One of our students has written an insightful essay which has won the most prestigious essay award in Australia. It’s intimate, crafted and I believe it touches on something beautiful about the art of Apnea.
Give it a read and see what you think…
It’s been a very a long time since we’ve posted a blog, but this freediving workshop really deserves a blog.
It’s something special, a very unique mix of cutting edge apnea research, tailored coaching, freediving focused yoga and meditation, all in beautiful Amed, Bali. This course is aimed at freedivers with an understanding of the basics of Freediving Physiology and Physics, with a desire to deepen and expand perspectives, seeing where the latest research in apnea is taking us.
Frederic Lemaitre will be our guide for most of the daily coaching and freediving workshops. He’s one of the worlds leading experts on freediving science and is at the forefront of apnea research. Frederic is also a top freediving coach, working with the first generation of the 1990s French elite up to today, with the likes of Guillaume Nery.
Each day is a mix of freediving, workshops, yoga and meditation workshops with the focus very much on deepening knowledge and changing perspectives.
The first days stretching will be whole body basic stretching;
Freediving will be focused on safety protocol as developed in his research with AIDA and Free immersion diving
The first days topic will be on advanced freediving physiology where
Frederic Lemaitre will be drawing on the insights gained from over 2
decades as a top apnea researcher. Related to this topic he’ll draw from over 40 different papers published between 2000 and 2017.
The most recent paper was in 2015 comparing the trigeminocardiac reflex
(TCR) with the Mammalian dive response.
Like all the workshops there will be an opportunity to for questions and answers with Frederic.
In the evening there will be a workshop on equalization for freedivers,
focusing on the various techniques available to freedivers, frenzel,
forms of mouthfill etc.
In the morning we’ll have some basic stretching and a yoga sequence
designed for freedivers.
The Freediving training will focus on various exercises for
equalization and free immersion diving. The theory workshop will focus on ‘effects of freedive training’ drawing
on research from at least 8 separate papers by Frederic, from the
effects of apnea training on swimming co-ordination to the effects of packing, with a general review on freediving physiology.
The evening session will focus on 2 categories of meditation-
concentration and mindfulness
There will be some theory and some reference to the science behind these
practices, as well an an introduction to one or two practices in each
We’ll also look at how these practices can affect our freediving training.
Breathing and stretching
The morning stretching session will focus on the primary and secondary
CWT and FI
Principles of freedive training;
This wokshop will focus on training principles and primarily reference three papers, including one that deals with free diver training as a complement to other athletic training.
Meditation workshop- contemplation and creative visualization;
This workshop will investigate 2 other categories of meditation in regards to freediving.
The first will use the power of the rational mind to create break throughs and insight. The visualization practices will focus on harnessing the innate creative power of the mind.
Freediving risks, blackout, decompression sickness, squeeze.
This is one of the most fascinating workshops as it draws on very interesting new research and introduces solid science based protocols for Decompression sickness, Blackouts and Squeeze. Frederic is one the people writing the guidelines for what is safe in freediving, based on science and not speculation. He is one of the lucky few who has done extensive research with the Ama divers of Japan.
Meditation- this final day will look at slightly more esoteric aspects of meditation, most specifically heart based practices.
Homo Delphinus- comparative physiology.
A comparison between marine mammals and human mammals.
In this workshop Frederic explores what apnea training and apnea research can tell us about the human being and ways it can be used toimprove our development.
To make this accessible to poor freediving instructors we are offering the full 5 days training and workshops $400
Our friend Helena ran a ´Self Hypnosis´ class recently.
After the practice she answered questions about the suitability of the practice for different desired outcomes and environments. An obvious question from one of us was about whether the practice could be utilized in the water for as a tool for freediving training, the answer was “Yes”. Self hypnosis, Helena told us, is not about being put to sleep like the popular image of ´Classical Hypnosis´. Classical Hypnosis only works on some people and the stage hypnotist has a number of assessments to find who in the audience can be influenced. Self hypnosis can be achieved by anyone and the trance state can be induced whenever convenient, and the person is completely awake for the duration. This style is called Modern Hypnosis or Ericksonian Hypnosis after Milton Erickson.
Helena is a GP and has used these techniques to help patients. She explained that in daily life we generate beta-waves (β-waves) that are very fast and notice a lot of the data around us but don’t retain it. In the trance state on which she focuses we generate alpha-waves (α-waves). These are slower and remember everything. Things done while in an alpha state are better remembered. Another form used by practitioners is the deeper trance of theta waves (θ-waves). For treating a trauma that it is not beneficial to remember the practitioner can help the patient into this deep trance. The practitioner can speak to the patient and discover a cause of trauma or a solution to a problem. Once out of the trance the patient will not remember the episode, hence not reinforcing the problem, and the solution can begin to work.
We are interested in being awake and accessing valuable resources J
Here’s the procedure:
1) Ask for a resource. (You have to really want it) And give a time frame (i.e. 2mins)
2) Pick a visual point 45° above normal line of sight.
3) Relax! (legs, back, neck and jaw and tongue)
4) Looking softly in your 45° direction acknowledge what you can see, near and far, say to yourself 5 things. Things from your direct vision and from your peripheral. Then say 5 things you can hear; loud, soft, bodily and external. Then say 5 things you can feel; temperature, discomfort, clothing, breadth.
*While you say these things your voice must be of a lower register and slower than normal*
5) Starting with 5 sights, 5 sounds, 5 sensations Then, 4 sights, 4 sounds, 4 sensations Then, 3 sights, 3 sounds, 3 sensations Then, 2 sights, 2 sounds, 2 sensations Then, 1 sight, 1 sound, 1 sensation.
By the end you will allow your eyes to close and allow the trance state to function. If the eyes close before the end of the cycle all well and good, then continue using whatever slight colours or spots of light as reference.
If the complete round of sights, sounds, sensations isn’t enough go through the cycle again. With experience the practitioner can succumb to the trance earlier, perhaps even before the first line of sights, sounds, sensations!
After the practice Helena showed us some deepening techniques. If, for example, you were guiding a friend through it you could count slowly down from 10 to 1 (counting up has the effect of awakening or energising). If you wanted to deepen your own trance you could observe your palm from a medium distance. As you very slowly bring the palm towards the face continue to focus softly on the lines, contours, colours, shadows, taking everything in. When the palm reaches the face and touches softly you can allow yourself into the trance.
Please let us know how you get on with this training, one of possible many supplementary tools for freediving training.