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When I signed up for the 8-week course of Level 1 of the Buteyko Method, I set the intention for radical change.  I wasn't sure exactly how this change would show up during the work but I was sensing a big shift ahead.  One element which I was expecting would surely be part of the materials, was a toolbag of exercises and tricks to help me evolve out of my lifelong struggle with asthma.  Not only did I receive a huge tool bag of tricks and methods but also a renewed sense of life and living. 

My background has much exploration in yoga, meditation, and self-development, so as we began the work I was quickly comforted knowing that some of the groundwork I had been laying was going to be my catapult into the Buteyko Method. With the attentive, intuitive, and gentle guidance of Jesse, my breathing coach, I first learned the basics of relaxing my diaphragm and paying attention to my breath. Jesse helped me raise my awareness around my movements through daily life and how my breath was always attempting to 'catch up' to my actions.  This raised awareness coupled with the breathing techniques of nose breathing caused me to shift how I have been living. I began to honour each breath and let my breath be my guide as opposed to my actions guiding my breath. The daily meditations and chanting of mantras helped me to strengthen by Control Pause and we slowly added movement and exercise into the practice. I started this work in April and after years and years of always using an inhaler I am grateful to say, I have not used my inhaler at all for the past 2 months.  I am now exercising by walking 3 miles a day up and down the hills around my house, something which I was never able to do without stopping and gasping for air.   

What has really struck me about this work is the connectedness it creates with our lifestyle, spirituality, and awareness.  The Buteyko Method is so much more than just a method, it's a state of mind and it's a way of living with more intention, more thought. I feel as though I had become lazy and resigned to living with asthma, when in fact with 8 weeks of guided study, practice, and change in understanding, I have been able to reorient my breathing and become independent of medication.  I am moving about my days with a more calm and grounded force because my breath is at the center of it all leading me. If I notice I'm breathing through my mouth, I take a moment, make a quick adjustment, and then continue on. I feel as though I am in a more meditative yet fully awake state - lighter and more awakened. A radical shift indeed. 

Thank you all for being a part of my journey to better health and more happiness!

SHAKEH KHAYAT