Yesterday’s new moon was a practical reminder to slow down…
There was so much happening that I actually overloaded the wiring in my new office! Don’t you wish that humans came with circuit breakers to protect us from overload? Bhramari Pranayama, or ‘bee breath’, is a practice that provides a reset whenever we need one. Bee breathing creates a womb like state and is a good way to ‘re-wire’ the nervous system.
As a contrast to internal or external chaos, the breath creates a safe place to be still, a place for the spirit of the heart (the Shen) to land.
Try it with me:
Start by sitting up tall or lying down. I prefer lying down when it’s practical to do so.
Close your eyes and draw the focus inward. Bring a smile to your face, don’t take it so seriously. Don’t force the breath, the mind, or anything else.
For this technique all breath is taken in and out through the nose with the mouth closed.
Inhale deeply and close off the throat slightly, making an “mmmmm” sound.
When you’re comfortable inhaling through the nose and exhaling the “mmmmm” buzzing sound, bring the fingertips to the head and close off the flap of cartilage over the ears with your thumbs. It’s also nice to close the eyes with the fingertips. Whatever is comfortable, the intention is to create a feeling of safety.
Take several deep breaths in and ‘buzz’ out the breath. When you feel satisfied, release the hands and keep the eyes closed. Listen to the sounds around you. Then, open the eyes and notice any changes that have taken place.
Although closing off the eyes and ears creates a very centering experience, it is not recommended in most social situations. However, simply breathing in and humming quietly on the out breath can be practiced while walking down the street or standing in line. You can even hum along with the Christmas tunes playing everywhere!
Do practice the full bee breath experience at home. The more you anchor in this practice, the easier it is to return to a relaxed state when out in the world. It becomes another neural pathway, a great alternative to panic.
Bees are amazing creatures. They cooperate together, they communicate through dancing, and their work supports our fragile ecosystem. What a gift to embody that kind of power and grace!