Yogic Lifestyle and Freediving
Written thousands of years ago, Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga, as described in the Yoga Sutras, provide step-by-step guidance to prepare the body and mind to achieve Oneness, Bliss, enlightenment or Divine Unity.
Yoga teaches us to have a strong and supple body, and a calm stress-free mind fit for meditation. This mastery of mind and body is invaluable to us as freedivers. For many, the dive is the meditation.
The higher limbs do not have direct application to freediving and to use them here would only dilute their significance, for this reason, I have included only the first four of the eight limbs, or the lower limbs. The Yamas and Niyamas are practical and straight forward and can apply to any area of life, in or out of the water. Asana maintains and develops a fit, supple body. Pranayama can help to regulate our thoughts and emotions.
*The following material is my opinion based on my years gaining knowledge and experience in yoga and freediving. Yogic philosophy has helped me in and out of the water so I have compiled this information in hopes that it may help you the same way.*
5 ETHICAL OBSERVANCES
Ahimsa: Non-violence. Be kind to yourself and others. Refrain from negative self-talk and criticism of yourself and fellow divers. See, feel and recognize the connection between all things.
Asteya: Non-theft. Do not steal time or energy from yourself or others by harboring negativity. Give to yourself and others the joy of a beautiful day underwater.
Satyam: Honesty. Be truthful to yourself and your fellow divers about your condition, mentally and physically. Do not lie (i.e. concealing injuries) in order to reach a certain depth on a certain day.
Aparigraha: Non-Attachemnt. Leave your BS on the surface :) Clinging to negativity, be it fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, etc., only burns through your O2 faster so let it go. Don't get too fixated on the numbers. Depth is a natural result of your training, preparedness and time in the water. Don't get too caught up on gear and gadgets. They're fun, and some are necessary for comfort and safety but being a good freediver is an internal state of mind and body. Expensive, brand new, equipment will not change that.
Bramicharya: Moderation. Often and traditionally translated as 'celibacy' this isn't quite accurate. Basically, don't over indulge the senses for the sake of stimulation of that sense. For example, don't get overly attached to the dive itself. Rest when your body needs rest, respect your limits and don't exhaust yourself in every session. Its okay to close the session while you still feel good and save the remaining energy for another day.