As I watch my sunflower seeds slowly begin to grow, I have visions of the bumblebees that usually greet me in the garden on a warm Spring day. As they buzz around me, it’s as if they’re thanking me for planting the flowers just for them. With thoughts of bees buzzing in my head, it seems only appropriate to share with you the technique and benefits of a wonderful breath called Bhramari Pranayama (translated as “bumblebee breath”).
To try a basic version of Bhramari Pranayama:
- Come to a comfortable seat and close your eyes.
- Take a couple of long, slow, deep inhales and exhales to prepare yourself.
- Take another inhale and on a long, slow exhale begin to make a humming sound in the throat – like the murmuring of bees.
- Continue for six rounds and then return to your normal breath.
- Before you open your eyes, check for any changes in your body or mind.
- For a more advanced version of this Pranayama, include the Shanmukhi Mudra, to provide sensory isolation.
The benefits of practicing the “bumblebee breath” are said to be:
- Relief from depression, and an increased feeling of happiness.
- Relief from insomnia.
- Decreased blood pressure and stress.
- Relief from sinus infections, nasal and throat problems.
- Balancing of thyroid levels.
And, it’s probably all in my mind, but the sixth benefit could be a sharing of energy with the bees, which maybe will encourage them to come and visit again this year.