Yogic breathing is an important part of any meditation or yoga practice. Breath is life, and all the different forms of breath work are helpful for our physical, emotional, and mental health!
Did you know that most humans automatically revert to shallow breathing when they’re stressed?
We don’t even realize it. Regular shallow breathing causes panic attacks, dry mouth, respiratory problems, tension in many areas of the body, and can be a precursor to cardiovascular problems. There are more reasons than one to learn different breathing techniques!
Humming Bee Breath is a unique yoga breathing technique that involves using sound on the exhalation.
The sound and vibration of this type of breath, also known as Bhramari pranayama, soothes the tired, anxious, stressed out mind, releases tension, and allows the body to relax.
Let’s take a look at how to perform this simple bee breath technique!
We find that the best way to learn how to do something is by just doing it!
However, if, after trying it, you need more support or aren’t feeling the positive effects of this form of yogic breathing, we invite you to check out some of the many breathing and meditation-only practices offered on MyYogaTeacher! If you haven’t done so already, you can get a 2-week free trial here. No credit card needed!
So here we go! Steps to practicing this bee pranayama:
Find a comfortable, seated position. Many types of pranayama are practiced sitting on a cushion or blanket, cross-legged. However, we want you to feel comfortable practicing humming bee breath wherever and whenever you need to. So any comfortable seated position is fine for this pranayama.
Close your eyes. Reducing the stimulation from your other senses will help you focus on your breathing and the buzzing sound of your exhales.
Breathe. Take a few moments to just breathe slowly in and out through your nose. Intentionally relax your face, jaw, neck, and the rest of your body.
Cover your ears. Gently place your pointer fingers into the tragus cartilage of your ears (NOT inside your ear) and close them off. It is also ok to cover them with the palms or heels of your hands if that’s more comfortable.
Keeping your ears blocked, inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your nose. On your exhale, make a humming sound, similar to a bee in tone.
Continue this for 6-10 cycles of breath.
As you’re breathing, stay focused on the sound of your breath, the humming, the vibration that comes from the humming. You want to find the balance between strong enough to feel it but gentle enough that it’s relaxing. See if you notice your face and jaw vibrating. This should feel soothing!
Something you probably don’t know? The buzzing sound you make while practicing humming bee breath releases nitric oxide (NO). NO is produced in the paranasal sinuses and is inhaled when you breathe. It causes dilatation of your blood vessels, which increases how much oxygen your lungs take in internally.
Humming bee breath increases nitric oxide production 15 times that of what your body normally produces!
On top of that, Bhramari pranayama benefits also include:
Reduced blood pressure
Decreased anger and agitation
Elimination of anxiety
Relaxation of the central nervous system
Reduced inflammation in the body
Regulation of the metabolism
Boosted immunity (NO kills viruses and bacteria)
Regulation of hormones
Studies have also revealed that humming bee breath can prevent and even assist with recovery from respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19!
Humming bee breath is one of the most powerful forms of yogic breathing that you can practice. There are numerous benefits!
In the chaotic world we live in, it’s important – no, imperative – that we participate consistently in various forms of self care. Yogic breathing practices are easy, convenient, and doable almost anywhere. For thousands of years, people have used breath work to improve their mental, physical, and emotional health.
We hope you take some time to learn this effective breathing technique!
While we have not heard or experienced any negative side effects of humming bee breath, we do advise the following precautions:
Do not “plug” the openings of your ears with your fingers. Press gently on the tragus cartilage instead.
If you have an ear infection, do not practice Bhramari pranayama.
Do not practice this form of breath work lying down. Sit in a comfortable position.
It is not advised to practice humming bee breath if you’re pregnant.
Bee breath should be practiced on an empty (or mostly empty stomach), in the morning before eating or 4-5 hours after eating.
Be sure to keep your lips gently pressed together while performing this pranayama. Mouth should stay closed.
If you’re unsure about how to practice this form of yogic breathing, seek out a yoga instructor who is familiar with this technique. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on all the amazing benefits Bhramari pranayama offers!
MyYogaTeacher has many experienced, expert instructors who would be more than happy to help you master this technique! If you haven’t checked MYT out already, get your 2-week free trial here and join us on the mat in any or all of the 35+ yoga and meditation classes we offer!
See you on the mat!
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