Breathing lies at the core of human existence. As much as breathing is essential for human survial, the correct way of doing it is also equally important. Experts suggest that most of us are almost never breathing correctly and using only a small potential of our lung capacity, which otherwise can be put to greater use. Pranayam is something that focuses a great deal on exploring the full potential of your body’s lung capacity and using various breathing techniques not only to strengthen the respiratory system but also to fix the imbalances occurring in the body. Pranayamis great for mental health too. Pranayam is derived from the term Prana which is described as the ‘life force’ and Ayama which means to lengthen it or to work on it.
Practicing pranayam has great benefits for the body as well as for the mind. It helps in cleansing the body from within, bringing vitality and strengthening mental health. In some of our previous pieces we have discussed the role of pranayam in maintaining human health at length. We have also talked about various breathing techniques and pranayam types at length. This piece is dedicated to understanding one of the most widely practiced pranayam exercises – Bhramari Pranayam.
Benefits of Bhramari Pranayam
Also known as the Humming Breath, Bhramari Pranayam is believed to improve the melodiousness of the voice. The humming exercise is considered as a form of sound therapy for the brain. This pranayam exercise is also believed to help manage thyroid dysfunctions and strengthen the thymus and the parathyroid glands. Bhramari pranayam is excellent for relieving stress, cutting anxiety, depression and uplifting the mood.
How to do Bhramari Pranayam
“On inhalation, constrict the epiglottis so as to create a humming sound. On exhalation, the sound is long and low. The inhalation, which is more high-pitched, is traditionally said to be like the sound of a female bee, the exhalation, which has a deeper sound, like a male bee,” notes Ayurveda and Yoga expert Vasant Lad in his book, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.
If you are unable to make the humming sound during inhalation, simply inhale deep and take the breath right to your stomach and then carry on with the standard practice. Make sure that your teeth are not clenched while you practice Bhramari pranayam. If possible, try touching the soft palate – that starts right after the roof of your mouth ends – with the tip of your tongue while you practice Bharamari Pranayam.
Always practice yoga and pranayam under the supervision of a certified expert. Get in touch with an expert to know more about this practice and how it can help you maintain good health and a healthy mind.