Bee breath can be practiced by all ages to relieve anxiety and stress, improve focus, and get rid of negative emotions by stimulating the vagus nerve.
Have you ever noticed a calming sensation after making a humming sound? Whether you are humming your favorite tune, sighing with relief or pondering a question, humming out loud can have a soothing effect on the nervous system.
Bee breath (bhramari or brahmari pranayama) is a type of breath work that imitates the sound of the black Indian bee through intentional humming to relieve stress. The technique stimulates the vagus nerve, which activates our parasympathetic nervous system — the rest or digest response. Not only does it help us relax, but it is also fun for all ages to practice!
What are the benefits of bee breath (bhramari pranayama)?
Tones the vagus nerve and activates the parasympathetic nervous system
Reduces stress and anxiety
Calms and focuses the mind — it’s a great tool before meditation or sleep
Helps clear negative emotions, such as anger or agitation
Reduces blood pressure
Clears sinus and respiratory congestion
Aids with digestion
How do I practice bee breath (bhramari pranayama)?
I recommend taking a comfortable cross-legged seat on a meditation cushion, blanket or pillow or sitting up in a chair with your feet on the ground. Close your eyes or gaze gently at the tip of your nose. Take a deep inhale through your nose and as you exhale, make a humming sound like a bee. Practice the breath for a few rounds and notice the effects.
I encourage you to get creative and experiment with different tones and hand positions (mudras). I filmed a short practice on YouTube where we try a mix of lower and higher tones and change hand positions to deepen the effect. Press play on the video below to try variations and see what works best for you. Make sure you are cleared by your healthcare provider before altering the breath, especially if you are pregnant, have extremely high blood pressure, epilepsy, chest pain, or an active ear infection.
You may feel the lower tones in the lower energy centers (chakras) in the body, whereas the higher tones may resonate more in the higher energy centers (chakras). Additionally, you may feel more grounded when you place your hands on your thighs. You can amplify the volume by gently placing your index fingers on your cartilage (between your cheek and ear). You can also begin to withdraw the senses by using the shanmukhi mudra (explained in the video).
How do you feel after buzzing like a bee? You can repeat this breath several times a day, noticing how the negative thoughts and emotions buzz right off. I’d love to hear about your experience and which variation of the bee breath resonated most with you in the comments below. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more breath work tutorials.
Buzzing with gratitude,