Testimonials from freediving training students in Amed, Bali 2014.

Here’s some feedback from students in 2014 up until we got too busy to put the feedback onto the computer 🙂 A big thanks to all our students who make teaching freediving such a rewarding job.


This course is perfect for a terrified beginner. I was talked through each dive until the very end. As someone who has spent my whole life on land I really appreciate have 2 instructors that were so patient, informative and helpful. Overall I was really surprised at what I was able to do while taking baby steps. My biggest reminder from freediving is that the mind will tell you ‘no’ over and over again, when really the answer could be ‘Yes’. Thank you!!
Ellye O’Brien

I spent 2 awesome days with great people. I reckon the structure of the course is perfect, nice and relaxed theory in a relaxed environment and then good session in the water, plenty of time for questions, gearing up and great logistics. I really had a good time. Thanks guys.
Federico Salvarola

I was very impressed with the program- especially Matthew’s kind patience and encouragement. I loved how it focused on confidence building- not an end goal. I also loved the yoga emphasis- it translated perfectly for me (philosophy). thank you!!!
Julia Fogelson

I had a wonderful time. I had zero background with freediving and this course was really engaging. I, at all times, felt safe. Thank you for this experience, I really like what you do, and the way you do it. I get the feeling I’ll be searching for an opportunity to do this again (and again) in the future. Thanks for giving me a new way to appreciate and enjoy being in the water.
Matilda Dorman

Good technique and training. Seriously.
Naejus Thomas

I thoroughly enjoyed my first freediving experience. The staff create a very relaxed environment while giving you the necessary teachings to dive properly. I surprisingly met my goal easily thanks to the chilled out mantra approach.
Ian Hoffman
Great course!! Loved it!
Ashley McLoud

I’ve enjoyed experiencing freediving. The course was very informative on the basics (both theory and practise). Hope to continue 🙂 Thank you!
Elena Gavrilova



Loved it! Breathing relaxation really worked to make me feel more confident and comfortable. Interesting theory- not too much. Like the idea of yoga/freedive/flow and being fluid in the water. Shit conditions but was still great fun and not too off putting. Hopefully you put the fear into James so he doesn’t keep pushing and scaring me to death!
Fiona Butler

Learned a lot! Safer! Look forward to practicing and perfecting skills learned. Level of detail just right for our experience level. Still got a lot out of the course even though we were already good freedivers.
James Skilbeck Nelson

Great course! Loved the mix of theory and practice in the ocean. The visualization techniques beforehand really helped. I was most put at ease by knowing my breath hold time and when the first urge hit and how much [air] left I had after that. Would love to do it again with some calm waters!
Steven Zmrhal

I had a great experience. After spearfishing for almost 15 years, I was able to learn the physiology behind breathhold and deep dives. I added 10 meters to my previous deepest dives, learned safety & rescue techniques that I never knew but always wanted to. I’d highly recommend this course to anyone, especially surfers and spearfisher….
Tim Russo

It was very informative for an experienced freediver and spearfisher like myself. I learnt loads of details about physics and proper techniques that could really save my life and others in a bad situation. I now would like to continue on to the advanced level.
Jade Hyde

Very useful information, plus it was good that the teachers had different approaches for different people. Would love to do some diving with better weather, fish could be distracting for the breathholding 🙂
Shayne McCreadie

Good learning about the science of breathing and how it applies to freediving. Good application in the other aspects such as mediation training and stress management. Liked yoga routine and the focus on relaxation.
Ben Lai

Very interesting and informative. Enjoyed it very much and it felt very safe and on our own terms when we were in the water.
Vincent Gunnarsson


Great dive instructors, it always felt safe. Good work on both body and mind. Nothing to add to the course 😀
Alexander Skocki

I cannot think of anything negative: it was a real great experience! The place was really good, the instructors were very good (thank you Daniel and Matthias!) and everything was organized in a nice atmosphere.
Moritz Boegel

My experience in Apneista, Jemeluk, Amed, Bali: I got a really nice feeling staying with you. I did this course to experience proper & secure freediving techniques, as I practice for fun for many years. Matthias was really nice, friendly and most important of all: careful!! As an instructor (diveing & surfing) I’m used to taking care of people and I really liked to feel really safe. I will definitely come back next year and go for Level 2. The center is small but convenient and peaceful. The team, Indo & buleh, are really friendly and efficient.
Thomas L.

Such a wonderful experience! I learn a lot about myself. A lot of amazing feelings about my body and my mind. Am originally use of yoga tricks and breathing exercises to exceed my own limits. Thanks to the Apneista team and master of disaster Daniel!
Julien Riviere
ADVANCED student

Awesome energy- Good class, great theory. Conditions were intense- boat was crucial after heavy rain- visibility and comfort in water were essentially hand in hand.
William G. Lee


FROM EMAIL: You guys were the best.
When people ask me what was the highlight of my 10 days in Bali, and I tell them, they roll their eyes.

After we left Bali we went to Kri Eco Resort in West Papua, and had the time of our lives. Vishaka was more comfortable in the water, and had more fun diving than ever before. She was routinely on the bottom, at 10-15 meters, checking out reefs. She has always stayed up at the surface and watched me in the past. Her feeling more free in the water allowed me to stay out longer and dive more myself.

I owe it all to you.

As we say in Hawai’i: Mahalo Nui Loa! (Michael Click)

I thought I knew what was coming. I was wrong- challenging, beautiful, tough, frustrating, delightful, well run, chilled. Enjoyed the theory- always good to learn. Overall a really unique experience in another world. Boss!
Oliver Green (ninja)

Great course & pacing. Day 1- good theory- not too long & kept us interested. First dive- went well. Like 2 buoys. Day 2- good morning info. Afternoon dive really good. Awesome!
Robin Connelley (ninja)

Good pacing- very much like th positive demeanor/attitude. Prefer the double buoys.
John Stanton (ninja)

Really enjoyed it. Even though it was toally exhausting. Loved how it has made overcome my fear of the deep- well almost!
Completely unique experience- liked being taken out of my comfort zone & learning about myself. Great coaching- nice & calm.
Liberty Green (ninja)

Very technical and challenging course. Learned a hell of useful info on physiology & psychology. Instructions both in class and in water was both helpful for theory & practice. Felt safe the entire course but still felt challenged. Instructors recommended corrections advice tailored to you. Great, friendly, and personable staff. Thank you for sharing freediving experience.
Kyong Pak (ninja)

I learn a lot in just 2 days. Very happy I hit 20 meters. Planning for further training.
Florent Sene

Good individual training in water. nice, relaxed – no pressure, I like it.
Stefan Ebelsberger

Obviously, it is a great course.I had no expectations of what I might be able to do but I was very pleased with how it went. Matthew is a great teacher. Very responsible and reassuring in the water and personalised encouragement for each person. It was good 🙂
Lucia Smyth

Really sweet, such a nice vibe, at the cafe, in teaching on land and water. Feels very professional. Spot on. Thanks a lot for great guidance and teachings. All the best to you guys =)
Sandro Lindquist Garcia

I really enjoyed the course. I found a good ratio of theory and practice. Teachers were very good and were able to keep us calm. I did much more than I thought I could do. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
Julia Martinez

Very good, very professional delivery & instruction. Theory was very in-depth; technical + graspable. Very calm in water instruction set students at ease.
Brian Mannon

Good course. I never believed that I could really freedive to 16m. These 2 days were well spent.
Elina Varmola

It was a very well conducted course: interactive, small group, lots of practice, and dynamic. Results are there; I managed to reach a depth of 14m, and feel very comfortable in the (and under) the water. I have learned a new skill that hopefully I can put into practice often and continue learning with such good teachers. Thanks!
Gonzalo Urbano

Course is an excellent balance of theory and practical. Matthew was always very encouraging and also able to suggest alternative techniques for divers with sticky ears!
Peta Danielle Knott

Had a great time and learnt a heap. Matt is a great teacher and really helped me get going.
Anthony Mansfield

Dear Scatty Matty, Terima Kasih banyak! Muinteori go’halcann! Brilliant course. Really really enjoyed it. Lots of “lols” haha. Having done it now it doesn’t seem as impossible as it might have before. It was a great intro to freediving. I’d been really keen now to train more and maybe do more courses in the future.What else can I say! It’s a magical thing- maybe that’s why all you loolaas are so mad into it!! Thanks Matt.
Audrey Byron

The course was really good. I wasn’t so sure at the beginning but in the end i really enjoyed it. Theory and practice part were clear and well taught. I for sure was glad I made it and will use the techniques for my snorkeling.
Marketta Istas

3 days course starting in a wonderful place, Tirta Gangga and finishing by a fun dive on the Liberty Wreck! The training emphasizes safety.
Florent Sene (Advanced Student)
24 March 2014

Very good course. the location of the school, approach, and instruction nothing to complain about. The yoga course in the evening was good too.
Takashi Nakagawa (Advanced Student)

I really like the theoretical/physiology part. Nice explanations by our instructor Matthias! Well structured and good teaching. The water sessions were amazing. I really could feel how I got more comfortable after some dives. Again, nice explanations from our instructor. All in all a very good course.
Marcel Rasche

Much more than expected, technical and insightful discoveries. Loads of material in short time, very good and selected teachings, friendly environment. Great approach through meditation etc. Very well spent money.
Juval Kuerzi
Great. Austrian guy [Matthias] is Great.
Drew Macomber

Great course! Highly professional trainers. Instruction before going into the water was very helpful. I enjoyed the combination of physics, yoga and diving! The course was well designed to help participants feel prepared before going into the water. I learned a lot and look forward to applying it in the future. Also I was impressed how well the instruction was tailored to each student.
Seth Coogan

Loved the course! I was nervous going in because of my challenges with breath (asthma) but the instruction was so clear & I was able to go at my own pace. I learned a lot during the philosophy & felt really comfortable going into the water. Great experience all around! I’ll be back =)
Flora Bowley

I really appreciated the fact that the course is designed to adjust to each person’s abilities & comfort levels, while also encouraging personal progress. I took this course to attempt to face my strong water anxieties. It was really helpful and I am coming away feeling incredibly proud of the achievements I made. Everyone at Apneista was great at calmly encouraging that progress for me.
Carrie Yoder

Very scientific with a depth and theory and assurance of practice. Ration and irrational bodily reactions were discussed in detail. The course was above and beyond what was required for the introductory course and provided good value for money.
All the staff are incredibly positive and supportive.
William Clarke

Fantastic! Lots of time in the water and instructors were really friendly and encouraging. I achieved much more than I thought I would. Thank you! 🙂
Leila Hughes

It was a good course with lots of time in the water and great instruction. I would recommend this course to friends as long as they are comfortable equalizing.
Alexander Feldman (sasha)

Thank you. The tuition was great- well paced and bespoke. A great place to start freediving.
Boo Greenslade

Nothing to say that would not sound flattering! I felt that everything was very safe, professional, and useful. Thanks and keep with the good job!
Carlo Crudeli

Material well covered, well presented, instructor good level of knowledge, relevant materials, practical course-work great. Felt very comfortable within the structure of the course.
Kim Brooks

Was very informative and entertaining. It was interesting to learn that humming breathing aids blocked sinuses and ears. Lots of other stuff I enjoyed. Matthias is an awesome coach, just looking up at him, made me relaxed.
Yulia Manko

Perfect situation. I really appreciate that you did the course 1:1! Nice place (school and bay). Good, clear, calm teaching, theory & practice.
Mark Berchtold

Very good impression: interesting theory, very good teacher, & practice also very good. Impressive to see progress in 2 days.
Aurelie Grange

The course is beyond expectations! Our trainer Matthias was born to be a diving teacher (the same way as Michael was born a fish). But actually all people here, in Apneista, are super shanti. It helps a lot!
Yana Mari

Excellent teacher (Matthias). He is super shanti, peaceful, knowledgeable and helpful. Great intro course. Great theory, to the point. Excellent integration of yoga, visualization was very nice. Nice environment, thanks for the drinks and popcorn. Flexible and easy. Thank you!
Michael DeNicola

Flawless. Absolutely a life-changing experience. Going to water is never going to be the same. The instructors, the lectures and the diving were very professional. Thus making me feel always comfortable and safe. Had a lot of fun!!! Looking forward to taking the next course here.
Edson Quiroz

Very informative in all respects. Instruction was very straightforward and very personal. All questions were answered in a kindly and informative manner. The practical diving sessions were very exciting and I made good progress. Thank you.
George Clingan

I learned how to feel well under water which was a neat step for me. Very good teaching, building trust and confidence. I had fun. Thanks!
Yann Gouy

Great experience, great feelings. Feel more comfortable in water and more sure of my body. Great way to meditate, disconnect from the mind, not wasting energy physically and mentally. Thank you for the those great moments! And the staff is really friendly & relaxed 🙂
Gregoire Gaume

Awesome stuff! Great teaching of theory and practical skills. Made me feel comfortable & safe at all times. Matthias was an awesome instructor. I’ll be back.
Jamie Steele

Great training, always felt safe. Matthew did well in building up our confidence and in explaining everything well and making sure everyone understands. Thanks for the great course!
George (Bobby) Boshoff

Really enjoyed it. Much more comfortable in the water. The theory was very insightful, learned a lot. Thank you Matthew! When diving, Matthew always made me feel at ease, no rushing. Had a great time.
Hanelize Boshoff

Honestly? Just AMAZING!!! I learned a lot and enjoyed such a detailed theoretical part. I felt safe in the water, and was surprised at how rapidly we all progressed. This course is a credit to our teachers and to Apneista, best freediving school and one our best experiences in Bali! Thank you.
Marion Claudel

The course was my best experience in Bali and for many months! I liked the theory which was very complete and entertaining, the relaxing part was great and in the water I had such fun. Everything was great, well organized! Keep going this way! Everybody is so nice in Apneista, this is a real pleasure! Good vibes! Thanks again!
Laurent Miraucourt

The course was really awesome. I got a completely new experience and feel myself in the water more confident. I pushed my limits and now feel more comfortable in the deep. Wish to continue my studies later. Also got a lot of nice feelings and emotions while freediving.
Andrey Kosarev

Hot tub, definitely need a hot tub =) Aside from that, the training was clear and I felt safe the entire time. Instructors were great and the underwater photos a bonus! Thank you. xo
Jamie Leigh Chan

It was a great experience in which I discovered new sensations. I understand that it can be so addictive! Maybe., see you soon for level 2! Thanks a lot to Kwab and Raffaele.
Mathieu Verrier

Great experience! Good to feel improvement in just 2 days, very good instructor (Matthias). Very calm, patient, made me feel safe. Thank you!!!
Lisa Naumann

The course was very interesting and a completely different experience from scuba, which I enjoyed. I thought Matthias’ approach was perfect for the discipline and would definitely recommend him and the centre.
Polly Mason

Very rewarding experience! Loved the course. Very relaxed and understanding teacher! Thanks Matthias! Also could see a lot of improvement in such a short time. It was possible to develop at your own pace.
Tjark Martens

Great fun! Thank you so much! Fun instructors 🙂
Nele Martens

The best thing that happened to me in the last 6 months! Excellent, great, perfect, relaxing, excellent safety. One of the best experiences of my life! Thank you everybody! I will be back!
Laurent Miraucourt

Definitely more challenging than level 1. Still great training in a beautiful location with the best cafe in Amed. Day 3 was my favorite day as it gave me an opportunity to just focus on my foundational technique and relaxation/visualization.
John Lee

Super nice experience! Matthew is a really good teacher. Good at encouraging and teaching. I feel much more comfortable in the sea now.
Natalie Norin

Amazing 2 days. Theory & practical sessions were profound and though I know I got a lot to practice on my equalization, I have definitely got loads of progress in it. The course has been really fun and the whole crew is lovely 🙂
Flordeliza Pesigan

I really enjoyed the course, the positive energy and the calming exercises helped me overcome the fear I felt in the beginning. So I could really just enjoy the experience and feeling of comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. I would recommend it to everyone. 🙂
Christine Norin

Good course, totally felt the progress. Way more confident. all good! Good work!
Christian Fischer

The course was well-structured and the right balance between theory and practice. Matthew was a good teacher and made me feel safe at all times. I was surprised how much I achieved and enjoyed what I did. I will definitely freedive again. Thanks!
Stephen Marks

Course was very good- detailed information particularly the physiology which helps to relax when you understand the science. Matt was great in the water- very reassuring and gave good corrections, always made me feel comfortable & confident. Overall great course and definitely want to do more.
Darja Dobermann

I really liked it! Matthew is a great teacher. I’ve grabbed a lot of knowledge, I did 19 meters & became more comfortable in the water. I’m definitely promote Apneista in my network, so prepare yourself for more Russian students! 🙂
Anna “Zap” Fimina

Great course, I learnt a lot about breathing techniques and safety. Great venue. Yoga was something different I enjoyed.
Billy Povey

Solid foundation with emphasis on theory, safety and mental aspects of freediving. Focus on enjoyable sustainable development. Nothing is rushed but as a result of this development of skills and confidence benefits greatly. Have enjoyed course greatly and have achieved more than I expected. Lots of smiles one everyone’s faces including mine.
Glen Aidah

The course was great, loved every second of it. It was well priced and extremely comprehensive. I felt safe at all times. All the instructors are very friendly and professional. The cafe connected to the shop is also a cool place to hangout and it has an awesome menu. The meditation aspects of the course were also very interesting.
Adam Kenny

The course was great fun and very safe. I was able to achieve all the goals I set out to achieve- my desired depth, breathhold and level of comfort. The meditation and breathing techniques were very helpful for me, and it was extremely satisfying to learn in great depth what was going on inside my body while diving. The information taught was extremely comprehensive. Excellent, very professional company.
Adam Kenny

Great course. Enjoyed going to the old pool [Tirta Ganga]. It was great to challenge myself and I surprised myself with what I was able to do. That feeling of accomplishment is invaluable. Then to take my new skills in practice at the Liberty Wreck was a good way to finish.
Patrick Names

Great course, Love the staff!! Feels like family here!
James Forsberg

Very pedagogic and much attention to personal development. Good mix of theory and practice. The setting of water palace [Tirta Ganga] and Tulamben [Liberty Wreck] really made it great. The level 2 gives more time to really develop comfort and technique. Strong engagement from both instructors. Great experience!
Martin Henriz

I loved it! So nice to overcome your boundaries and learn new things. Raf is great. His calm nature makes the course super enjoyable. All in all an awesome experience. I’d gladly recommend to anyone.
Nina Nogulic

I thought the whole setup including staff are mega helpful. Most of all the teaching approach and Raff’s warm, knowledgeable teaching method was super awesome. The skill I learnt I feel I will use for the res of my life. I would love to come back and learn level 2 with Raff. Btw, ask him to say ‘DIARY’ 🙂
Matija Agbaba

Kwab is a 5* instructor and the group was great which made this underwater experience very special. It was a natural re-cap and progression from previous training which deepened my comfort in the water and with my own body and mind. So much more to say and the best suggestion I can give to others is- to try it- it’s absolutely worth it and unique. Thank you!
Ana Alves

Excellent instructor. Surpassed expectations. Perfect balance of practical and theory.
Nick Fogarty

I came here with no expectations. Amazing to discover what your body is capable of. The theory was really useful. During the dives I felt safe which was really nice. The setup of the course is good. Thanks a lot!
Sabine Marres

Well! Honestly you almost saved my life! I learned a lot of rescue & safety details. My interpretation of freediving/spearfishing is really more calm & safer than before. I’ll come back for level 2 in October!!
Sebastien DeFlandre

Really amazing course! Learned a lot on technique & theory and had fantastic opportunities to put them into practice. Also important were the theory & practice of safety- including proper preparations & recovery for diving, being an effective safety diver, etc. The location @ Apneista was great and diving the USS Liberty was fantastic & Tirta Gangga was unforgettable! This was really the best three days I’ve had in a long time! Thanks!
Chris Raymond

This was a fantastic course. Unfortunately I had equalization issues diving head first so couldn’t complete. Raf, however, was incredibly supportive & helpful. He is the best instructor I have had (freedive & scuba) and made my first experience of free diving into something I will continue to do. Thanks Raf.
Daniel Purcell

Excellent course. Good content and Raf was a legend. Tailored the course to suit the needs and concentrate on individual weaknesses of the class participants. Highly recommended. Cheers Raf.
Paul Connelly

The instructor made me very confident and relaxed. So I managed to dive very deep without realizing and really enjoyed the dive. The most important this I’ve learned is that I can do amazing things when I get to relax.
Celine Gremaud

Great experience, feel confident with the instructor in the water. I’m happy to know techniques in th ewater and stay relaxed. Happy to discover yoga. After 20m in 2 days it’s cool! I want to do it again!
Laurent Gremaud

It was a nice two days. I really get what I was looking for and even more. I enjoy the theoretic part, It’ scool to have an understanding on how it works. And the yoga and stretching part was really interesting. I think I will use some in the future. Thanks it was all great.
Romain Thouvenin

Amazing mate. Thanks. Really really appreciated your authenticity and genuine love of teaching. Also loved the holistic approach- science; spiritual/mental; physical aspects.
As you say breathing is the one thing we can’t go without…enjoyed challenging that part of me…being uncomfortable but safe too. Far exceeded my own expectations of myself.
Ken Farmer

Course was excellent. I’d recommend it to anyone. Matthew is an excellent instructor leader with a strong knowledge base in multi-disciplinary fields to support freediving. James and Patrick were fantastic with supporting instructors, with calm, clear and warm help.
Michael Orkin

Best Course ever. It was fun, the instructor had great way to explain equalization methods.
Turki Baghlaf
Saudi Arabian

Awesome course! You’re incredibly knowledgeable about freediving which made it a great experience. Pat and Jim were awesome as well.
Mike Dannheim

Excellent course! The preparation for the first dives was very thorough, so that I felt extremely relaxed. I especially like the combination of breathing/visualization techniques and freediving. Matthew was an awesome instructor who created a relaxed and positive atmosphere. Thank you Matthew!
Bjela Schwenk

To all our students of Yoga or Freediving in Bali…

Hi All,

We’re coming up to three years that we started the whole apneista project in Bali and the last year and a half has been really intense. . with lots of new stuff.. starting at what I reckon is probably one of the coolest…

Dark moon freediving…

That’s it, freediving at night..We have now started using the latest in glow in the dark rope ‘technology’. two glowing lines, the liquid darkness and clouds of bio-luminescence. It is an intensely beautiful and surreal experience, something difficult to describe or photograph, like the Northern lights…We have established a whole new protocol for this activity and it is open only to students who have shared some training with us (for obvious safety considerations.)

Freedive trips to nusa penida to Freedive with mantas,

We’re organising group trips to freedive with Mantas and other pelagics on the amazing reefs of Nusa penida, starting in May.

Freediving trips to Komodo and Raja Empat,

We are teaming up with Graham Abbot, one of the most respected specialist dive guides in this incredible area to offer something really special, freediving, yoga and Scuba trips to the Eastern Dive Jewels of Indonesia.

Fly and dive intensive.

From the 7th to the 12th and from the 15th to the 22nd of September Acroyoga and freediving intensives…with the amazing Bex Tyrer, Bali’s queen of acroyoga. This practice is a beautiful hybrid of acrobatics, yoga and Thai massage with one person ‘flying the other’ with another acting as a spotter.. It is the perfect complement to freediving in every way, we are pretty excited about this.

SSI certification.

Another bit of news is that we are now offering SSI certification alongside our own Apneista training system. We will continue to do what we do best, adapting training to suit the individual and expanding our curriculum, but now for those interested in Global certification we now offer SSI training as well. For those who want to get signed off for SSI,we will be running one day SSI assessments during May.

New training space, yoga sala, cafe, equipment shop and more training lines.

On the beautiful bay of Jemeluk we are finally finished with the unending refurbishment and we now have what we firmly believe is the sweetest freediving shop in all of Asia. Chill out area, yoga sala, equipment shop and now a wonderful cafe, right on the beach. We have also set more lines at various depths and are now initiating some reef and beach clean ups, so that Bali’s best freediving spot becomes even better. Please roam the webpage for more details and pics.We are still processing a resource page with interesting research and training material relating to the breath,freediving and yoga, coming soon…

P.S. anyone with 5 minutes to spare and with great things to say about us here’s a link to tripadvisor, your help is sincerely appreciated.

Skill barter for yoga and free-dive training in Amed, Bali.

Some clarification on what we mean by a skill swap as some people might not immediately grasp the concept.

We are interested in hearing from enthusiastic people with interesting or useful skills that they would like share in exchange for training in free-diving and/or Yoga. We wish to avoid people that are just looking for a freebie. The idea is exchange of energy and sharing of knowledge. We give and you give and we all enjoy what we create.

We offer training in free-diving, Yoga Asana, Pranyama, meditation and related aspects of the broader science of Yoga, in a very special corner of Bali. Depending on what type of commitment and synergy there is, there may be some economic reward, but only time will tell.

We’re interested in hearing from people with these skills…

  • High on our list would be an ability to work design magic with word-press and help us with a visual overhaul of our website.
  • A hospitality professional who has started up a restaurant or has enough interest and expertise to help us start our beach-side Organic cafe.
  • Body-workers with a high level of skill and experience.
We’re also open to other suggestions but only from enthusiastic people with a sense of humour. No time wasters or people who take themselves too seriously.
Get in touch or come and see us in Jemaluk Bay, Amed, Bali.

getting closer…

Weather has picked up very nicely the last few days. The peak of Agung has been clear, the sun shining and the water warm and clear. The last few days have seen some very pleasant free-diving. All hail the return of sunny days…

Onsite, things here have been plodding on, as fast as they ever do in Amed, Bali.

These will probably be the last pics before the place is all shiny, bright and ready to be filled with stuff…

This space will be used for free-diving theory, yoga and meditation practice and then for hanging out later on…


                                                                                                                                                                                       This will be the funkiest little free-diving gear storage space anywhere… 




At the moment, we have the ugliest front in Bali. But in one month (or ten) this ugly place will be the first purpose built free-diving/yoga space in Bali…watch this space.

Glossopharyngeal insufflation, to pack or not to pack…

Last year I read Simon Borg-Olivier’s idea that the mysterious Pranayama practice of Plavini was essentially a form of  lung packing (pushing extra air into the lungs to fill them beyond normal volume)and not the filling the stomach with air, as it often described.

A couple of years ago I stopped packing and teaching packing to most students, feeling it to be unnecessary and probably not too good for the lungs. It also just didn’t seem like good yoga. Many also consider it to be a factor in many lung squeezes(lung oedema), which we’ll come to.

That said, Mr Borg-Olivier is one of the most experienced Yoga teachers around and a great free-diver, so I’m inclined to agree with him. It is listed as one of the 8 principle Pranyams though I have never heard of anyone teaching it or practising it.  Except maybe Mr Borg-Olivier.

When packing, one fills the lungs and then gulps down extra air into the lungs. This stretches the membrane of the alveoli, allowing a person to expand their total lung volume, up to three litres in some cases.

Whether it is a Yogic practice or not, there seems to be relationship between lung packing and squeezes. Something which would seem to be counter intuitive, if packing means more air, one should be less likely to suffer lung squeeze, squeeze being caused by extreme negative pressure within the alveoli.

There are many people who deny a link, but they seem to generally be people who practice packing. Naturally they would have some resistance to the idea that it could induce squeezes.

For those who believe in a link, there have been various theories put forward. I won’t go into them here as I believe relatively recent research gives a better idea how packing could be a factor in squeezes.

For people who dislike scientific jargon I will summarise the research simply. Packing, when practised by trained divers, causes air to escape into the chest cavity. In trained free-divers this is normally asymptomatic, (there are no symptoms, no pain, no blood and no difficulty in breathing.) The alveoli are simply swollen with so much air that some escapes into the chest cavity. This was shown with CT scans to be the case, to varying degrees in all the free-divers trained in packing. (One didn’t have air in the chest cavity, but was later shown not be proficient in the technique.

This research now provides a more satisfactory reason why packing might be related to squeeze.

With packing you fill the lungs and overfill them, creating tiny tears in the lining. If you then dive to below residual volume, causing blood shift, you are creating the opposite effect in the alveoli. They compress and the capillaries around them swell with blood to fill the space.

If the membrane between alveoli and capillary has been compromised before the dive by packing, then on the ascent to the surface it is easy to imagine that when the alveoli expand once again some of the blood may stay in the air space. This will compromise gas exchange and may lead to coughing of blood or plasma.

Lung squeeze is free-diving’s dirty little secret and it  is much more common than people let on. See Sebastien Naslunds great article.

On many free-diving courses squeeze is but briefly mentioned and there is often no mention of a possible link between packing and squeeze, though often they are taught at the same level. The conclusion of this research is that the practice of packing is essentially a repeated barotrauma(pressure injury) and the accumulative effects are unknown. It therefore  seems strange that packing should be thought at the intermediate, level as it is on many courses.

So now whether packing is really the mysterious Plavini pranyam or not seems immaterial. Unless you really into competition, packing seems like a needlessly risky activity, especially for ex-smokers or those whose lungs might not be as robust as they should be.

And besides Jaques Mayol did over 100 metres without packing, so what’s the need?

Here’s the abstract from the research so you can make up your own minds..


Glossopharyngeal insufflation causes lung injury in trained breath-hold divers.


Department of Thoracic Medicine, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. stev78@optusnet.com.au


Glossopharyngeal insufflation (GI) is a technique practised by competitive breath-hold divers to enhance their performance. Using the oropharyngeal musculature, air is pumped into the lungs to increase the lung volume above physiological TLC. Experienced breath-hold divers can increase their lung volumes by up to 3 L. Although the potential for lung injury is evident, there is limited information available. The aim of this study was to examine whether there is any evidence of lung injury following GI, independent of diving.


Six male, competitive breath-hold divers were studied. CT of the thorax was performed during breath-holding at supramaximal lung volumes following GI (CT(GI)), and subsequently at baseline TLC (CT(TLC)). CT scans were performed a minimum of 3 days apart. Images were analysed for evidence of pneumomediastinum or pneumothorax by investigators who were blinded to the procedure.


None of the subjects showed symptoms or signs of pneumomediastinum. However, in five of six subjects a pneumomediastinum was detected during the CT(GI). In three subjects a pneumomediastinum was detected on the CT(GI), but had resolved by the time of the CT(TLC). In two subjects a pneumomediastinum was seen on both the CT(GI) and the CT(TLC), and these were larger on the day that a maximal GI manoeuvre had been performed. The single subject, in whom a pneumomediastinum was not detected, was demonstrated separately to not be proficient at GI.


Barotrauma was observed in breath-hold divers who increased their lung volumes by GI. The long-term effects of this barotrauma are uncertain and longitudinal studies are required to assess cumulative lung damage.

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