A Breathwork Journey: Freediving for Beginners
My journey with breathwork expands my horizon to world of freediving. Freediving is professional water sports and it can be a scary concept for many. It is a very technical sport and every step of freediving consists of various techniques in a domino effect and missing one will mean having to abort the dive and resurface from under the water.
For starters, being in open ocean waters is an unknown territory for me. But I was curious and by stepping out of my comfort zone, I set sail to the beautiful islands of Whitsunday with Breathless Expeditions.
What is Freediving?
Freediving is diving in and under water while holding one's breath. It can be defined as "breath-hold diving". While diving without any aqua-lung is referred to as 'skin diving' or 'snorkeling', but freediving will always require you to breath-hold no matter how deep into the water you go.
Freediving first started as an necessity for humans. A technique used to go deep into the ocean waters for food, tradeable items or things lost overboard. More recently, freediving has been ever evolving into a recreational and professional water sport.
Competitive freediving has become ever so popular today and it has different disciplines to reflect different ways to go deep into the water while you hold your breath.
Relaxation is Key
Freediving is about relaxation. Requiring you to breathe in a slow and controlled state. The breath up process can be viewed as a form of meditation where you need to slowly calm the mind and heart rate. Being in a meditative state is the key for your mind and body before going deep.
When you are freediving, you learn so much about your mind and body. The awareness level is heightened as you start to learn your limits. You slowly adapt to overpower your body’s urge to breath as you seek to remain calm and deep while under the water of the vast ocean.
As you progress, you start to become more comfortable with your surroundings while underwater. You will start to enjoy the freedom as you go deeper and deeper. The effortless and calming effect while freediving feels like you’re flying underwater with a euphoric and peaceful sensations.
Everyone loves a personal best when it comes to anything in life. Especially in freediving, PBs are a new level of success. You will feel like you have achieved something especially each new success is getting more and more out of your comfort zone.
What goes into the mind when you’re freediving?
To goal to long static breath hold is being mindful. That means, clearing your mind from all the busy thoughts. This can be done by letting them play in your mind while accepting them instead of dwelling or resisting negative thoughts.
Resisting thoughts will cause agitation, therefore not allowing you to relax your mind and body. Agitation will have an negative impact on your dive, affecting your concentration and mood.
Try accepting the present moment. Accepting does not mean to have full control of your mind, but to control how you respond to your thoughts. If you start having doubts and weird thoughts during the breathe up process or during your dive, start observing these particular thought and just let it go. Return to a meditative state, either by changing your breathing pattern or observe your body sensations.
Practicing Mindfulness Everyday
Practicing mindfulness to your freediving training can improve your technique and performance. With elevated mood, you can also increase your overall experience while deep down in the open waters of the ocean. Mindfulness in general can positively affect your mental and physical health. Start making a meaningful change to being more mindful with your daily life and not just freediving.