Practice Bhramari for Improved Throat Health

bhramari
Thanks to Banyan Botanicals for this image.

Bhramari is the Sanskrit word for “bee.” As you practice this Humming Bee Breath, you will notice that you create a buzzing noise similar to the buzz of the bee. So far, we have explored many different types of yogic breathing, but this is the first where a noticeable noise is produced. Because of this noise, Bhramari is often used to improve the health of the throat and the strength of the voice.

Benefits of Bhramari

Some generic benefits of Bhramari include its ability to help:

  • reduce anxiety,
  • encourage relaxation,
  • reduce insomnia,
  • oxygenate your blood,
  • reduce stress,
  • promote clear thinking,
  • reduce anger, and
  • lower your blood pressure.

These benefits are similar to those that you would receive from any other breathing practice. While there is no scientific evidence supporting the benefits of this particular breathing technique, it has been proven that deep breathing techniques are beneficial to your health.

BanyanBotanicals.com says that Bhramari also:

  • “Releases cerebral tension
  • Stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands, supporting their proper functioning
  • Soothes the nerves
  • Bolsters the health of the throat
  • Strengthens and improves the voice
  • Supports the healing of bodily tissues”

Cautions

According to BanyanBotanicals.com, Bhramari should not be practiced if you:

  • are pregnant or menstruating,
  • have an active ear infection,
  • are supine (lying on your back),
  • have high blood pressure,
  • have epilepsy, or
  • are experiencing chest pain.

Bhramari

  1. Begin in a comfortable seated position. This could be Siddhasana, Sukhasana, or simply seated in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Close your lips, keeping your teeth slightly apart. Bring the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Keep this position throughout your breathing practice, and make sure that your jaw remains relaxed.
  3. Close your ears with your thumbs, and reach your pointer fingers toward the midpoint of your forehead. This should be just above your eyebrows. Now, reach your other fingers toward the middle of your face. Your middle and ring fingers may even rest on the bridge of your nose.
  4. Inhale a long, deep breath through your nose.
  5. Lower your chin to your chest, engaging the Jalandhara Bandha.
  6. Slowly exhale while making a low hum at the back of your throat. Think of the buzzing noise from a bee. Make sure the sound is continuous and level. When your tongue is in the correct position, you may feel a vibration through your head.
  7. Think of sending the sound to the absolute middle of your head to your ajna chakra. Then, try to let the vibration spread through your whole body.
  8. At the end of your exhale, bring your head back to neutral.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 so that you complete a total of 7 repetitions. If you would like to increase the number of repetitions, add one a week until you are practicing 17 reps.
  10. After the final exhale, let your breath return to normal.

Bhramari Modifications

There are several modifications that can be made to Bhramari. Some people practice Kumbhaka (breath retention). Others hum on the inhale as well as the exhale. For more information on other ways to practice Bhramari, I recommend this article by Yoga International. However, to best learn these additional modifications, I suggest learning in person from a qualified instructor.

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Do you have any other tips for practicing Bhramari? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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