Anxiety is a natural response created by your body to deal with situations of stress and tension. Though we don’t need to fight for survival now, the primitive part of our brain still considers life situations like deadlines, insecurity, financial woes, pain as threats to our continued existence and responds accordingly. Your heartbeat increases, breath becomes short and rapid, the adrenalin coursing through your blood diverts circulation from your vital organs to the limbs and your blood pressure increases — thus preparing you to fight or run as required.

Depending on your mental and emotional state, sometimes these natural responses don’t turn off, keeping you in a perpetual state of stress and ill-health. This manifests as nail-biting, teeth-grinding, short temper, breathlessness, high blood pressure, poor sleep and loss of appetite and libido. Yogic practices soothe the nervous system to calm you down and reverse the punishing effects of anxiety. The following is a simple practice where you mimic the buzzing of a bee to release the tension in your system. The action of creating sound also gives you a vocal vent to channel your stress — it is like shouting but in a healthier manner.

Bramhari Pranayama

(Humming Bee Breath)

Sit on a chair with your back straight, relax your shoulders and bring your chin parallel to the floor.

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Use your index fingers to close your ear flaps.

Part your teeth gently and keep your lips together.

Bring your attention to the center of the forehead.

Inhale deeply and as you exhale create a steady, smooth humming sound — like a bee.

Pay attention to the effect of the sound on your skull and face.

This is one round. Do up to 15 rounds.

Sip on water if your throat gets dry.