The other morning in yoga class, my teacher Louie had us work on our bumble bee-making capabilities with the pranayama breathing practice of Bhramari.  We sat still and let the sound bubble and vibrate with unclenched jaws and closed but loose lips.


After working with the vibrations in various ways and for some time, a calm came over the room.

Louie suggested trying this practice with children.  Not in a “now we will do pranayama exercise” sort of way, but in a “now let’s play bumble bee” kind of way.  She likened the vibration to the sensation a child gets when making music by humming into a comb and tissue paper, a handmade harmonica of sorts. Coincidentally, my son Lucien is currently obsessed with comb and tissue paper instruments!

The other day we were hanging out in the living room and I began to make the Bhramari humming buzz.

“Can you make this sound?” I asked Lucien.  With that invitation, we were happily buzzing along for a minute or two or three.

It may not be an hourlong pranayama session, but it was calming for both of us — and seriously cute, too.

Have any of you tried any sort of elementary pranayama exercises with your children?

Jessica Berger Gross is the author of enLIGHTened: How I Lost 40 Pounds with a Yoga Mat, Fresh Pineapples, and a Beagle Pointer (Skyhorse).  She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and three-year-old son.

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