I've also been busy over the winter months developing my yoga practice by incorporating Buteyko Breathing exercises into my daily workouts.
I came across the Buteyko Breathing method in 2014 when I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma, after suffering with a prolonged bout of chronic bronchitis. I felt inspired to learn about it in depth, not just for myself but also to help others.
As a yoga instructor, I discovered that Yoga and Buteyko have much in common. In Yoga we breathe consciously to improve our mental, emotional and physical state. In Buteyko we learn breathing techniques to retrain the brain into a better way of breathing in order to benefit our health.
The two breathing practices can, however, be quite different. In modern yoga we tend to follow deep breathing patterns and I noticed that this wasn't really helping my asthma. In Buteyko, the objective is to gradually reduce our breathing volume by holding our breath in order to normalise CO2 levels in the lungs, thus causing the airways to relax and open up. As a trained fitness professional, the technique of holding your breath during exercise didn't sit comfortably with me but as a health professional, the physiology made sense so after extensive studying of the Buteyko method and a month of out of control asthma, I decided to give it a go.
My practice took on more of a Yin Yoga approach which allowed for more gentle breathing patterns and exercise and I avoided all deep breathing practices. Instead I adopted more traditional yoga breathing patterns that were used by the Hatha yoga masters, where breath holds and reduced breathing are practised, allowing you to breathe less, maintaining the Buteyko concept.
Within a week the results were noticeable. I could feel I was gaining some control over my asthma. Two months on, the results have been amazing. I now regularly practice Yoga following the Buteyko concept. I've been able to maintain better healthy breathing. I've reduced the use of my inhalers and in addition, whilst the asthma allergy triggers are still there, I have more tolerance to the triggers, less food and allergy intolerances, clearer sinuses, more refreshing sleep and definitely more energy.
Yoga following traditional Hatha breathing practices and the Buteyko concept is not just for asthma sufferers, it can also help relieve many other conditions such as allergies, COPD, rhinitis, chronic cough, snoring, sleep apnea, muscle/joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, headaches and mood swings.
If you're interested in learning more about how our breathing habits can impact positively and negatively on every aspect of our lives and would like to try out a Yoga class following Hatha and Buteyko breathing concepts, then message me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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