Sometimes I look at the world and I see a hive of activity. Everyone busy going about their merry way, like bees, making money-honey, collecting nectar of as many good experiences as we can, and working our way to find our place in the city swarms.
Having been a facilitator of meditation groups for over 15 years (I started young) I am no stranger to hearing people infuriate at the busyness of their minds. The constant buzzing around of thoughts – some which are sweet; others sting you to the core. It was when I began teaching yoga that I realized the power of a tool so simple I had almost overlooked it. Furthermore, like all good things – what I had almost lost in my metaphorical tool kit was so deliciously simple, and so ultimately powerful, proved to be the one technique I would end up using more than most others!
It began when I was facilitating a corporate mindfulness workshop for Eskom a few years back
The attendees spoke of their exhaustion at the mental buzzing that so many people report. However, I didn’t have time to teach them the deeper techniques of meditation. I had to deliver simple, easily accessible tools that would bring immediate relief. Enter HUMMING.
Bhramari pranayama (fondly translated at “BUMBLEBEE BREATHING”) is an ancient technique with an important role to play in our modern world. After 1 minute the hive of mental chatter begins to calm down… after 2 minutes, a general calm. 3 minutes in, and you are well on your way to bathing your mind in a tranquil pool of peaceful calm.
How it works
BUMBLEBEE BREATH is a safe, easy-to-learn practice with tremendous therapeutic potential when practiced regularly. Like other breathing techniques (pranayamas), its power comes partly from its effects on the autonomic nervous system. By lengthening the exhalation relative to the inhalation you activate the calming parasympathetic. Thus, reducing negative responses to stress, insomnia, sinus conditions, anxiety or anxious depression.This practice can begin to quiet the mind within a few breaths. The sound of bhramari’s humming can drown out the endless mental repetition loops that fuel emotional suffering, at least for a few minutes, making it a useful starting point for those whose minds are too “busy-as-a-bee” to meditate.
How to begin
Sit comfortably and allow your eyes to close. Take a breath or two to settle in and notice the state of your mind. When you are ready, inhale and then, for the entire length of your exhalation, make a low-to-medium-pitched humming sound in the throat … MMMmmmmmm … Notice how the sound waves gently vibrate your tongue, teeth, and sinuses. Imagine the sound is vibrating your entire brain. Do this practice for a few rounds of breath (working up to 3 minutes) and then, keeping your eyes closed, return to your normal breathing.
Ultimately, you can work up to 11 minutes. Adding Bumblebee Breath to your yoga postures is a wonderful way of deepening your practice. This technique activates the 84 reflex points on the roof of the mouth, stimulating the hypothalamus which makes the pineal gland radiate. When the pineal gland radiates, it creates an impulse in the pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland gives impulses, the entire glandular system secretes …. creating the BLISS EFFECT!
There you have it. Practice at home, in your car, office, or with your loved one. Teach the technique to everyone who needs it. The world needs this technology now, and so let’s create a collective hive of happiness and harmony for all to enjoy. Lastly, they say honey makes life brighter – and bumble bee humming as taught by ancient yogis will leave your mind clear and calm, and your mood nectar-sweet.
I am looking forward to seeing you busy bees on the mat soon.
Sevak Hari Singh(Ryan Gary Edmonds)Life Retreat Studio
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