My health issue is perhaps very common because I did not have any particular devastating symptoms such as asthma. Rather, at 75 years old I was losing energy, strength, and the desire to live, while my usual activities were becoming so difficult to perform I was spending most of my time “resting” or “taking the day off.” I was falling into depression and mental dullness.
I believed I was aware of my breathing process from my meditation practice, and I thought I was exercising healthfully by walking up mountain trails… I live at 9,000 ft altitude so getting out of breath while hiking seemed normal, although stopping every three or four steps to catch my breath began to worry me. I have always enjoyed wonderful health all my life so this decline in energy totally mystified me. While sitting on my couch doing nothing most days, I ended up feeling like death was imminent and I had better prepare myself. The “life-force” energy we all feel seemed to be completely gone.
I noticed my voice became very weak, and I could no longer speak without sounding hoarse and feeling extreme weakness in my throat. I had sleep apnea (and could not tolerate a c-pap machine) and I was on oxygen at night. I had had severe, disabling insomnia for the past 25 years, so I believed my condition had resulted from that, and I was ready to accept the inevitable. I had been to many doctors in the past few years, and my heart was found to be healthy, but no diagnosis was ever given until after my last sleep study when I was told I had altitude sickness. I was experimenting with one alternative healing modality to another for years trying to find a solution to feeling better but never found one.
Then I discovered Sasha and the Buteyko breathing method. Despite my claims of never breathing through my mouth, Sasha let me know in no uncertain terms that indeed not only was I mouth breathing but I was increasing my health problems by all the bad habits in the way I breathed. Listening to her, I realized that I was a perfect candidate for Buteyko Breathing.
So I took her Buteyko Breathing Normalization course and followed her instructions for the duration – two and a half months – when finally the training was over and I felt I was literally reborn.
Sasha is an incredible clinician, coach, therapist, trainer, teacher. She is very sensitive to her client’s feelings and issues and has a subtle approach that is encouraging and supportive. Looking back over the process, I am so amazed at her ability to work with one’s personality and temperament to its best advantage. She teaches many various techniques to increase healthy breathing and emphasizes the mindfulness that one needs to develop to continue breathing properly on one’s own after the program. I really can’t say enough to do her talent justice.
I am now walking up those same mountain paths without getting out of breath, sleeping without apnea, and feeling twenty years younger. The most unexpected benefit is how often my friends and acquaintances stop me to say how well I look! I tell them, “Sasha saved my life!”