Has it ever happened to you that you got so agitated with a person/ situation that you lost your cool? Have you experienced headaches due to noise pollution? Have you experienced loss of concentration? Or do you suffer from hypertension? If you keep nodding your head while reading the above, it is time to read on.

The scientific explanation of the effect of vibrations on the human mind

In our school days, we all would have come across the experiment of the “tuning fork” wherein we understood how sound is produced by means of vibrations and what is resonance.  Never did we think that these vibrations can also impact our brain and thus control our lives.

Our brain functions under five major frequency range – Alpha (7.5 Hz to 13 Hz), Beta (14 Hz and above), Delta (1.5 to 4 Hz) and Theta (3.5 to 7.5 Hz). And then there are Gamma waves with a frequency of 25 to 40 Hz that occur in the state of heightened consciousness when the different brain regions fire in harmony. Ordinarily, gamma waves last no longer than a fifth of a second. It is only in veteran meditators that we can see them as a far more prominent feature of their brain activity.

A consistent practice of bhramari pranayama helps to shift the brain towards gamma frequency. As the Science wizard, Albert Einstein said: “Everything in life is vibration”. Brahmari pranayama, in fact, is the meeting point of science with higher consciousness.

What is Bhramari Pranayama?

Brahmari is the Sanskrit word for “Honey Bee”. The bee produces a humming sound and in this pranayama, we produce sounds and vibrations to connect to our mind, regulate our breath and achieve higher levels of concentration.

How to practice Bhramari Pranayama

  1. Sit down on the floor cross-legged, with spine straight. You can even sit in Vajra asana. Relax your body.

  2. Close your eyes, keep your thumb on your earlobes and press it gently, keep your index fingers on the top of your eyebrows, keep your middle fingers on your eyes and press gently on the sides of your nose with the remaining fingers.

  3. Concentrate at the center of your forehead.

  4. Now produce a humming sound like that of the bee. Louder the better. You can also chant “Om” and produce the vibration effect.

  5. Feel the vibrations permeating your head and brain. Repeat the process 3-5 times.

Health Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama 

There are manifold benefits of practicing bhramari pranayama. Some of them are listed below:

Tones the Central Nervous System and Vagus Nerve

The regular practice of Bhramari helps to balance the central nervous system and tone the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve winds from the base of your skull throughout your body. It is like an air traffic controller as it regulates all the major bodily functions, including your breathing, heart rate, digestion and your ability to take in the process and make sense of experiences. Vagal tone or the activity level of the vagus nerve determines how well your parasympathetic nervous system is working and how well you can handle stress. Conditions such as depression, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorders are associated with low vagal tone.

Bhramari pranayama by toning the vagus nerve shifts the balance towards the parasympathetic nervous system and helps you to handle stressful situations better. A scientific study has shown that the bhramari pranayama can help to optimize heart rate, breath rate, and autonomic nervous system.

Balance hormones and build immunity

Bhramari pranayama directly influences hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands and helps to balance the endocrine system in the body. The bhramari vibrations tone the hypothalamus situated in the brain which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. The hypothalamus, in turn, regulates the pituitary or master gland responsible for regulating sex hormones, growth hormones, thyroid, and adrenal glands. Therefore, a practice of bhramari would keep your hormones in balance. Those who are suffering from hormonal imbalance would benefit definitely from the regular practice of this pranayama.

Improves concentration and memory

Bhramari Pranayama helps to build memory and concentration. A regular practice would ensure improved cognitive functions like attention, concentration, recall of information, verbal retention and recognition. It would also make you calm, quiet, and steady.

Eases hypertension, sleep apnea, and headaches

A regular practice of bhramari pranayama would keep your blood pressure in check and cure your chronic headache and migraine problems. The nasal exhalation of bhramari boosts the production of nitric oxide which in turn helps to dilate arteries, improve blood circulation and maintain the supply of oxygen to the heart.

The people suffering from sleep apnea who breathe through their mouth are unable to utilize the naturally produced nitric oxide. For them, bhramari comes as a savior. It not only helps in toning the throat muscles to ease sleep apnea but also increases the utilization of nitric oxide. Bhramari is also useful in curing insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Prepares you for meditation

Bhramari pranayama helps to calm your mind and prepare you for a session of meditation. According to a study, the subjects practicing bhramari pranayama for 30 days at a stretch have strong amplitude gamma waves during the practice. These gamma waves have a very calming effect on the brain and are responsible for the heightened state of awareness.

Precautions and Contraindications

    1. Do not press your earlobes hard.

    1. Do this pranayama empty stomach.

    1. Preferred timing is early morning.

    1. Ensure that you are not inserting your fingers inside your ears but on the cartilage.

    1. Do not press the cartilage too hard. Gently press it and release it consequently.

    1. Do not overstrain yourself and if you are a beginner do not practice more than 3-4 rounds.

Bhramari pranayama brings you close to your nature and connects you with your inner self. Bhramari pranayama is a magical way of bringing your mind to a steady state by releasing stress, thereby achieving higher levels of concentration and consciousness.

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