Breathing and diving.
Very often, we find that gaining strength and body mass can help dive deeper, because when we have bigger muscles we can generate more air in our body. Each muscles are fueled by oxygen, and the harder the muscle works, the more oxygen it requires. To dive deeper and longer, you need to make good use of this oxygen, and in order to do so , you must be very calm and relaxed.
Relaxation helps considerably to be a good free diver, that way you can be more aware of the messages sent by your body, for example, spasm in the diaphragm are the first signals letting you know that you are running out of breath and therefore time for your ascension back to the surface. But when you control your mind in being relaxed and calm you will notice that you are able to remain few minutes longer without drawning.
Yoga is one great way to improve your breathing techniques. We use the breath in yoga poses, so that we can integrate into the asana or pose with ease and focus. Some techniques can considerably help you during your free dive.
Pranayama, or breathing exercises, such as Anuloma Viloma known as alternate nostril breathing, will definitely improve your lungs capacity. Smokers who are willing to stop smoking, use this powerful technique. After some time, your body starts to heal by generating new cells. You can start with practicing “Ujjayi”breath, commonly known as “the ocean breath” or “victorious breath”. Patanjali suggests that the breath should be both dirga (long) and suksma (smooth).
Throughout an entire yoga practice, you engage, breathe, lengthen, release, and repeat in order to transition from Asana to Asana. Each of these movements helps build both physical strength in your body as well as the mental strength required to consciously flow from one Asana to another with present moment and full body awareness. Certain yoga poses can help you stretch and expand the chest, such as the heart open poses: camel pose, full bridge, fish pose matsyanasa.
Massages has been proven to promote health and wellness. Massage therapy helps reduce stress, helps body and mind to relax. Deep tissue massage focus on the deeper layers of the muscles and the fascia, releasing the muscles, and ready for wider movements.
Meditation is an other very effective technique to use to control your mind, therefore remain calm and serene while free diving.
As free divers, we must learn how to use our breath, how to control our mind and how to remain calm in every situation. Harder to say then to do, probably, but nothing is easy.
The first time I went under water for a free dive in Indonesia, it took me several dives before I could reach up to 20 meters deep without taking-in a breath.
Sensations are very powerful, it is the best exercise to learn to master your thaughts and stay in control of your body.
So get into it, start your practice, stick with it, and be a great free diver, or a great breather.
Diving and yoga are hand in hand practice, that changed my behavior and attitude toward life in general. In many occasions, deep diving has shown my limitations and strength. I am so grateful to breathe and live this magic adventure everytime I get.
Feel free to leave your comments bellow on how the yoga helped you with your diving and life in general.