internalized and practitioner meditates on the subtle internal sounds. Bhramari pranayama helps to attain the state of Pratyahara, or the state of withdrawal from the senses before the start of meditation.

CAUTION

> You may feel little cold or tingling sensation in the throat due to sound but this is normal.

> Under No circumstances the proportion of the breathing should be forced.

> If you feel dizzy then please stop the practice and continue normal breathing.

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