Mastering Your Breath

Buteyko and its benefits
Monday, March 7th, 2011

Louise Beglin could be forgiven for letting her yoga practice slip a bit. After all, she's just turned 70, and four years ago she had her right hip replaced, but the Brighton-based yoga teacher is pushing her yoga practice to new heights - by learning to master her breath.

Louise is now sleeping better. She can hold yoga postures longer and she is more easygoing. Louise reports she has no more ‘down' days, no more arthritis pain in her hips and knees and a more open attitude to her yoga students. She has lost the taste for alcohol and achieved higher states of calm and focus, and all since studying the Buteyko Method. Never heard of it? Read on...

Louise has been practising the Buteyko Method since summer 2009. "She was breathing for three people," explains her Buteyko teacher Christopher Drake, from LearnButeyko, "now she's breathing is in the healthy range." Christopher has trained dozens of yogis, yoginis and meditators with consistent results. "With breath control, you'll find it easier to concentrate, you'll get more energy and all asanas get longer and better," he says.

Christopher likens the Buteyko Method to a type of breath yoga called Kumbhaka. It works by stretching your breath holding abilities, and reducing your breathing throughout the day. You are working directly with the breath to retrain the respiratory centre in your brain, which regulates breathing. "Many yoga postures such as twists are designed to restrict your breathing while you work but the effect is quickly undone by our busy lives," he says. So why is overbreathing a problem? Because it causes a deficiency of carbon dioxide and oxygen in our brain and body tissues. This irritates your nervous system and sets in train a host of chronic diseases.

Chris is visiting Sussex in April to talk about the Buteyko Method how it can improve your state of mind and help reverse over 200 chronic diseases. See for details of when and where.