Meet Anders Olsson – Founder of Conscious Breathing
Hi, my name is Anders Olsson. Almost 10 years ago I headed out on an incredible journey. That’s when I decided to become the world’s foremost expert in breathing. So how do you get the idea of becoming an expert on breathing? Well, after living with a racing mind my whole life, I’ve been fortunate enough to come across different tools that have helped me to relax and find my inner calm. The most powerful of these tools have without a doubt been to improve my breathing.
I founded my own company in 1990, importing computers from Taiwan. Fifteen years later, I had sold my company and fulfilled my “dreams”. But during my quest for money, gadgets and “success”, during the last years I had things increasingly nagging feeling that something was missing.
On the surface I was successful, but on the inside I didn’t only feel overworked and drained, but surprisingly empty. A feeling that “there has to be something more” niggled deep inside me.
My passion – The Power of Our Breath
Finally, I came to the realization that it was up to me to change my life and become excited about life again. So I sold my company, and started the health company Sorena AB in the autumn of 2005. Amongst other things I translated a few health books from English to Swedish. When looking for a new book to translate I discovered my new passion – the power of our breath.
I began researching and experimenting with different breathing techniques and soon developed a a concept that literally transformed my body, mind and health.
The Conscious Breathing Retraining Program evolved out of my personal experience, courses, books and research on relaxation techniques, yoga, qigong, the Buteyko Method, mental training and body awareness, as well as feedback from several thousand students, athletes, skilled doctors, therapists, and many other wise people.
How Conscious Breathing Changed My Life
The most important change Conscious Breathing have brought about is an increased ability to dare to be true to myself. To be brave enough to look within and get to know myself in depth is the most amazing journey I have ever been on, and it’s a journey I wish everyone will experience.
I held the first Conscious Breathing course in the spring of 2010. ONE participant came. Two people came for the next course. Despite the modest interest in the beginning, there was never any doubt in my mind that this was what I was supposed to do.
Today, my courses are often attended by hundreds of participants and tens of thousands of people have improved their health and increased their quality of life, just by doing something seemingly as simple as improving the way they breathe.
Improving my breathing habits has changed many aspects of my life:
- Keep me healthier. Nowadays I’m very rarely ill. More of my resources can then be devoted to learning and personal growth instead of trying to get well. And when I do get ill I have learnt to appreciate the fact that it is my body telling me to slow down. To be ill, even if it’s just a mild cold, is also an opportunity to get a different perspective on life and gain new insights.
- Is more kind to my body. I used to consider my body to be just a simple tool with the only purpose of meeting the goals set by my brain. Achieving these goals was far more important than my body’s well-being. Nowadays my body is my best friend and we only do things we like and makes us feel good!
- Being less afraid and more daring. Fear is an effective way of preventing us from living the life we desire. By choosing to be who I am I now play the leading role in my own life. I no longer fear death, accidents, financial problems, public speaking, embarrassment, failure, or what other thinks of me. My breathing has become a faithful friend that is always there with me – a friend that I can safely lean on when I need support.
- Feeling a greater sense of freedom. Improving my breathing habits has helped me to find inner strength. Today I’m rarely overcome by needs such as cravings for sugar or the belief that I “must” have the latest technical gadget. Nor does the stop watch, anxiety, or anger have a big influence in my life any longer. It has also become easier for me to deal with setbacks, since I have come to realize that they occur in order to help me grow as a person. It’s a huge sense of freedom to be able to choose my response to incoming stimulants to a far greater extent, and to no longer being a “slave” to old habits and imprinted behaviors.
- Enjoying better relationships. It has become easier for me to put myself in other people’s shoes and understand the reasons for their thoughts, beliefs and actions. My critical and judgmental inner dialogue has been replaced by curiosity and humility. By focusing on my breathing pattern, I find it easier to create a distance between my thoughts and my feelings, which enables me to remain calm in difficult situations. As a result I feel a greater connection with others and with all living things.
- Having better contact with my inner guide. When I hesitate before making a decision, it helps to breathe low, rhythmically and slow by prolonging my exhalation. This helps me become calm and focused so that I can get in touch with my inner guide. Rhythmic breathing helps me switch between intellect and logic to gut feeling and intuition. It has given me a strong faith in my innate ability to make the right decision and I perceive, both in the big and small as well as short and long term perspectives, that I make wiser and wiser decisions in my evyday life.
Conscious Breathing increases the contact with our inner guide
Previously, I dismissed things that can’t be explained as ridiculous hocus-pocus, based on the reasoning of my logical left-brain. When I tried to meditate I was too wound up to calm down. However, I always “knew” deep within myself that there was something more, but I didn’t have the tools to get there. But I noticed that focusing on my breathing pattern in my daily life changed everything, which has made an exciting inner journey possible.
Even in the name spirit, we can spot the close connection it has to breathing — inspiration and expiration. Respiration means re-connection to spirit, meaning that we reconnect to our inner spirit with every breath. Good breathing habits increase our ability to gain new insights and grow as human beings, which for me is the same as spiritual growth.
Attendees at my courses report similar experiences. Improving their breathing habits builds their confidence, reduces their conflicts and fears, and boosts their courage to be themselves to a greater extent. Many also discover, just as I did, that when we are true to ourselves and follow our own path, we will also inspire other people around us to do the same.
My values guide me
Personally, I’m not religious in the sense that I do not practice a specific religion. I’m drawn more to spirituality than I am to the rules, ceremonies, and procedures found in religious organizations. Spirituality for me means harmony, freedom, community and connection with my inner guidance. The primary inner values that guide me are:
- Creator. We are all co-creators of our own reality. This means that I take responsibility for what happens in my life.
- Consciousness. Since life arose on earth, increased awareness of the surrounding environment has increased the ability to survive and create and offspring. Opportunities to grow and increase my awareness are presented in the challenges and difficulties that I face. I have come to view these challenges and difficulties as my friends, not my enemies. By being open and curious about what is happening in my daily life, I have greater opportunities to grow and expand my horizons.
- Cooperation. A human body with all 50,000 billion cells cooperating feels good, and the same applies to our society. The most efficient way forward is cooperation, not competition. I believe that we are here to help and to serve each other while maintaining our integrity. This approach helps us, and the people we meet, to grow.
More love, harmony and freedom
This illustration symbolizes The Seven Habits of Conscious Breathing influencing our mind, body and emotions, and the result (a heart) — more love, harmony and freedom.
Working on improving my breathing has not only made my body feel better, but has also resulted in my growing as a whole human being in a fantastic way. I hope that my journey and the positive results that many people have shared about their experience of Conscious Breathing will inspire you to also set out on a journey to explore what the power of YOUR breath can do for you.
Two of my favourite quotes are from written by the Persian peot Rumi – Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
and the English Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling – If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same…Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.
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Together we change the world, one breath at a time
Thank you for your time