Meaning of Bhramari Pranayama
The word Bhramari is derived from ‘Bhramara’ which means a black humming bee. While practising this Pranayama, a person makes a humming sound through the nostrils; this sound resembles the buzzing of a black bee therefore it is named as Bhramari. With daily practice of this breathing yogic exercise, the person hears in the right ear various sounds such as the sound of crickets, flute, thunder, drum, beetle, bells, gongs of bell-metal, trumpets etc. and lastly anahatarising from the heart is heard. With this sound blends an internal aroused light. In that light the mind disappears and achieves the highest stage of yoga described as ‘Parampada’. Bhramari praṇayama should be practise thrice a day according to Rishi Gheraṇḍa (Gheraṇḍasamhita, 5/77).
Bhramari Pranayama as per yogic texts
- According to Gherandasamhita, a text on Yoga describes Bhramari as inhalation and suspension of breathing after closing the ears with hands.
- According to Haṭhapradīpikā, in Bhrāmarī , bhraṅganāda (sound of male bee) is made during Pūraka and bhriṅgināda (sound of female bee) during Rechaka.
How to do Bhramari Pranayama
The step by step technique of practicing of Bhramari pranayama is:
- Sit in any comfortable sitting position.
- Close the eyes; keep the mouth closed and inhale deeply.
- While exhaling make a soft humming sound.
- This is the one round. Make four rounds.
- This is the simplest version of Bhramari pranayama.
Advanced version of Bhramari pranayama
- Sit in any comfortable posture with eyes closed.
- Inhale deeply through the nose.
- Close the eyes with index fingers, place the middle finger side of nose, mouth with ring and small fingers, ears from respective thumbs.
- Exhale slowly in a controlled manner by doing humming sound such as that of black bee.
- This is the one. Try to practice it 3-5 rounds.
8 Health benefits of Bhramari pranayama
- Alleviates anxiety: The practice of this pranayama is a great stress buster. Thus plays an important role to combat anxiety, anger and hyperactivity.
- Combat stress: It has soothing effects on the mind. The practice of this pranayama has soothing effect on the body and mind, thus provides adequate positive impacts on the nervous and muscular systems, thus beneficial in the prevention and management of stress.
- Helpful in meditation: It is one of the important breathing practices, that is good for the preparation of meditation or dhyana.
- Memory and concentration: The regular practice of the pranayama is good for enhancing of memory and concentration.
- Lead you to Samadhi: It takes consciousness inwards and facilitates practice of samadhi. However, it is not for the general public. If somebody wants to go the higher stage of yoga, this pranayama can be acted as ladder for the same.
- Mind relaxation: If you practice bhramari pranayama with right practice and technique, definitely, it will help you with great relaxation, especially for mind soothing.
- ENT health: It is good for overall health of ear, nose and teeth region as the humming sound of the pranayama has therapeutics impacts on ENT region and also helps to improve blood supply to the brain.
- Increases oxygen flow: The pranayama helps to provide sufficient oxygen to the entire body and helps to carry energy to cells and tissues.
Precautions of Bhramari pranayama
- The pranayama should be avoided if somebody has ear infection.
- People suffering from heart diseases, should practise it without kumbhaka.
What is the best time to practice Bhramari pranayama?
The best time to practise Bhramari pranayama is late at night or early in the morning, because at this time there are fewer external noises that would interfere with internal perception. However, this time is not convenient for most people; therefore, you can choose any suitable time when the surroundings are peaceful.