As autumn descends it’s not just our heating we need to switch on but also our immune systems. We are about to be bombarded with cold and flu germs. Add to that the end of the holiday season, meaning more work, and most likely, more stress, and you can see why people start to dread the change of seasons.
Amazingly there is a yogic breathing technique, known as a pranayama, that can tackle all these problems (except the weather, sorry). The ‘humming bee’ breath or Brahmari breath helps to alleviate stress and insomnia, lower blood pressure and balance the immune system!
How does it work?
Brahmari breath stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system helping to relax body and mind, and that combined with the positive effect it has on the endocrine system, which is responsible for the vitality of your immune system, means that it offers a whole range of benefits through one simple technique.
A minute of working with this breath will leave you feeling soothed and calmed so it can have great results when used to treat insomnia. And if you already have a cold you can adjust the pitch of your hum to relieve and clear the sinuses.
How to do it?
- Find a comfortable, upright seating position
- Breathe in
- As you breath out, begin to hum gently, keeping the exhalation slow and steady
- You should notice the sound reverberating in your head
- Adjust the pitch of the hum to reach the nose, throat and sinuses if needed
Practice for a minute to begin with and then see if you can build up to longer. You don’t need to spend ages humming but doing it regularly will really help.
If you have, or would like, a meditation practice you can use this as a preparation breath. For those that find meditation difficult you can start with this breath as a meditation in itself, as the sound occupies that busy mind.
And if all that wasn’t enough it is fantastic for mums-to-be, and is recommended throughout pregnancy. Benefits include helping to reduce labour times as the stimulation of the pituitary gland can stimulate contractions once labour has started. The calming, soothing effect of the breath is also fabulous for the baby; practice this regularly during pregnancy and you will be able to use the humming post-natal to soothe and calm your little one.