Derives its name from the black Indian bee called Bhramari. Bhramari pranayama is effective in instantly calming down the mind. Also known as the Humming Breath, and is considered as a form of sound therapy for the brain and improves concentration
Exhalation in this Pranayama resembles the typical humming sound of a bee, which explains why it is named so.
- Sit up straight in a quiet, well-ventilated corner with your eyes closed. Keep a gentle smile on your face.
- Keep your eyes closed for some time. Observe the sensations in the body and the quietness within.
- Place your index fingers on your ears. There is a cartilage between your cheek and ear. Place your index fingers on the cartilage.
- Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, gently press the cartilage. You can keep the cartilage pressed or press it in and out with your fingers while making a loud humming sound like a bee.
- You can also make a low-pitched sound but it is a good idea to make a high-pitched one for better results.
- Breathe in again and continue the same pattern 3-4 times.
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,”
*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 helps in balancing thyroid dysfunction, and the parathyroid glands. It is excellent for relieving stress and handling anxiety and depression.
Suryabhedana, stimulates the solar nadi or the nerves that the sun controls. Your right nostril is energetically associated with our body’s heating energy, symbolized by the “Sun” and the syllable HA, our left nostril with our body’s cooling energy, symbolized by the “Moon” and the syllable THA.
In the average person these energies are typically in conflict, which leads to disquiet and disease. The goal of traditional Hatha Yoga is to integrate and harmonize HA and THA for happiness and health. The purpose of these two breaths then is to create balance by “warming” a “cool” body-mind and vice versa.
Sit in a comfortable Adharasana and make Mrigi Mudra. For Surya Bhedana block your left nostril and inhale through your right. Then close the right and exhale through the left. The thumb is used to close the right nostril and the ring finger is used to close the left nostril. Continue in this manner, inhale right, exhale left, for 1 to 3 minutes.
For Chandra Bhedana, simply reverse the instructions, inhaling always through your left nostril, exhaling through your right. Again continue for 1 to 3 minutes.
Surya/Chandra Bhedana Pranayama
Contraindications and Cautions
- Avoid Surya Bhedana, if you have high blood pressure or heart disease
- Don’t do both breaths on the same day
- Traditionally, Surya Bhedana is said to stimulate the brain and increase body heat
- Chandra Bhedana isn’t usually listed among formal Pranayamas in traditional texts; but it’s reasonable to assume that its effects are opposite that of Surya Bhedana: it quietens the brain and cools the body
Surya Bhedhana brings warmth to your body and Chandra Bhedhana brings coolness to your body. The Surya Bhedana should not be performed during the summer, albeit those living in cold countries can perform it in summer as well. Practicing Surya Bhedana helps in increasing the gall flow and reduces gas and phlegm. It also increases the warmth of the body and gives energy.