When I’m feeling stressed and craving a sense of calm, I have a go-to breath practice that never fails me.
Maybe you’ve heard of it – Bee’s Breath.
It’s such a powerful practice for a few reasons:
- It activates the parasympathetic nervous system (that’s the rest & digest part)
- It calms a busy mind (by giving you something to focus on)
- It improves your resilience (by stimulating the vagus nerve)
- It connects you with your voice (which is great for anyone who struggles to express themselves or own their truth) and helps to balance your 5th chakra
- It helps you become present (as you feel the vibration you’re creating with your breath)
There’s a specific mudra (or hand position) that goes along with it so you can withdraw the senses and really turn inward, but for today, I want to share a simplified version of it with you.
Ready? It’s basically just humming.
You take a deep breath in, then instead of exhaling, you hum one note.
It doesn’t have to be in tune. It’s not a performance. Your voice can waver. It’s all about the vibration.
When you hum or sing, your exhalations are automatically longer than your inhalations, which means that you’re activating your parasympathetic nervous system. The vibration you create by humming stimulates your vagus nerve (10th cranial nerve that mainly brings signals from your gut, heart and lungs up to your brain), which plays a big role in resilience and regulating the nervous system. Because you’re actually “doing something” rather than meditating, some people find it calms the mind more easily than simply observing the breath.
To get started with this practice, try 5-10 humming breaths. If you’d like to go longer, you can set a timer for 5 minutes or more and go for it. Your eyes can be open or closed – whatever feels most comfortable for you. Don’t force your breath to get very long – simply allow yourself to be inspired by the intention of letting it be long rather than making it happen.
When you’re done, sit quietly for a few moments and notice how you feel.
Let me know if you try it out & tell me what you think