Calm Your Mind with Brahmari (Bee Breath)

November 17, 2015    BY Michael Grady

Brahmari has a direct effect on the vishuddha chakra, a vital center in the throat region, which is a crucial aspect of the higher practices of yoga. It also stimulates the talu chakra in the roof of the mouth. According to tantric texts, the talu chakra controls the activities of the pineal and pituitary glands, which in turn control the subtle biochemistry of the body.

The vibration produced by this technique enlivens the nerve endings in this region, and produces a profound effect in the entire body and mind. 

Learning the Practice

Sit in a comfortable seated position, close your eyes, and take a deep diaphragmatic breath through the nostrils. Start by humming at the pitch of your normal speaking voice. Then press the rear of the tongue toward the roof of the mouth. If the tongue presses too firmly against the soft palate, the air passage in your throat will be completely blocked; no air will escape and no sound will be produced. Notice how a slight lift of the tongue shifts the sound from your throat to the nasal chamber. The bee-like hum of brahmari should be felt as a vibration in the nasal chamber. 

In this beginning stage of practice, the humming sound is made only during the exhalation. Allow your tongue and throat to relax as you inhale normally. As you progress, try to make the hum steady on each exhalation. 

Practice brahmari on an empty stomach for two to three minutes daily, gradually building up to five minutes, as long as you find the practice pleasant and comfortable. If you experience any symptoms of mild hyperventilation, such as dizziness or tingling (especially in the lips or fingertips) or a general feeling of agitation, switch to simple diaphragmatic breathing and stop practicing for the day.

To feel the full benefit of the practice, sit quietly with your eyes closed after ceasing the sound. The stillness in the mind and body after brahmari is palpable. You can prolong this sense of stillness by practicing breath awareness, followed by meditation. 

Michael Grady
Michael Grady has been teaching yoga breathing practices for over 25 years.

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