Bhramari Pranayama ~ The Vibration of the Universe
Bhramari Pranayama ~ The vibration of the Universe, the sound of bliss arising from Anahata, the heart chakra … I first experienced Bhramari Pranayama about 5 years ago in the foothills of the Himalayas at Ananda Prakash Ashram with Yogrishi Vishvketu, a class he calls Hatha Raj or Raj Yoga. Honestly it was not my favourite class to begin with, I found it to be irritating and slow. Sometimes in our practice we are shown a metaphorical mirror, this was a reflection of the need to slow down, be still and connect. I developed a love – hate relationship, knowing the benefits and quality of this technique, I persevered in my own sadhana and now I love the effectiveness of Humming Bee Breath.
Our lives are fast paced and externally stimulated, this simple pranayama is the gateway to an inner silence of bliss, facilitating mental space, emotionally calming and a deeper meditation. Bhramari, is a safe, easy-to-learn practice, it has tremendous therapeutic potential when practiced regularly. Like other pranayamas, its power comes partly from its effects on the autonomic nervous system. By lengthening the exhalation relative to the inhalation activates the calming parasympathetic. Reducing stress, insomnia, sinus conditions, anxiety or anxious depression, this practice can begin to quiet the mind within a few breaths. The sound of bhramari’s humming can drown out the endless mental repetition loops that fuel emotional suffering, at least for a few minutes, making it a useful starting point for those whose minds are too “busy” to meditate.
Find a comfortable seated position, either on the floor or in a chair. If you choose to sit on the floor, place enough support under your pelvis so that your thighs angle down and you keep the natural curve of your lumbar spine. If you prefer a chair, sit at the edge of the seat so that your thighs angle down and your feet are flat on the floor. If your feet don’t reach the floor, rest them on a couple of yoga blocks or a cushion.
Practice a balance of effort and ease. Make a humming sound of moderate volume, but never force or strain. Keeping your facial muscles relaxed, lips are lightly touching, jaw relaxed, with the upper and lower rows of teeth slightly separated. Prolong the humming sound on the exhalation as long as it’s comfortable and you can still inhale smoothly, without gasping for air. If you start to feel agitated, pause for a moment and return to normal breathing and then try again.
Sit comfortably and allow your eyes to close. Take a breath or two to settle in and notice the state of your mind. When you are ready, inhale and then, for the entire length of your exhalation, make a low- to medium-pitched humming sound in the throat … Mmmmmmmmm … Notice how the sound waves gently vibrate your tongue, teeth, and sinuses. Imagine the sound is vibrating your entire brain. Do this practice for 4 to 6 rounds of breath and then, keeping your eyes closed, return to your normal breathing. Adding Bhramari breath to your yoga asana is a wonderful way of deepening your practice. This technique stimulates the 84 reflex points on the roof of the mouth, stimulating the hypothalamus which makes the pineal gland radiate. When the pineal gland radiates, it creates an impulse in the pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland gives impulses, the entire glandular system secretes …. creating the bliss effect … Ommmmmmm ….