When people talk about the right equipment for free-diving normally they are talking about fins, lines,weights and wet-suits. These are all important for training, indeed essential in most cases, but the first and most important piece of equipment for successful training is the human mind/body. Carbon fiber fins and the latest in neoprene are great but if your sinuses are blocked they’re useless. So to dive, before equipment, breathing or equalising technique even come into it, we need healthy sinus and eustachian canals so that we can get below the surface. We need to become aware of these parts of the body and develop their capacities. This we can do with diet, proper cleansing and practices to develop flexibility.
Obviously proper use of the lungs and correct respiration are also essential, this we can develop with understanding of our own body, the physics of diving and breath training. Though the essential organs are the lungs, sinus and ear spaces, obviously the rest of the body cannot be neglected. Amongst other things, yoga is excellent for overall strength and flexibility. While diving we also want to be calm and concentrated. We need to rein in the mind and keep it focused on the task at hand. To train the mind and develop awareness we use meditation, pranayama and visualisation techniques.
For developing and caring for the different parts of the body we use:
For the sinus: jala neti, kapalbhati,diet
For the eustachian canal: tubular flexion technique,diet.
Lung flexibility: Yoga asana, packing, Negative pressure static apnea.
Overall strength and flexibility: Yoga Asana, swimming, cardio-vascular training.
For training the mind: Meditation, Pranayama and Yoga Nidra
Though obviously we can’t forget the best training for free-diving is free-diving itself.