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Susan Allen Yoga instructor overcomes a lifetime of hay fever

Susan Allen Yoga instructor overcomes a lifetime of  hay fever

I had been a lifetime sufferer of hay fever and nasal congestion. If you’ve ever had this yourself you will know how debilitating, uncomfortable and frustrating it is. Tissues all over the car, the house, in every pocket, in every bag. Epic sneezing fits, itchy nose and always congested trying to breathe, again if you know this you know how terribly miserable it can be. A friend referred me to see Glenn at the Buteyko Clinic although I was completely doubtful that any great relief could be found. I believed my hay fever was simply from allergies, end of story; but as I found out this was far from the full story.

From very early on in the course I became quite aware of the many ways my breathing was not happening as it should. I really appreciated the detailed physiological explanation of how poor breathing was creating all my symptoms. And yes it was true! A few weeks into the course my 40-year blocked nose began to clear and many years on from the course is still clear. I changed from a lifelong habit of mouth breathing to nasal breathing and no longer drove my flatmates mad with tissues deposited all over the place. My hay fever and blocked nose reduced by 90%, something that still brings tears of gratitude to my eyes when I think about it.

After the course I had such immense gratitude to Glenn and for the program that I decided to train as a Buteyko practitioner. For 12 years I had been working as a yoga instructor and found that the knowledge learned from the course was a great adjunct to my yoga practice. Despite having done several yoga teacher trainings with some of the world’s leading yoga teachers none of them had clearly explained the mechanics and physiology of day-to-day breathing. Yoga is full of breathing exercises called pranayama but nowhere was the information presented on how to breathe when not doing yoga. Buteyko filled in the missing gaps.

I now incorporate the functional breathing knowledge that I learnt in the Buteyko program into my classes. This is highly appreciated by my clients as many people (or most!) also have confusion around how to breathe well. What particularly interests me and is the object of my continuing experiments with my own breath is the emotional component of our breathing. Sure we are physical beings with particular physiologies but we are also emotional creatures. I continue to investigate my own emotional triggers to poor breathing habits and this is a fascinating study as I come to understand my habits and triggers more and more.

It goes without saying that I would highly recommend the course to anyone who has symptoms of poor breathing. It is also invaluable knowledge for yoga instructors as many people will be attending your classes with breathing issues. Thanks Glenn, Shine on! 

Susan teaches Yoga at her Yoga Ground practice in Wanaka and also offers Buteyko courses in the South Island.

Yoga Ground – Wanaka

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