I was diagnosed with asthma when I was a child, and very quickly developed some really bad habits where my inhalers were concerned. Despite lectures from countless doctors and my mum, I have never managed to get into the habit of using the preventative inhaler, and instead became completely dependent on my reliever inhaler.
This is a pretty scary and dangerous way to live, and I don’t recommend it to anyone. Such is my dependence that the realisation I don’t have it with me can be all I need to be in need of emergency treatment within an hour. As soon as I know that I don’t have it. I go into stress mode, my airways tighten and I can’t breathe.
Or at least, that used to be the case.
In the last 3 years, things have changed.
As well as quitting smoking (a smoking asthmatic, that is EPIC self sabotage, isn’t it?) I have learned to breathe properly!
They never taught me THAT in asthma clinic!
Since learning to breathe deeply, slowly and rhythmically, I have learned to breathe through the panic, to breathe through the wheeziness, to breathe through a day with no Ventolin.
No Ventolin! Crisis!?
This morning I went to Cardiff on the train, and took my bike to cycle from the station to the venue and back.
When I arrived at the venue I was a bit out of breath and wheezy, so went into my bag for my Ventolin.
It wasn’t there.
I had put it in the coat pocket I wore to take Shanti for a walk, and not transferred it to my bag before I left.
I had a choice. I could panic, and have to go home and miss the event I had travelled to.
Or I could do some of the breathing practices I know, and get on with my day.
Guess which I chose?
Breathe the pain away
I am now on the way home, having cycled back again, got wheezy again, but breathed through it.
I have barely thought about my inhaler for most of the day. I don’t need it.
I still need it in my life, but thanks to the Pranayama I learned as part of my yoga teacher training, I am not paralysed by its absence the way I was.
Breathe Better, Live Better
I now have improved lung capacity, more efficient breaths.
I take in more oxygen and release more carbon dioxide, and more importantly, I can control my emotional response to the realisation that I don’t have it.
I have always thought that, for me at least, asthma was more psychological than physical. It is a stress related condition, and it most certainly was for me!
Now, I don’t let the stress rise in me, and my inhaler use has drastically reduced, along with my stress levels!
I can help you reduce stress and improve the quality of your breathing. Learning to breathe properly can transform life completely. Better sleep, increased energy, clarity of mind, lower stress, and better concentration are just a few of the benefits you can get from learning to breathe.
I have created a course, Breathe the Stress Away, which will guide you through several ways that you can improve your breath, and harness the power of the breath to create calm, peace and resilience to stress. Breathe the Stress Away is a 6 week, self guided course that will leave you feeling calmer, with increased energy and greater wellbeing.