At Apneista.com we believe that free-diving is not just a beautiful sport, it is also an important tool for self development, a form of ‘ocean yoga’. Our philosophy works on the understanding that training in free-diving should result in increased self awareness and greater fluidity and permeability on the physical, mental and emotional levels.
Free-diving is the beautiful art of letting go to the moment, of disciplining the body and breath so that sometimes you may go beyond the body and breath. When we dive we may feel contractions, the mind may say go up, go up, but we don’t resist, we absorb, we let the sensation move through us and any associated mental reaction is calmly observed. We observe and enjoy sensation, even so called unpleasant sensation. We become permeable to it and liquid in our reactions. Time is limited but sometimes the moment draws out and becomes something eternal.
In Yoga Asana, we work the body, disciplining it and realigning it. We test it and push it to break rigidity, to develop flexibility and make space. We don’t do this for the sake of sitting in complicated postures, we do this so the body’s subtle life juices can flow better. If one develops in Yoga asana, the body becomes fluid in its nature and movements become containers that the body flows into and fills. And this fluidity is not a thing only of ligaments and muscles, it is a thing of energy. The body becomes more permeable and energy flows better, this is health.
In meditation, at the deeper levels, we experience the truth that our own reality at the subtle level is constant flux and that ultimately all reality is flux. It is our minds that put the rigidity on reality by constant and repeated reaction and attachment. Meditation can be seen as cultivation of insight into reality as it is, fluid and unbounded and a conscious acceptance of that. Meditation leads one towards this insight on an experiential level and not only on an intellectual or philosophical level.
Through meditation we do not escape ourselves, we just see beyond the confines of ourselves, the limits imposed by the ego. The personal ego is a vehicle, a motor of change and there is nothing wrong with it, it is simply a container, a tool for channeling energy. Sometimes through lack of self awareness the ego can restrict growth and lead to mental and emotional stagnation. If we practice meditation correctly we become fluid and permeable on the emotional and mental levels and the ego is never a prison. When free-diving we recognise the power of the ego and we channel its energy. We use it as a vehicle to temporarily move beyond the limitations of the self and on occasion catch a glimpse of something infinite.
In Yoga we use the structure of asana to liberate energy and increase its flow. In free-diving we use the structure of the competitive disciplines, such as free immersion or constant weight, in much the same way. We are not focused on depths reached or minutes below. Though we train within the structure of competition free-diving our focus is not competitive, we see the process as more important than the goal. The structure of the competitive disciplines is simply a means of channeling the process, a process that goes beyond results obtained. Most consider Yoga and meditation as excellent tools for free-diving. At Apneista.com we see free-diving as a branch of yoga, a form of moving meditation in water, a Tantric tool for more fluid and intense living rather than as an end in itself.