I have been taught and been doing some of the (more popular?) Pranayamas, like Kapalabhati, Anuloma Viloma, Shitali, Shitkari, etc. but it was only very recently that I got to know Bhramari Pranayama. I was drawn to it right away – I felt calmer and more relaxed instantly.
This breathing technique has gotten its name from a bee (Bhramari = type of bee breed), as the exhalation sounds like a bee’s buzzing or low humming. To do it, sit comfortably and breathe deeply through the nose, mouth closed. On exhale make a low humming sound in the throat and repeat on every exhale. The exhalation is long andn natural, without excessive strain.
It has few variations too, for example silent version (do first 6 rounds of the normal Bhramari and then continue 6 rounds imagining that you are making the sound on the exhale. The vibration may be still felt in the throat and the face) and Shanmukhi Mudra version (thumbs pushing the tragus to block the ear canals, other fingers on the forehead). Bhramari is easy to practice and safe for everyone, from children to elderly. It effectively relieves tension, anger and anxiety, helps with insomnia, mitigates headaches, improves concentration and helps to reduce blood pressure.
I will definitely incorporate few rounds of Bhramari on each day to be calmer and more focused!