|Ludmila Buteyko, Thomas Fredricksen and Andrey Novozhilov MD|
For the rest of my life I will remember all the conversations I had with Ludmila Buteyko, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko's wife - from the first morning we met at Clinica Buteyko in Moscow, to the times we shared in the Ukraine in her seashore house, until the day when her son, Dr. Novozhilov, wrote to me that she had passed away. The many years that Ludmila spent at Konstantin's side as he lectured, taught and healed thousands of people afforded her an experience, which developed her skills to equal Dr. Buteyko's. The wisdom she imparted remains the most profound knowledge related to Health Improvement and Disease Prevention, I believe, known to mankind.
There was a lot to learn from Ludmila! All my life I have been teaching people to become healthier and yet, it seemed, that there was nothing I could teach her. Except one thing! Except one exercise! I have shared this secret only with a handful of my students and never to a large audience. I will pass this knowledge to you today with the promise that it will help you become healthier.
One day, I asked Ludmila if Dr. Buteyko recommended any yoga postures to improve breathing. She replied that he was fond of Cobra pose. In this pose, the back is arched upwards with body stretched out. The pose starts with a student laying flat on the floor with the stomach against the floor and, then using the arms and the back, the student arches upwards. This opens the chest and lung area and improves breathing.
In response to this, I shared with Ludmila a similar exercise, which I discovered.
You know a large exercise ball often used in gyms and at home? The kind you can buy inexpensively at a discount store or in Sporting Goods? This ball is a great remedy for an asthma or hyperventilation attack! This is the secret: something I taught Ludmila Buteyko.
Here are the instructions of how to use the ball as a breathing exercise to improve breathing or stop a hyperventilation problem, for instance, an asthma attack.
- Place the ball near a wall close enough that you can reach out and touch the wall if you need it for balance. This is important! I watched a student roll off the ball and crash onto the floor, so don't you learn that lesson the hard way like he did.
- Now sit on the ball and relax by bouncing a few times gently. Reach towards the wall for balance and SLOWLY let the ball roll forward just an inch or two until you feel the ball against your lower back. It is ESSENTIAL that you let gravity "open you up". Some days I can arch just a few inches over several minutes and other days I can stretch out a lot and quickly. The point is NOT to use your muscles but relax and let gravity do its work.
- If you allow gravity to "open up" your torso, your lungs will relax, breathing will become gentler, and hyperventilation or an asthma attack will subside. It is a wonderful feeling that occurs within minutes. Many of us know the discomfort of "over breathing" and feel much better when breathing becomes calm. Try this exercise and I promise it will become a part of your breathing management program.
Ludmila Buteyko loved this exercise so much that she asked me to bring her an exercise ball from the US. Although Cobra pose helps, it tightens muscles and holds tension as you push yourself into this pose; it is also challenging for people with back injures or who are overweight. Unlike Cobra, the exercise ball allows arching the chest slowly by using gravity and creates a strong relaxation effect, which aids the calming of the breath. I have one of these balls in my office and my bedroom and always suggest to my students to purchase one.
If you would like to discuss this or other breathing exercises, please register for a Private Session via Skype and I will provide you with instructions. Of course, our Full Training Level One Breathing Normalization Course is the most effective program, which can stop hyperventilation and the many diseases (including asthma) it triggers. With any questions, please feel free to email me: email@example.com
Konstantin and Ludmila Buteyko dedicated their lives to helping people overcome hyperventilation. The Breathing Center formally represents their work and Clinica Buteyko in Moscow. Excellent Health can be yours no matter how long you have been challenged if you learn Dr. Buteyko's Breathing Normalization.
I wish you The Best of Health and will gladly help you obtain it if you wish.
Advanced Breathing Normalization Specialist
Director of Education at the Breathing Center