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Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction 

Yoga is a manual to living a healthy and fulfilling life. As per Yogic scriptures, yoga practice leads to the union of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. Yoga consists of Pranayama, which are breathing exercises to develop control over the breathing action providing a sense of calmness in the body. 


Easy exercises that can be done anywhere and at any time are the most effective ways to combat everyday stress or anxiety. Bhramari Pranayama might be just the thing you need. This is because Bhramari yoga does not depend on the level of your fitness and allows your mind to calm down and work more efficiently. 

Continue reading to learn how to do Bhramari Pranayama, its benefits and many more that might help you gain a spiritual state of mind. 

Did you know

What is Bhramari Pranayama? 

Pranayama (breathing exercise) is an important aspect of yoga. It builds a relationship between breathing patterns and emotional states. It helps to eliminate negative emotional states like anxiety, anger, agitation, frustration, fear, etc.1 

Bhramari Pranayama is a breathing technique. Bhramari is derived from bhramara means black bee. While performing Bhramari yoga, a humming sound is produced at exhalation; it resembles the buzzing of a bee. Hence, Bhramari Pranayama is also referred to as Bee Breath.1,2 

Bhramari Pranayama mudra is an ancient yogic breathing practice. It includes a simple and unique breathing technique which can be easily performed by all age groups, irrespective of gender. While performing, Bhramari yoga is accompanied by constant humming vibrations, creating a soothing effect on the mind and placing the body in a state of relaxation.1 

There are two types of Bhramari Pranayama mudra: 

  • Type 1- It is performed without Shanmukhi mudra (explained in Type 2), simply inhaling and exhaling with a humming sound.1  
  • Type 2- It is practised with Shanmukhi mudra (a sacred hand gesture). Here the eyes are closed with index and middle fingers, the mouth with the ring and small fingers and ears with thumbs.1,2,4

Also Read: Benefits of Anulom Vilom and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Pranayama is known for its role in guided continued inhalation, retention, and exhalation. There are many types of pranayama. Bhramari pranayama is one such type of pranayama in which there is inhalation and exhalation is guided through the nostrils slowly and deeply while producing a bee-like humming sound while exhaling.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

How to do it? 

The maximum benefit of Bhramari Pranayama can be gained if it is performed with a proper technique. The following steps will guide you to obtain its full benefit. 

  • You may start with a meditation posture as a preparatory pose to get in a peaceful place. 
  • While sitting down, stretch your shoulders keeping your spine erect. 
  • For performing type 1 Bhramari Pranayama, close your eyes and inhale deeply through your nose. 
  • Now, keeping control on breathing, slowly exhale, making a deep and steady humming sound like a bee buzz.  
  • This is a single round of type 1 Bhramari Pranayama. Make two-three repetitions of this technique. 
  • For type 2 Bhramari Pranayama, sit up straight and place your hands on your face with one thumb on each tragus, the index fingers lightly touching the inner corners of your eyes, the middle fingers on the sides of the nose, the ring fingers above the lips, and the pinkies just below.  
  • Be sure to place only very light pressure on the eyeballs.  
  • Do six more rounds of low to medium pitched bhramari, lower your hands, and notice the effects. 
  • This is a round of type 2 Bhramari Pranayama. Repeat it for two or more rounds.2-4 

Do You Know? 

Here are a few amusing facts about Bhramari breathing exercise: 

  • Bhramari Pranayama is described as one of the important types of Pranayama (breathing exercise) in the Indian classic text- Gherand Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika.3 
  • Gherand Samhita mentions one might gain spiritual energy, calmness, mental power and endless happiness by performing Pranayama.1 
  • The famous Indian actress Shilpa Shetty inspired her fans on International Yoga Day. She encouraged fans to spare a few minutes and focus on breathing by performing Bhramari Pranayama yoga.5 
  • Shanmukhi mudra closes the six gates of sensations. These are the two eyes, two ears, the nose and the mouth.1 
  • Shanmukhi mudra helps to brighten the eyes and rejuvenate different parts of the face. If practised with Bhramari Pranayama, it might help in ailments related to the nose, ears and eyes.6 

Also Read: Benefits Of Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose) and How to Do it

Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama 

Bhramari Pranayama is a simple technique you can use anywhere, at home or workplace. It is a very simple way to release all stress.3 The benefits of Bhramari Breath are described below: 

1. Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama for Anxiety and Stress 

If you are battling stress and anxiety, you must try Bhramari Pranayama. It may help relieve the stress and increase the healing capacity of the body. Moreover, it may calm the mind and increase mental health by giving happiness and peace. Further, it may help develop self-esteem and enhance the coordination between mind and body.1 

2. Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama for Blood Circulation 

Proper blood circulation is the key feature of staying active and energetic. Research has proven that the humming sound of Bee Breath produces nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is produced from sinuses and nasal mucosal cells that help in the microcirculation of blood and oxygen. The vibrations open the tiny blood vessels circulating the blood.3 

3. Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama for Ear Conditions 

The regular practice of Bhramari Pranayama may help with ear problems. The humming buzz sound works as a self-induced sound therapy that might benefit in Tinnitus (ringing in the ear due to hearing loss). Studies suggest that the produced nitric oxide may help with deafness; however, human research is required to back this claim.3 

4. Other benefits of Bhramari Pranayama 

  • Regular practising Bhramari Pranayama may help eliminate negative emotions like anger, agitation, frustration and fear.1-3 
  • It may help to instantly cool down the mind. This helps alleviate insomnia and give sufficient time for the healing to take place.1,3 
  • It may help enhance physical health by boosting the brain function.1 
  • It may be a useful preparatory Pranayama asana for performing meditation and concentration.2 
  • The continuous humming vibrating sound may open up the blockages in the brain and provide a feeling of happiness.3 
  • It may help with migraines by providing a soothing effect on the mind.3 
  • It may help to gain a steady mind and lower mental pressure.3 

Yoga practice might help develop the relationship between mind and body; however, it is not an alternative to modern medicine. People should not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified physician who will assess the medical condition and advise accordingly. However, it is essential to practice and learn yoga under the guidance of a yoga expert to avoid injuries. 

Also Read: Benefits of Pranayama and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

As humming sounds are created while performing Bhramari pranayama, it might cause vibration in the brain. These vibrations send signals to the hypothalamus that can control the pituitary gland resulting in creating calmness.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Risks of Exercise 

The following are a few precautions related to Bhramari Pranayama: 

  • People suffering from ear and nose infections must not perform Bee Breath yoga until the infection disappears.2 
  • People with complications associated with using abusing substances are not advised to practise Bhramari yoga without taking a doctor’s advice.3 
  • Women should try to avoid Bhramari Pranayama during menstruating days as it might cause cramps.3 
  • Bhramari Pranayama should be practised on an empty stomach because after eating it may interfere with the digestion process.3 
  • People with migraine can practice bee breathing exercise with open eyes as covering your eyes may cause dizziness.3 
  • Early morning might be the best time for doing Bhramari Pranayama as it might help with your efficiency and well-being for the remaining day.3 

With the guidance of a well-experienced yoga teacher, people might assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice Bhramari Pranayama with precautions. 

Conclusion  

Bhramari Pranayama, or Bee Breath, is a breathing exercise named after the sound of the buzzing bee. The main feature of Bee Breath is that a vibrating humming sound is sounded inwards when all six gates of sensation are closed. The simplicity of Bhramari yoga is that it can be easily practised by everyone, irrespective of age and gender. Bhramari Pranayama develops a positive connection between our body and mind. 

Also Read: Benefits of Vrikshasana (Tree Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the best time to practice Bhramari Pranayama? 

The preferable time to do Bhramari Pranayama is early in the morning on an empty stomach.3 

How long should you perform Bhramari yoga? 

One round of Brahmari Pranayama mudra might be repeated 5-10 times. The longer you can exhale with a humming sound, the more relaxed you get.3 

Why is Bhramari Pranayama called Bee Breath? 

Bhramari Pranayama is called Bee Breath as the vibrating humming sound produced during exhaling is heard as the buzzing sound of a black bee. Hence, this pranayama is named Bhramari pranayama or bee breath.2 

Does Bhramari Pranayama increases blood circulation? 

Yes. While performing Bhramari Pranayama, the humming creates a vibration in the nasal region. This effect produces nitric oxide from sinus cells and nasal mucosa. The vibration opens tiny vessels in the brain helping in increasing blood circulation.3 

Is there any age limitation to doing Bhramari Pranayama? 

No, there is no age limitation to performing Bhramari Pranayama. It can be performed by all age groups including the young, middle-aged and elderly.3 

What are the Bhramari Pranayama benefits? 

The benefits of Bhramari Pranayama include providing instant calmness to the mind and boosting confidence. It removes negative thoughts and emotions such as fear, agitation, anger, frustration and anxiety and frees from headaches and migraine. With the help of scientific evidence, Bhramari Pranayama may act as a beneficial yoga practice to achieve psychological and intellectual health.1  

References 

1. Kadam M, V.Indapurkar K, Kadam M, V.Indapurkar K. BHRAMARI PRANAYAM A LITERATURE REVIEW. J of Emer Techno and Innov Res. 2019;6(6):896–9. Available from: https://www.jetir.org/download1.php?file=JETIR1908924.pdf 

2. Basavaradd I., editor. 21 June INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA Common Yoga  Protocol, Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy  (AYUSH) [Internet]. 4 Revised. Ministry of AYUSH | Government of India; 2019 [cited 2022 Aug 21]. 1–54 p. Available from: http://mea.gov.in/images/attach/Booklet_English_2017.pdf 

3. Chalwadi S., Kolarkar R., Sarokte A. CRITICAL STUDY OF BHRAMARI PRANAYAMA A REVIEW ARTICLE. Interna J of Appli Ayur Res. 2020;4(6):783–92. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342674037_International_Journal_of_Applied_Ayurved_Research_ISSN_2347-6362_CRITICAL_STUDY_OF_BHRAMARI_PRANAYAMA_A_REVIEW_ARTICLE 

4. 5 Ways to Practice Bhramari [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 9]. Available from: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/5-ways-to-practice-bhramari 

5. Yoga Day 2021: Shilpa Shetty suggests Bhramari Pranayama for early Covid healing | Health – Hindustan Times [Internet]. [cited 2022 Aug 31]. Available from: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/yoga-day-2021-shilpa-shetty-suggests-bhramari-pranayama-for-early-covid-healing-101624259031814.html 

6. Shanmuki Mudra [Internet]. [cited 2022 Sep 8]. Available from: https://isha.sadhguru.org/in/en/program-details?id=33973 

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