Photo: Trounce/Wikimedia Commons
Brahmari or Bumble Bee Breath
When you need it now, calm energy arrives quickly
BY MAGAZINE EDITOR SUSAN MAIER-MOUL
Chogyam Trungpa said confusion arises when we refuse to grow.
It can be confusing to disentangle our true lives from the tension, stress or anxiety, the powerful despair, the cacophony of stimulation that provokes our reactivity each day.
Pace, pressure and sometimes an accumulation of unpleasantness interferes with our ability to enjoy challenge and bring focus to bear upon succeeding with our long term goals.
Working with breath frees up energy.
In case of emergency, break glass
When you really need to change your mood, get it together, or feel the always-available pulse of inner peace, working with your breath is the most effective choice. Body chemistry-wise, it really is the royal road.
Bumblebee breath is a wonderful technique for restoring equanimity. (See the Q&A below for remarks on headaches.)
It’s also a nice way to center for posture practice or seated meditation. Use Bumblebee breath after the shoulder releasing series or in conjunction with hamstring stretch.
How to do bumblebee breath
Sit on the floor with your back against the wall. You can put a bed pillow or sofa cushion behind you if that feels good and helps you relax.
Bend your knees and rest your elbows on your knees.
Place your hands on your face with your first finger over your eyebrows and your second finger under your eyes or across your eyelids, without any pressure on your eyes.
Allow your ring finger to rest on your upper lip and your pinky on your chin.
Your thumbs should now be in the vicinity of your ears.
Lightly press the pads of your thumbs over the opening of your ear canal. It’s fine to readjust your hands. Allow your fingers to rest where they need to be in order to comfortably get your thumbs to your ears.
Close your eyes and take several breaths with your thumbs over the opening to your ears.
Listen to your breaths. Don’t force the breath to be slow or deep. See if you can listen to one breath all the way from the beginning of the inhale to the finish of the exhale.
Add a quiet humming sound during your exhale. Inhale, pause, and exhale slowly with a low hum. Sink all your attention into the sound, drop into the quiet vibration.
Repeat five to ten slow humming exhale breaths.
Release your hands and relax. Breathe normally. Notice how you feel.
First aid at the office
You can also do this breath during your work day. At your office or desk, sit as comfortably as you can. If you feel best with your elbows on your desk, that’s ok.
Alternatively, sitting back in your chair for a few minutes is also a nice choice. When sitting up, keep your elbows open and your shoulders relaxed down your back
We may publish any content, comments or ideas sent to us.
Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.