How Yoga Helps My Freediving
Over the weekend, I went freediving at Blue Spring State Park in Florida with my husband and one of our friends. Though it wasn’t our first time diving into the deep underwater crevasse that is the source of the spring, it was challenging because it was crowded with scuba divers and snorkelers. The chaos made it difficult to achieve the relaxed state that is key for maximizing breath holds when freediving.
I made it my goal to obtain a fully relaxed state on my deepest dives to 20 meters. On each of my last two dives, I had a moment where I started to tense up, but I told myself to relax. It worked like a charm, and I was able to complete the deep dives with ease.
It felt incredible to achieve complete relaxation in the face of a challenge, and I knew that ability came from my Ashtanga practice. For months, I have been cultivating that exact same ease while in asana. Interestingly, eliciting a relaxation response while diving deeply felt meditative in the same way it does during a difficult pose.
It seems the deeper I get into my yoga practice, the more it spills over into other areas of my life. What a delight to realize that yoga has given me a powerful skill I can call upon in difficult situations.