Ocean Currents

Reconnecting through Free Diving

© Adam Stern

A guest narrative by Trash Free Seas Intern and free diver, Mathilde Badoud

The beginning of the year is an opportunity to take time, relax and reconnect to your body and your environment.  It is the only moment when the entire year is gently calling you and makes everything possible.The start of this new annual chapter is an ideal moment to set intentions and think about the coming year, personal objectives or commitments.

This year, I set the intentions to cultivate the connection between my mind and my body and to be conscious of my actions and their possible impacts.

There is no better way for me to feel
connected than after a free dive session.

So, to plunge into the subject directly, I started the year by three days of practice of my favorite sport: freeDIVING.

Each free dive is an inner journey between two breathe, in an infinite environment where the only limits are ours.

During the last moments before diving, the environment around you slowly disappears as you get incredibly concentrated, listening carefully to your last deep, long and controlled breaths.

As soon as you disappear under the surface, the diving reflex starts, and among other effects, the heartbeat slows down o conserve O2 and reorganize the blood circulation to vital organs.

All mammals have the diving reflex, including humans. This physiological response is triggered when a mammal’s face comes in contact with cool water.  As a proof, the legendary Jacque Mayol’s heart  (who inspired the movie “Le Grand Bleu”) slowed from 60 to 27 beats per minutes during its dive to 101m in 1976.

Holding the breath helps to release tensions of the body and stop thinking to enter a one-on-one conversation with the body and mind. This ability to calm the mind and let things go opens a state of inner serenity enabling us to push beyond our mental limits.

At this moment, the time stops; the silence settled down, and you gain access to pure sensations, such as the feeling of lightness while flying under the water, or the velvet water’s stroke on the skin. Finally, you gently get back to reality with the small bubbles popping in your ears as you approach the surface.

But free diving is not about going the deepest or holding one’s breath the longest.

First, it teaches us to be aware of our breathing. Breathing gives a tempo to our life and rhythm to our days. Reconnecting to this vital breath helps us live better.

Moreover, this sport is about the pleasure to simply be and feel good under the water.

The practice of free diving enables us to observe and explore the richness of life in total discretion without leaving any traces behind.

As soon as you dive below the surface, an entire and endless world opens its doors.

A world filled with colors, full of mysterious and majestic life dancing on a blue frame.

The Ocean is a source of inspiration, joy, love and wonder…which needs our attention now more than ever. It is our duty to treat this beautiful blue heritage with consideration and respect.

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