Breathing Exercises

Bhramari Pranayama: How Bee Breath Can Calm You Now

Calm your mind with this easy Bhramari pranayama (breathing exercise) that makes the sound of a humming bee. Less stress is just a breath away!

Bhramari pranayama

Bhramari pranayama is very effective at calming your mind down right away. It’s one of the best breathing exercises to rid your mind of agitation, frustration, and anxiety. It can also help to prevent anger. Since it’s a simple technique to perform, it can be practiced at work, at home, and anywhere in between. It’s an instant option available to de-stress yourself.

This breathing technique gets its name from the black Indian bee called Bhramari. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that can be divided into two words, prana and yama. Prana refers to the subtle life energy, and yama means to control.

The exhalation in this pranayama resembles the typical sound of a bee, hence it is also known as humming bee breath.

The power of the humming sound

We naturally hum when we sigh out of relief. And when we are happy, we might hum one of our favorite tunes. There is a simple power that comes from humming. 

How to practice Bhramari pranayama

1. Sit in a comfortable position with a straight back in a quiet, well-ventilated space. Gently close your eyes, and keep a gentle smile on your face.

2. Place your index fingers on your ears. There’s cartilage between your cheek and ear. Place your index fingers on this cartilage.

3. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, make a humming sound like a bee, gently pressing the cartilage. You can keep the cartilage pressed, or press it in and out with your fingers.

4. You can make a low-pitched sound, but it’s a good idea to make a high-pitched one for better results.

5. Inhale again, and continue the same pattern five to nine times.

6. Keep your eyes closed for some time. Observe the sensations in the body and the quietness within. You may want to sit for meditation. 

7. You can practice bee breath three to nine times every day.

Here’s a quick video to help you learn this breathing technique.

If you need further help to learn Bhramari pranayama, a yoga teacher should be able to assist you.

Benefits of Bhramari pranayama (bee breath)

  • Instant relief of tension, anger, and anxiety

  • Calms down an agitated mind

  • Gives relief if you're feeling hot or have a slight headache

  • Reduces throat ailments

  • Helps mitigate migraines

  • Improves concentration and memory

  • Builds confidence

  • Helps in reducing blood pressure

Precautions for Bhramari pranayama

  1. Ensure that you’re not putting your finger inside the ear but on the cartilage.

  2. Don’t press the cartilage too hard. Gently press and release with the finger.

  3. While making the humming sound, keep your mouth closed.

  4. It’s recommended that you only practice Bhramari pranayama on an empty stomach.

Variations of Bhramari pranayama

To enhance your experience, you can also keep your fingers in Shanmukhi mudra, a hand position, while doing this Bhramari pranayama

  • Gently place your thumbs on the ear cartilage. Place your index fingers on your eyes. Place your middle fingers on your nostrils and your ring fingers above your upper lip. Place your little fingers below your lower lip.


  • Alternatively, place your thumbs on the ear cartilage, index fingers on the forehead just above your eyebrows, middle fingers on your eyes, ring fingers on your nostrils, and pinky fingers just next to the corners of your lips.

Bhramari pranayama contraindications

Once Bhramari pranayama is learned correctly, almost anyone from a child to an elderly person can practice it. 

Bhramari pranayama should not be practiced by menstruating or pregnant women. It is also contraindicated for individuals with extremely high blood pressure, epilepsy, chest pain, or an active ear infection. Bhramari pranayama should not be practiced in a supine position (lying down).

Bhramari pranayama and your nervous system

You may have heard the following Sanskrit terms from a yoga teacher and wondered what they meant: Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha.

Asanas are yoga poses. Mudras are yogic hand gestures. Bandhas are energetic locks in the body. And pranayamas are breathing exercises that have positive effects on many bodily systems, especially the nervous system.

So, when you perform Bhramari pranayama what are the benefits to your nervous system? 

By overriding your autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for keeping you breathing automatically, and controlling the breath in this specific way, you are able to move from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. 

In simple terms, you are using the breath to move from a state of fight or flight (high stress), to a state of rest and digest (low stress). Who knew your breath could switch on your parasympathetic nervous system!? Now you can breathe to relax!

Take your pranayama practice to the next level

Congratulations on adding a great breathing exercise to your daily practice. Now you can experience the benefits of Bhramari pranayama (bee breath) in your life!

Want even more benefits from a breathing practice? SKY Breath Meditation is an evidence-based practice that uses the power of your breath for deep meditation. SKY is easy to learn and simple to practice. SKY practitioners report healthier blood pressure, less stress, and better sleep, to name just a few of the benefits.

To learn more about SKY Breath Meditation, join a free online session with a live instructor. You will also experience guided breathwork and meditation in just 75 minutes! SKY has helped millions of people worldwide to take their meditation and yoga practices to the next level.  

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Enjoy your Bhramari pranayama practice and the positive impact on your life!

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