I was chatting with Alexey Molchanov about freediving last year, and in particular, what motivates and drives him to keep training and competing. He said something that struck me as unusual but was also very beautiful and true. I suppose I was expecting him to say it was the glory and fame of World Records, the thrill of competition, or the adventure into the depths of the ocean and the depths of himself that drove him. But instead, he said that he trains because he loves the unique feeling of deep relaxation and tiredness that he feels afterwards. There is quite simply nothing like it.
For all of you who already freedive, you will probably recognise that feeling that Alexey was talking about. Getting up early, going out to the ocean for a deep training session, and then returning for a siesta is truly one of the best parts of freediving. Our mind and our body have worked hard to perform what many people would deem the impossible, we are not only alive, but feel truly invigorated by our training, and can now switch off at the deepest level.
Learning to freedive brings with it the ability to switch from the ‘fight or flight’ operating system (sympathetic nervous system) to the operating system that governs relaxation, recovery and rejuvenation (parasympathetic nervous system). If we are unable to make that switch, if we perceive the dive as a threat to our safety, and indeed our survival, we will find it hard, stressful and no fun at all.
Most of us spend our lives learning that success comes from being in the fight or flight mode – study harder, work harder, train harder, try harder and you will be successful. Applying this approach to freediving is the exact opposite of the state of mind and body we need to be ‘successful’ in the water. For many people, it is extremely hard to convert a lifetime of conditioning for the fight or flight system, to turn it off and completely let go in the water.
But when you do, you absolutely know you’ve got it – the dive feels not only easy, but is probably deeper and more fun than any dive you’ve done before. And you can’t stop smiling.
This is the purpose of my Deep Relaxation course: to give you that experience of bliss through your diving. My approach will guide you to a new perspective on yourself, one which will help to re-programme your thinking to get you more easily and readily from fight or flight to a state of ‘aaaahhhh’. The meditations are specially designed to bring your awareness into your body to connect you with yourself and let go of your fears. This is where DEEP RELAXATION begins. And the journey will take you beyond physical relaxation, into a state of deepest trust, an ability to surrender to the ocean and truly let go.