How To Do The Humming Bee Breath To Reduce Inflammation, De-Stress & More
Bhramari pranayama is named after the Hindu deity Bhramari, the goddess of bees. The name is fitting, as the light humming sound of the bhramari breath alludes to the buzzing sound that bees’ wings make. This simple breath practice has numerous applications that can have profound effects on the mind and body.
Steps to practice Bhramari pranayama:
Note: This practice is usually done with the index fingers in the ears to amplify the inner resonance of the reverberating hum. As an alternative, it can be done using shanmukhi mudra. Shanmukhi mudra means “six-gate seal” and is said to close off the six gates of perception (two eyes, two ears, nose, and mouth) so that attention can be directed to the inner self. This mudra is done by covering the ears with the thumbs while the fingers lie flat over the eyes and cheeks.
Bhramari pranayama effects:
The humming sound that is created increases the production of nitric oxide in the paranasal sinuses by 15 times compared to normal breathing. This massive gain in nitric oxide comes from the vibration of the air, which increases the air exchange in the sinuses and nasal cavity. Nitric oxide is a powerful neurotransmitter, vital for good health and well-being. It aids in and facilitates several physiological functions, from increasing oxygen uptake and improving cardiovascular function to strength gains and post-workout recovery. Nitric oxide helps decrease inflammation, increases the production of antioxidants, and improves immune system function.
It also helps improve memory, concentration, and learning and is an important component in sexual function and libido. Bhramari breath slows the exhalation and creates a sound for the mind to focus on, much like the ujjayi breath. The humming sound is said to have a calming effect on the mind, quieting the constant stream of turbulent thoughts.
Bhramari pranayama is a powerful technique for decreasing anxiety, agitation, and stress. It calms the mind and focuses our thoughts. And if we take the humming technique from this practice and apply it to other pranayama practices, we can gain a multiplicity of benefits from the massive increase in nitric oxide.
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