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It is said that introverts are the people who are sensitive to the outer world. They are too reluctant in expressing their voice but have this ability to listen to those around them. Not only do they listen, they creatively think about everything that comes their way. They are the super creative thinkers.
With that said, they often overthink. However, thanks to pranayama, anyone can manage overthinking through simple yogic breathing techniques. If you think you are an introvert and you are frustrated with overthinking patterns.
Here are some breathing techniques to help:
Antar Kumbhuk: To begin, we will start with Antar Kumbhuk, or Internal breath retention. Internal breath retention is retaining the inhale for some time. It works best if you suffer from low blood pressure. I used to have low blood pressure along with low sugar levels. I did not know why I felt dizzy and fatigued all the time until I realized that I was doing external breath retention or Bahir Kumbhuk, which is recommended if you have high blood pressure. Antar kumbhuk also works if you experience nervousness or anxiety in expressing yourself. Internally, it reflects the condition of your throat chakra. People who don’t speak up easily are the ones who have the most blockage in their throat chakra. So, if you experience any kind of hesitation in expression or voicing your opinion at the workplace, that means you have energy blockages, though on a subtle level. Once you observe and realize what holds you back with the throat chakra, it is time that you start with the healing process and working with your throat energies.
How to do it: This technique can be done anytime and anywhere, at work or in the comfort of your home, or whenever you feel depressed.
However, the standard procedure suggests that you start in a comfortable seated position (lotus or a simple cross-legged pose) and place palms of your hands in chin or jnana mudra over your knees. Close your eyes. Take your time to relax and just focus on your breath. Once you feel free enough to have this space in your lungs, inhale deep and hold your breath. Try to hold it as long as you comfortably can. Then release, and allow your exhale more space and time before you think about going to the next inhale. This not only removes blockages from the throat chakra, it also enables you to get hold of the nervous attitude that creeps up whenever you feel you should speak up.
Pooraka: Pooraka is inhaling deep through your nose, and exhaling through the nose without breath retention. You just need to concentrate on deep inhalation.
How to do it: Sit comfortably in a cross-legged or lotus pose. I prefer sitting in Vajrasana. Place palms of your hands on your knees, close your eyes and inhale deep, expanding your chest and contracting your abdomen muscles. Feel the breath of energy rushing all the way down to your navel region, enabling the abdomen to preserve energy. Notice how abdomen is not expanding at the same time as the chest. Keep your facial muscles relaxed. The more you practice, the more you go deeper into the art of inhaling.
Ujjayi: Another effective method to overcome shyness is to do Ujjayi breathing, which is breathing through the back of your throat. However, the art lies in not retaining it. The results vary from person to person, depending on how your body reacts to it. Personally, incorporating simple breath retention along with Ujjayi gave me better results.
How to do it: Lie down in Shivasana with arms and legs resting comfortably on the mat. Close your eyes and relax your facial muscles. With lips closed, inhale through your nose and shift your focus on the back of your throat area. Hold the breath for some time. Exhale the breath with a soft snor-like sound from the upper part of your throat. Try to engage the muscles of the back of your throat as much as you can. Free your breath by every means. Don’t try to hold the exhale.
Once your throat chakra is opened, you will no longer feel like the same shy person that you used to be. Happy freedom of expression!