The Philly fit yoga minded gathered together to discuss meditation, yoga, poses, breathing and anxiety. Philadelphia, near Kelly Drive and the infamous art museum, held a gathering which brought the following to the attention of those who attended:
Anxiety is commonly associated with short, tight upper-chest breathing. Lengthening an exhalation relative to inhalation reduces the “fight or flight” impulse and maintains a healthy level of carbon dioxide in the blood, therefore helping you to relax and stay calm. The following technique, known as the “bee” in Sanskrit, is breathwork at its best. This practice is named for the humming sound the bees make. It is a soothing sound for a hectic mind and your exhalations will be lengthened without excessive strain.
This breathwork is known as Brahmari, and it can be used as a regular daily practice to encourage relaxation. It can be used on-the-spot as a remedy for anxiety. Fundamental to treating anxiety with yoga, inclusive of Brahmari, is learning to observe the mind objectively. Self-study helps you physically, emotionally, and mentally in a neutral way. Observe your anxiety as opposed to being swept away by it. Stay mindful and focused on your breath.
Brahmari induces a buzzing sound; however it was noted at the Philly meet that perhaps one would want to do this privately, instead of in public, due to the buzzing sound. You can do this in a bathroom or a parked car; however, if you’re comfortable, do it in a specialized yoga/meditative group.
To practice Brahmari make sure you’re sitting comfortably with quiet surrounding you. Keep your back tall and make sure your shoulders are relaxed. Start by taking a few breaths, close your eyes as long as you want, and keep your lips lightly sealed. Inhale through the nostrils. When exhaling, make the sound of the letter M, directly in a humming sound. Sustain the sound until you need to inhale. Repeat perhaps 5 times until you are feeling less tense. Inhale through your nose, then hum like a buzzing bee as you exhale. You can practice as long as this feels good for you.
Try sustaining the humming exhalation as long as possible so that the Bee Breath is more relaxing. Do not force your breath beyond its capacity or a reverse effect can take place. Let the buzzing sound be natural as you continue in your practice. Those in Philadelphia who attended this conference were stimulated and comfortable enough to do the Bee Breath simultaneously, as individuals and collectively. At the end approximately 10 minutes were spent sitting quietly, noticing whether or not there were any changes in the breath, and in one’s mood.