We love quick and simple practices that help to de-stress and that actually work! So today we’re sharing the Bee Breath which is our new favourite technique that helps you withdraw from your senses and quickly helps soothe the body and mind.
It’s known as the Humming Bee Breath Technique, but its actual name is Bhramari Pranayama. Bhramari is a Sanskrit word derived from bhramara, which means “a large black bee”. But fear not, there certainly won’t be any stings with this technique!
The benefits of Bee Breath?
When you withdraw from your senses and create sound and vibration, it helps to focus your attention inwards and soothes the tired, anxious, stressed-out mind. It also releases tension and allows the body to relax.
In addition, the humming releases nitric oxide (NO). In fact, Bee Breath can increase nitric oxide production by 15 times compared to what your body normally produces. NO is produced in the paranasal sinuses which is why it is important to breathe through the nose and not the mouth, most of the time. It acts as a first line of defence against infections.
NO acts as a bronchial dilator of your blood vessels, which increases how much oxygen your lungs take in internally, which can be beneficial for COPD problems. By acting as a vasodilator, it also helps to increase blood supply and lower blood pressure. Studies suggest that coronary artery disease can be related to insufficient NO since it contributes to the regulations of heart contractions.
NO is said to have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties which is important in preventing sinusitis.
NO is also known to modulate feel good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, so has an impact on our mood and mental health.
Bee Breath has also been revealed to prevent and assist with recovery from respiratory illnesses such as Covid-19, by enhancing the expression of NO and increased Carbon Dioxide with extended exhalation.
If all that wasn’t enough, Bee Breath may also help with:
- Lowering anger, agitation and anxiety
- Stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system producing the relaxation response
- Concentration and higher brain functioning such as learning and memory due to increased generation of gamma brainwaves
- Reducing inflammation in the body
- Regulating metabolism
- Boosting immunity
- Regulating hormones
- Improving the health of the throat
- Improving quality of sleep and insomnia
How to do the Bee Breath?
Essentially you hum as you exhale but let’s go through a full cycle of breath step by step.
- Find a comfortable seated position. This could be cross-legged on the floor, on a cushion or blanket, or even sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor if you prefer. As long as you are comfortable and able to keep your spine straight.
- Cover your ears. Bend your arms and place your thumbs on your tragus cartilage and gently press them down to close them off. This helps to reduce stimulation from hearing and allows you to hear the humming and feel the vibrations better.
- Close your eyes and place your index fingers gently over your eyelids. This helps to reduce stimulation from sight and will help you focus on your breathing.
- Place the other three fingers of each hand on the face wherever feels comfortable. Many people place the middle and ring fingers on either side of the nostrils, and the little finger next to the edges of the lips. But place them wherever feels instinctively right for you.
- Take a few deep breaths in and out of your nose. Intentionally relax your face, jaw, neck and whole body. Place the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth.
- Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale through your nose, keeping your mouth closed. On your exhale make a humming sound, like a bee. It is also like the “mmm” sound when you chant “Ommm”. Keep the hum as steady and even as you can until you have fully exhaled.
- Repeat this for 10 cycles of breath. You will likely feel the vibrations of the humming throughout your head and face. Find the balance so the hum is strong enough to feel, but gentle enough to feel relaxing.
After the final exhalation, allow your breath to return to normal and observe any changes that may have occurred. Do you feel any sensations in your body? Do you feel calmer? Try to stay with this new sense of awareness for as long as you can.
Negative side effects are rare, however please take note of the following precautions:
- Do not practice if you have an active ear infection.
- Only gently close the ears, do not use any force.
- Do not practice Bee Breath lying down, only in a sitting upright position.
- Do not practice if you are pregnant or menstruating.
- Practice on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning or late in the evening are ideal times.
- Do not practice Bee Breath if you have high blood pressure, epilepsy or chest pain.
Bee Breath is a quick and easy technique that can help sooth stress and anxiety, and which has a host of other benefits. Try the Bee Breath challenge by practising 10 rounds of Bee Breath first thing in the morning for the next 7 days and let us know how you get on!
Are you ready for greater health and wellbeing? Search Holistic Room for qualified holistic health practitioners for your unique needs or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you promptly.