Doing a free-dive pool exercise on January 13th, 2015 in Dar es Salaam, holding my breath for 3 minutes, 30 seconds – the first of many long breath holds. Listening to one of the most relaxing songs in the world, “We Can Fly” by Cafe Del Mar, surely helped.

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Profile photo of Renee Blundon New

Living creatively through design and passionate for freediving, Renee is an underwater photographer / videographer and writer at Seaunseen, and a freediving instructor at Desert Divers in Dahab, Egypt.

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  1. Jo Decaesteker

    Wow, are you serious? This was the FIRST of a series?! 3:30, just like that, without any warm up breathhold? What did you do eventually? 9 minutes?! Seriously, my compliments, in my freediving initiation, I could only manage a personal best of 2:45, but that was already my third attempt. You are clearly advanced in freediving and quite fit. Contrary to me (on both levels). Now I definitely want to more details about how you breathe. On the freediving initiation we were told to do it like this:

    For a couple of minutes, breathe like this:
    -) inhalations: take deep, full breaths in two “sections”: stomach and chest (or diaphragmatic and thoracic, or however they call it). Don’t inhale too fast, take around 3-4 seconds to do so. So, the lungs were really filled until 98-100%.
    -) hold that breath for 4-5 seconds
    -) exhalations: exhale passively: don’t “blow” out your air forcefully, but let it escape naturally between pursed lips and/or put your tongue behind your teeth to slow down the exhale with a sssss-sound. Make sure your exhalation lasts at least twice as long as the inhalation. Three or four times as long is even better.
    …If you are ready, take one big full breath (stomach+chest!) and hold it…

    We did one breath hold until first contraction. This was for me at 1:18.
    Then, after another minute or so of breathing as mentioned above a second breath hold with 15 seconds of contractions (signaling our buddy when our first contraction came, who would then count another 15 seconds). On this breath hold, my first contraction came at 1:45, so I did a 2:00 breath hold on the second try. The idea was to do a series of breath holds and increase the length of contractions with 15 seconds with each try, but the instructor must have thought I was kind of doing great (which I don’t believe when I now see you doing a 3:30 on the FIRST try… ;-D ), so he said: let’s go for a maximum attempt, so I did. Contractions started around 2:00, and I got to 2:45… Contractions were NOT a lot of fun. I find it quite hard to endure them.

    The kind of breathing I mentioned above is really relaxing, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. But as you have noticed, we didn’t hear/learn about the 2 or 3 “purge” breaths you also seem to do here (just like you do/did with the dynamics). So, obviously we didn’t do them. I assume this would/does make a difference when I would have used these?

    I would love to know how and also how long you breathe like that before your last 3 deep breaths. I can’t really see it in the video, but I’m guessing it’s not all that different from what I did on the initiation? Will you do an article or a video specifically on the breathe up for static and/or dynamic? This would be a tremendous help (on top of what you already did to help us out!)! It’s appreciated VERY much!

    I really have to compliment you (once again): you make it look easy (and it is NOT, no, it ISN’T!): you come up and you don’t even pant for air?! I’d probably be dancing (yes, probably a samba, pun intended!).

    Cheers!
    Jo

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