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Sasha Yakovleva is an expert on the Buteyko Breathing Method and Russian Healing Arts, an Advanced Buteyko Breathing Specialist and co-founder of BreathingCenter.com. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and many other publications, TV, and radio programs.
Sasha holds a Master's Degree in Journalism. She has studied holistic healing modalities around the world and has written about them extensively for almost thirty years. Sasha is originally from Moscow, Russia. In 1990, she started publishing the first Russian holistic magazine, which became a large national publication. Soon after, she opened the first health food store in Moscow. She wrote Anthology of The Inward Path, a book containing many articles and interviews with healers, progressive scientists, doctors and spiritual leaders from Russia and other countries. She traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and North America, researching and writing about various mind, body, and spiritual techniques. She was trained to teach the Buteyko Method by the founders of this method at Clinica Buteyko in Moscow.
Since 1993, Sasha has been practicing various forms of meditation under the guidance of Tibetan Buddhist teachers. She has completed several short and long periods of intense practice.
Since 1998, she has been residing in the United States. Currently, she lives in Crestone, Colorado. As a Buteyko Breathing Specialist, she works with adults and children around the world. She is the Executive Director of BreathingCenter.com, which officially represents Buteyko Clinic in Moscow and Dr. Buteyko's work outside of Russia.
Sasha was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. In 1986, she graduated from Moscow State University with a Master's Degree in Journalism. In 1987, she gave birth to her daughter. The baby was born healthy but one of her breasts was slightly enlarged. A doctor suggested applying ointment. Sasha followed his recommendation but the baby's breast only became more swollen. When the doctor saw the outcome of his wrongful advice, he was shocked to find that a large tumor had formed in the baby's breast and suggested to urgently amputate the breast. Sasha was very hesitant about his advice and sought a second opinion.
She saw a number of doctors but all of them insisted on immediate surgery. Eventually, she managed to make an appointment with a famous oncologist, who had a different idea. "Don't do anything," he said, "and the tumor will disappear by the time the girl reaches puberty." Sasha thought this was great news. "However," the oncologist continued, "the tumor will vanish only under one condition: if your daughter does not become sick until she is a teenager. Any disease, even a simple flu, will make the tumor grow." Sasha settled on this solution but had no idea how to go about implementing it. All children around her were often sick and this was considered normal. This made her think that the traditional path of western medicine was not going to work in her case and she began looking for alternatives.
As an investigative journalist, she began searching for people who knew how to live a healthy and disease-free life. She found several people who fit this description perfectly. Sasha was fascinated and wrote articles about them. Gradually she became very interested in alternative medicine, a holistic approach, and self-improvement. In 1991, at the very beginning of the Perestroika, she established a newsletter called Inward Path in hope that it would unite people for whom such subjects were as important as they were for her.
Her publication gained an enormous amount of attention because it was the first Russian publication dealing with the topics of healthy lifestyle, self-development, and spirituality. Within a few years, Inward Path Magazine became a national publication with more than one hundred thousand readers. Sasha also opened the first health food store in the country, along with a holistic seminar center.
This work gave Sasha an opportunity to meet with many fascinating teachers not just in Russia but also all around the world and to study with them. Everything that she learned, she tried to apply to her and her daughter's lives. As a result, her daughter has never been sick and her tumor has disappeared. Sasha Yakovleva is the author of the Inward Path Anthology, which was published in Russian in 2000. She has also created many radio and television programs about spirituality, the holistic movement, and human potential. Over the years, Sasha developed a strong interest in spirituality and became a dedicated student of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 2006, she spent a year on Holy Island in Scotland, where she underwent an intensive meditation training in seclusion under the guidance of Tibetan lamas.
She has lived in the USA since 1998. In 2007, her husband, Thomas Fredricksen, became severely ill with asthma, which created another challenge for Sasha. Even though his disease was considered incurable, Dr. Buteyko's method successfully healed it. Sasha also applied Dr. Buteyko's approach. She was able to cure her headaches, serious kidney problem, pain in her joints and others health issues. In 2009, Sasha became a certified Buteyko Buteyko Practitioner. She was trained by medical doctors at Clinica Buteyko Moscow and Dr.Buteyko's family (L.Buteyko and A.Novozhilov MD) For Sasha, the discoveries and the method of K.P. Buteyko M.D.became a unifying factor for all knowledge she acquired over the course of her life from various holistic and spiritual schools.
Sasha's husband passed away in 2017. She now lives in Crestone, CO and teaches around the world. She is Executive Director of Breathing Center and Advanced Biuteyko Breathing Practitioner.
The Power Of Breathing
by Sasha Yakovleva
Co-Founder, Breathing Center
Meeting each other ignited an immediate spark. Thomas and I madly fell in love, and two weeks later we were engaged. For our honeymoon, we went to Hawaii where both of us caught exotic flu. After struggling for a while, I recovered, but Thomas has not. The virus turned his mild asthma into a severe disease rendering him disabled.
Neither conventional nor alternative medicine was capable of stopping his breathlessness, cough, mucus, wheezing, and fatigue. There was no hope, but we kept praying. Being Russian, I have heard about the Buteyko method but wasn’t thinking about it until a friend said, “Call Clinica Buteyko! Now!” I did. Soon after, we flew to Moscow. Breathing exercises improved Thomas’ condition and eventually ended his respiratory problems. I also practiced reduced breathing: it stopped my joint pain, kidney issues, headaches, and allergies; it made me feel and look younger.
Founders of Clinica Buteyko in Moscow requested Thomas and me to represent the Buteyko Method in the English-speaking world. The method was gaining popularity but often was presented incorrectly, generating undesirable results. We agreed to teach Buteyko Breathing Normalization. To master it, we made several trips to Russia and Ukraine and became the first westerners who received the method in its complete form.
Despite a common belief, breathing less is not an easy task; it requires knowledge, mindfulness, patience, and discipline. Just as you cannot become a martial artist within a weekend, it takes time to learn Buteyko. Since 2009, I trained thousands of people around the globe. My experience shows that the most efficient way to learn it is one-on-one, in person or online, for two months or longer. My students shared incredible stories of their recoveries from various ailments; you can find them on our website.
For more than twenty-five years, I have been studying holistic healing modalities and practicing meditation and yoga. For me, Breathing Normalization is not just another technique to advance body, mind, and spirit but a unifying factor for everything I have learned. It is also the most effective approach I ever came across. It does not reject any modern or ancient techniques but makes them more efficient by using respiration as a litmus paper for progress.
In 2017, Thomas died from liver cancer: he had been struggling with liver problems since his youth. The Buteyko method did not save his life but made it longer and improved its quality on all levels. I ended up being a channel for Dr. Buteyko’s work as well as of other doctors, scientists and health enthusiasts who realized the power of breathing. My Buteyko journey, initially sparked by love, continues rewarding me with a precious opportunity to share my passion by helping people to get better.
Articles Written by Sasha Yakovleva:
- Deadly Radiation? (April, 2011)
- What is Going On with the Buteyko Method in the West? (January, 2011)
- Adenoids Without Surgery: An Interview with Dr. Novozhilov, Medical Director of Clinica Buteyko (November, 2010)
- Flu: Will the Buteyko Method Protect Against It? (September, 2009)
- The Buteyko Method (May, 2009)
- Biography of Dr. Konstantin P. Buteyko (2009)
and many others: see Our Weekly Blog about Healthy Breathing