Several years ago now, Pippa Kiraly had a remarkable experience. Accompanied by her brother, she went hiking in the Himalayas. Although for most of us a trip to the Himalayas would be remarkable enough, for Pippa it was a miracle. Pippa has experienced a life-long battle with severe, life-threatening asthma. This condition would have made such an adventure impossible to even contemplate for most people living with asthma. However, acting upon the advice of her doctor, Pippa participated in a specialized breathing program that has set her free of most asthma symptoms and medications.
The program that assisted Pippa to this state of freedom is known as the Buteyko Method of Breathing Modification. During an intensive ten hour, five-day course, she learned to modify her breathing patterns such that within a few months she was untethered from her “rescue” inhalers. With the help of her doctor, she was then able to taper off the steroids that had controlled her life. The process took 10 months which is much longer than most for most people due to the many years of disease. Pippa estimates that14 years ago she was saving over $3,000 a year in drug and prescription insurance costs.
Pippa was so enamored with this breathing modification program that she decided to take an advanced teachers’ course. She is now a certified Buteyko Educator. It is a joy for her to teach others how to free themselves from the stress of asthma and other breathing difficulties.
Care giving comes naturally to Pippa. Originally from England, she was trained as a nurse in London. After immigrating to America in 1959 and marrying, she settled down to be a wife and mother. Her husband, Bill, a violist, was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra. Drawing from her innate writing skills, she became a freelance classical music critic for the Akron Beacon-Journal. She thrived in this environment.
In 1991, following the death of her husband, Pippa relocated to Seattle. She immediately felt at home in our Pacific Northwest. Originally, she was recruited to write an article for the Seattle Youth Symphony. She continued her journalism career with the Seattle P.I., Seattle Times and, for several years, the Seattle Weekly. Twice a month she submits previews and reviews for City Arts. Far from a lucrative income source, Pippa receives complimentary tickets and a small stipend. It doesn’t matter. She loves it. “2016 has been an especially stellar year!” she exclaims. “There are many wonderful events each week. I limit myself to two per week to prevent feeling jaded by too much to take in”.
In addition to her writing career, Pippa has been a long time volunteer with Providence Hospice of Seattle. Initially she specialized in bereavement counseling listening to each individual over a period of 13 months. Both her nurses’ training and the personal loss of her husband provided her with the skills necessary to assist others through this difficult passage. She is considered to be one of the most committed and skilled bereavement volunteers at Hospice of Seattle. These days, she assists with Camp Erin, the summer bereavement camp for children as well as in ongoing Grief Support services for both children and adults.
At home, Pippa is a dedicated gardener. Her garden is fairly bursting with abundant produce. “This year I grew a row of immense purple cabbages and quantities of zucchini and summer squash as well as trees-full of blue plums and apples. For the first time I took some baskets of produce to St Mary’s Food Bank on 20th south of Jackson and felt so pleased!”
Pippa’s passion, the Buteyko Method of breathing modification, has ignited a new career path. Undaunted by what many others consider an “advanced” age; Pippa, now at 81, has marched headlong into her new vision.
Pippa emphasized that her breathing reeducation trans- formed her life so dramatically that she has been thrilled to offer the method to others. Service to her community has always been at the heart of her motivation. As a nurse, she has been following her commitment of offering comfort and support wherever it is needed. As example to us all, Pippa’s philosophy has been to greet each day as a new beginning and an opportunity for personal growth.
To explore the Buteyko Method of Breathing you may contact Pippa at: