Buteyko Breathing Exercises

Buteyko Breathing Exercises

Official Demonstration of Buteyko Breathing Exercise Training No. 1 by Sergey Altukhov

Book: Buteyko Breathing Exercises Explained in Detail

Excerpt from Chapter 1
Buteyko Breathing Exercises Explained in Detail
Exercise No 1

1. Place a normal comfortable chair in the middle of the room, with one corner turned forward.
2. Stand with your back to the edge of the chair, so that you are astride the corner.
3. Correct your posture, ie straighten your shoulders and let your hands drop down by the side of your legs. Hold your head straight ahead, with your mouth closed, and breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
4. Put your left palm on your naval and cover it with your right one. Apply faint pressure to the inner abdomen.
5. Maintaining that slight pressure to your abdomen, slowly lower yourself to the corner of the chair. When you have sat down, let go of your abdomen and freely toss your hands onto your knees, palms down.
6. Your feet should be placed slightly under your legs. Slightly straighten your shoulders again. Your head should be facing straight in front. Your mouth should be closed, and your gaze should turn slightly upwards.
7. You should sit in this pose for between 8 and 10 minutes, breathing quietly through your nose, so that neither your diaphragm nor your chest heaves.

That’s it! It is all brilliantly simple, but with a simplicity in the positioning of the hands and eyes that Academician Buteyko took 40 long and difficult years to achieve. So, believe me. This simplicity came at a high price.

Excerpt from Chapter 3
Buteyko Breathing Exercises Explained in Detail

Please note! Dr Buteyko always used to say that “The exercise in restraining the breath, or blocking the nose, is not a core part of the Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing. It is merely a supplementary exercise, to be allowed in certain situations with specific exceptions. What those exceptions are, I shall say in more detail later, in the commentaries and clarifications. But for the time being, the extra-mural student should grasp one thing: Exercise No 3 merely supplements Exercises 1 and  2. Exercise No 3 will never supplant them! 

It was to Dr Buteyko’s eternal regret that even during his life time, trainers gave pride of place to the exercise in blocking the nose and, naturally, so did their trainees and patients. Why? Basically because it needed little explanation. You just needed to say “Hold your nose and don’t breathe” and there you had the whole technique. Perfectly understandable to everyone: young and old, the halt and the lame. But just try, for example, explaining Exercise No 2 to an 80-year-old who is hard of hearing and can’t see very well.  Try shouting in their ear that they should shorten their breath, as though they were filling a tumbler to the lower edge of its rim…

So that is how it came about. The need for a simple explanation drove the majority of trainers to simplify their work. And the result? The exact opposite of their good intentions. The patients underwent the course of exercises without discovering the authentic Buteyko technique. They got just the supplementary part that very often does not give them relief.

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