Are you aware of your breathing? – Misha Sakharoff
Misha Sakharoff
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Are you aware of your breathing?

I’m often asked this 1000 dollar question. With a light touch of smile. What makes my training system so outstandingly different from the others?

I feel that now its time to put it straight and simple. I’ll try to picture it from the point of my own experience.

Three double faults
Let’s say I’m on tennis court. Serving a third double fault. Previously I would try to help the situation with strong energising words. I would use swapping my negative thoughts with positive vibes. I would do visualising, changing strategy, tactics and so on. My experience showed that the effectiveness of this “thought mastery” is not good enough.


One pointed attention
Over time I came to the conclusion that the only thing that really works for me is holding one pointed attention in Hara point, with roots in Samurai tradition. An error could be equal to death for a Samurai. I learned to execute all my strokes with “one-pointed” attention, also called “stillness in action”. I now can be 100% sure that it will provide me with best possible performance I’m capable of at this particular moment and place.

And if I want to bring it further to the extent where It actually never fails? Well, I have my lifetime to train.

Curiosity killed the cat
My own practice saved me from lots of trouble. And furthermore – it connected me with the innermost joy of live action. Full presence on tennis court or musical stage performance. Staying calm and breathing slow during acute everyday life situations. Fully immersing in intimacy. Built-in curiosity of my engineering background has over time stregthened me mentally by understanding physiology of breathing. Over time I learned how – and why. I enjoy neutrality og “just playing” and the absence of ego-based aggression.

When you are not aware that you are breathing
– you are in your ego.

Simply mechanical?
I’m an engineer, so the simplified mechanics of this are as follows. My attention or my focus goes nowhere else than to my belly – more exactly the Hara point. My training has overtime made this place to a kind of control center unifying all ressources of my body – both physiological and mental.

Mind following the body
Physiological because Hara lays in a point where particular muscles have direct and effective interconnection with all the main body systems. The most important of them for optimal breathing being the diafragm and the psoas muscles.

Mental because focusing on the Hara point enables sensing instead of thinking. My own experience of practicing Ki-Kaizen suggests that these two modes of being can not coexist in the same moment.

Sensing and thinking can not coexist
in the same moment.

Do you have any personal experience on breathing awareness? Please feel free to comment and share!

Misha Sakharoff, Ki-Kaizen instructor

International Assosiation of Buteyko educators:

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