Freediving is the sport of holding your breath under water. People do it for fun, to challenge themselves, to relax, and to grow. They do it competitively, to forage or hunt for food, to share time and experiences with friends, to enjoy the ocean in all its beauty, moods and richness.
The World Records are astounding; men are diving to 128m on one breath, and the official women’s record is 101m! Breathholds are over 11 minutes for men and nine minutes for women. We are unravelling medical science with each dive, and proving that we can do so much more than we believe.
Freediving is not necessarily about becoming a record holder. First and foremost it is about learning how to relax. Only when we are in a state of complete acceptance, all tension drained from the muscles, can we really explore ourselves on a deeper level.
To begin freediving it is best to take a course with a qualified instructor. Discover Your Depths offers you a completely unique approach – a freediving programme created by one of the world’s top athletes, combined with a profound understanding of ancient yogic wisdom, to bring the mind under control, so that it begins to serve us in achieving our goals.
Freediving is our Teacher
We live in such a hectic, goal-oriented society that we don’t even notice the stress levels we carry within us anymore. A raised heartbeat is the norm. Muscular tension, so what? And stress-related illness – a modern day epidemic.
For me freediving is the greatest teacher. When we freedive we are without breath, our most direct and vital source of life. This triggers all sorts of primal fears, and takes us directly into all the unsupportive behavioural patterns that we develop as survival techniques as children. The only problem is that it is impossible to dive when your chest is contracted, your heartbeat is raised and adrenalin is coursing through your bloodstream. Whereas in life we carry on living, thinking we’re functioning more or less normally with all of the above symptoms (often we don’t even notice that this is what’s going on) once in the water, none of those reactive behavioural patterns will work. Because as soon as any of them arise, the dive will feel uncomfortable, stressful, or simply will not be possible. This is why the ocean is our greatest teacher. We can no longer get away with the lies we tell ourselves that the way we are living is in harmony with our authentic selves, in harmony with Nature, every day of our lives.
In order to freedive – and hence live a healthy, balanced life – we must stop trying to control. We must stop doubting ourselves. We must stop pushing ourselves so hard. In order to freedive – and hence life a healthy, balanced life – we must trust in something greater. We must believe that we are part of the miraculous creation of the world around us. We must switch off our intellect and recognise that the greatest wisdom we will ever experience is contained already within our soul and our DNA.
Freediving emerged as a competitive sport in the 1950s. At present, it is regulated primarily by AIDA, which ratifies national and world records in 8 official disciplines. Competitions range from small, local events to individual and team world championships. One of the best things about competitive freediving is the community spirit – we really are one big happy underwater family. Read More...
One of the most fascinating aspects of freediving is learning how our bodies can defy science both in terms of the length of time we can hold our breath, and how much pressure our body can withstand at depth. The mammalian dive response connects us to other marine mammals and is what enables us to perform what often seem like ‘superhuman’ feats underwater. Read More...
Our minds are our most powerful tool and when we apply their strength to our diving, we can do things we never imagined would be possible. The problem is that most of the time our minds control us, and we live within a whirl of stress and tension. Freediving helps us to see the workings of our mind more clearly and learn how to deal with our own self-imposed limitations. Read More...