We asked world champion Free Diver Sara Cambell to tell us more about the world of freediving and how yoga and meditation have helped her to become a three-time world record holder.
I am a freediver. I hold my breath for over five minutes and dive to over 100m and most people think I am probably the craziest person they know.
I came to freediving in 2006 as an experienced yogi and progressed from complete beginner to three-times World Record holder in just nine months! The freediving world was shocked. I was shocked and even the physiologists were shocked. Apparently what I did was beyond the realms of normal adaptation to pressure at depth.
By definition, freediving is the sport of diving in one breath, as deep or as far as we can. For me, freediving is much more than that. It is a meditation, a magical journey into the uncharted realms of the human physiology and psyche.
It is ironic that it is widely accepted that the mind plays a crucial role in every successful safe dive. Yet so little time is given to understanding, awareness, training and development in this area. This is why 80% of my preparation for deep dives is spent in meditation and mental preparation, rather than on physical conditioning.
Freediving is a very inward, meditative process. While we are under the water we are looking inside. We are constantly observing the sensations and understanding what our body is trying to tell us. If we get into the water and we think “I am wholly responsible for this experience. I am wholly responsible for bringing myself back safely,” then there is a huge weight on our shoulders. This creates stress in the mind because we feel that we are overloaded with the challenge and responsibility that we are setting ourselves. This mental stress will often transform into physical stress, contracting the rib cage, limiting our equalization, ruining our relaxation and stopping the dive early. When I let go of all expectation, relax my body and mind, surrender to the process of the dive, accept each moment as it unfolds, and trust that all is exactly as it needs to be, my dive will not only be safer, but it will be a beautiful, joyful expression of life.
Freediving is simply a process of learning. Firstly learning the technique. Secondly and more importantly, learning about ourselves and our relationship with our mind, body and spirit. It is only then that we can expand into that fullness of who we are and have a really great experience.
Sara is wearing head to toe Asquith truly showing that you can wear our active wear everywhere.
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