For 15 years or so I had been a chronic hyperventilator, suffered anxiety attacks, depression, insomnia, sleep apnea and a lot of chronic pain from a motorcycle accident I had after the separation of my marriage. I moved to take on tertiary education. Just starting study in a new town I saw an advert for the Buteyko Breathing method. I didn’t believe I had time or the ability to commit to learning breathing exercises.
I was in my final and fifth year of study and thought, “I still have all these conditions, I need to do something to make a change to my life and my health”.
I found the Breathing website, bought the 5 CD pack and after researching, I started practicing breath holds by myself. After 11 months of dedicated daily breathing exercises
I had improved from a shocking 9-10 seconds to 30-40 second breath holds. I held 40 seconds for about 6 months. My anxiety had eased somewhat, but I was still desperate for good health, sleep and energy for my new life to utilise my degree in massage therapy. So, I decided to take the Level 1 Breathing Normalization Course, even though I needed to use my savings for it.
I was surprised and excited with my incredible course tutor. I wrote notes, made changes in my lifestyle, and tried to do all the breathing exercises possible, regularly. I say this because once my breath holds steadied at 40 seconds, I was calm enough to develop a special friendship with someone after many, many years. I managed my breathing exercises, my graduate year of study and enjoyed a close friendship all at the same time. Then the day came towards the end of my
Level 1 course; my positive maximum hold was held for 1 minute and 3 seconds. I steadily fluctuate now between 55 seconds and 1minute and 10 seconds. I would never have managed this without the course and the weekly support of Sasha, my gracious tutor who tailored the exercises to my ability. I grew into feeling comfortable and managing the chanting too.
My breathing is much less and I breathe through my nose almost 100 % now. My sleep is much improved and often right through the night, though the sleep apnea is not gone completely yet. My anxiety is greatly reduced, no more panic attacks, and depression is broken and all but gone permanently, as I have developed good positive skills through the course to perceive of a much brighter future; whether this is in 1 minute’s time or 1 month or 5 years. I am grateful for Dr. Buteyko’s work and all the wonderful people who continue spreading his knowledge and supporting others in turn to change their life around as they have done for me.
Teacher: Sasha Yakovleva