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do you practice yoga?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Do you practice yoga?

  • yes, ofcourse!

    Votes: 9 56.3%
  • no, but I want to start soon!

    Votes: 5 31.3%
  • ha ha ha!

    Votes: 2 12.5%
  • whats yoga?????????

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


The Arabian Stallion
Feb 5, 2004
If you would have asked me a few years ago if I would like to join a yoga class, I would have laughed in your face! but today after I have been in the world of freediving for a while I find it acceptable and even important!

what do you guys think!

My only problem I believe that when I know I'm in a great depth i start thinking on the return up! so I need to learn how to relax!

I started learning yoga this week and I'm enjoying it, but I have been practicing pranayama for a year or so!
Well, the choices kind of suck.

How about a simple "no"?

I don't think yoga is laughable, yet I do know (sort of) what it is. The choices leave no option for expressing that I don't practise it without ridiculing yoga or my self (which BTW I'm good at). I want to do neither.

I've never felt any need for it and although there is all that talk about how yogis can hold their breath for hours, I've yet to see a freediver that blows everybody else out of water because of it. To me it makes little difference whether or not a claim that a "Yogi" somewhere can hold his breath for hours is plausible or not. It may or may not be. For me, what makes a difference is "show me how this improves my diving". Yeah, I guess I'm a bit "corrupted by western thinking" in that sense, but I'm quite happy with that.

I don't think Yoga is BS, but I do think there's nothing supernatural about it. Stuff you can propably learn anyway without the need to call it "yoga". I also think that for an average freediver, there's much unnecessary and pointless excersises that in reality have nothing to do with anything. I'm not saying it couldn't help you in freediving or becoming a better person. But I don't feel the need for it personally at this stage of my life. The essence of Yoga is propably very useful for divers, but I have neither the will or time to skim the "fat" that I would invariably run into were I to take a local Yoga class. I don't see how tightening my spinchter would help my diving...(On second thought, maybe that would be useful on really long statics, eww). The breathing and mental exercices do make a lot of sense, but I firmly believe that for a beginner the same result can be reached with "western" training methods as well. There's nothing mystical about learning to breathe or concentrate, to control the diaphgram and learning to relax. To really get to the "12 minute breath-holds" part, you'd have to devote you whole being into it. Suits some people, but I'm not one of them quite yet.

Maybe I'll look into it once I stop making progress with western methods...
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hello jome!

I understand your reasoning! but I'm talking about the point beyond beginner freediving when you are looking to improve more and more and feel utmost relaxation underwater at depths above 30m!!!

thank you for your observation!

I used to think just like you! but after I saw the great improvemnet in other experienced ( and some proffesional) freedivers skill when they started learning yoga I decided to try it also!
I’m hopelessly addicted!

Thanks to Adrian, my roommate at the PFD clinic, I’m addicted to Yoga! :chatup I took 3 semesters of it way back in college, and didn’t really see the benefit, plus I didn’t like all the introverts who were into then so I quit for most of my life. Then Adrian, a yoga master, and a supper nice and outgoing individual changed my mind.

Now I own 5 videotapes and feel completely out of sync until I get my yoga fix each day. With freediving and statics with an oxymeter, it easy to see the difference it makes, which is something I never could in college.

The problem is, if I don’t do it for a day, I feel worst :blackeye :crutch than I ever did when I wasn’t doing it. Maybe it’s all relative. If you don’t know what feeling good is, you don’t know your not feeling good.

I don’t know much about it, but one of my tapes is Hatha Yoga and on this tape they go faster and don’t stay in each position as long. This doesn’t work as well for me. The slow, hold the position for several seconds, type seems to give me the most benefits.
I have to admit I haven't tried it. Perhaps I should before passing too much judgement ;)
This is a VERY vast subject. i have practiced different styles including Pranayama over time and yes it has bennefits. i have also practiced some much more esoteric and advanced forms of meditations/posture techniques wich also have great advantages. the benefits of these persuits go well beyond the aid for freediving and encompass the progress of our being as a whole, through our journey here on earth. find what works for you at this point in time, do it, and when you feel ready, move on to the next...
About 30 years here.
I used to feel lousy when I didn't do it. now I can kind of readjust something and this does not happen. I think the practice, rightly engaged, becomes subtler - not in terms of detail (a common error) - but consciousness. <PS - it was fast work hitting the timer on the camera, running out into that field and getting into hanumanasana in ten seconds!! so don't make fun of my form>

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I think Eric F has elucidated this better than I could hope to. He's done alot of very well observed work with pranayama.

I'm just getting going again with freediving after many years of really minimal opportunity - and my asana practice was never specifically targeted to improving any particular activity.

During the past few years my asana practice has been minimal - having been replaced by taiji, meditation and some pranayam. This has been interesting for me in several ways - for example I've had very little loss of flexibility despite the fact that I no longer spend half an our a day with my foot behind my head. Goes to the journey from gross to subtle.

Obviously relaxing deeply, moving with maximum efficiency, and tolerating Co2 are all benefits of right asana/pranayama practice - as well as enhancing the flexibility of your rib cage for very deep dives. I can say that only just this summer getting back into free-diving I've had no problems getting down as deep as I could find in the areas I was able to get to this summer(only about 35 -40 feet - so far) or with endurance, cold tolerance (despite VERY cold thermalclines and an ill fitting 3/2 surf suit - no hood or gloves)

The bulk of my diving was only to about 25 feet this summer - but I did spend longish periods of time sitting down there waiting for carp - or foraying out under the boating traffic and back wth no problems. I certainly outpaced my 16-year-old daughter and my tennis-playing brother in law in terms of breath-holding capacity. By a factor of probably at least 6.

Turned 50 in July :)
I don't have time to write much... but here is a thought.

Try this:
- Hold your breath for 4-5 minutes (or at least 60 seconds of contractions)
- At the end, exhale so slowly that it takes you 40 seconds or more to exhale--do this without using your throat to control the flow---ONLY use your diaphragm to control the flow

I'd bet almost anything you are unable to do it. The reason you are unable to do it lies in your nervous system. Your vagus nerve (and other parts of your nervous system) cannot handle the huge electric current which is induced in the vagus nerve.

Pranayama, and asanas, affect mainly your nervous system, when done properly. These effects only happen from yoga or chi-gong, they never happen with ordinary western exercises. I don't care if you are a world class olympic athlete, you still won't be able to do the above exercise.

When I first tried the above exercise I could already do 7'30"+ statics, but I couldn't do a controlled exhale. The secret to the 12 minute static is to block the contractions, and that requires the ability of a controlled exhale.

During the peak of my yoga practice, even as somewhat of a beginner compared to masters, I could stretch out an extra 45 seconds on the end of my statics by blocking the contractions using the controlled exhale method (without exhaling). Without extensive yoga practice, I cannot pull that technique off (for example right now I'd have no hope).

For those who don't understand how your sphincter muscle would help your statics, now you understand; because a controlled exhale requires use of the bandhas.
Throw a big rock - get a nice big sound :)
Eric - I read you here as saying you need to keep the chin slightly tucked posture wise - to effect jalandhara (jalandhara doesn't need a deep contraction of the throat as is sometimes advocated). I've also noticed during breath up I like to feel into the upper back - there is a release there and in the throat that tells me when I've got enough. I understand the exhale during contractions too - though I've not touched the extent you are talking about - i have played with the luxury of control during that ostensibly desperate time. - That deep holding back - with the diaphragm - is very interesting - similar to what is sometimes called 'pensive retention' where the breath is retained but the throat is kept open.

thanks for the insights and suggestion - it's going to be an interesting winter :)
On the subject of asana there is alot to be said. Generally Yoga is currently done with a very horizontal orientation - a kind of endless attention to the minutia of detail in elaborating the asanas toward some idealized conditioning - exploiting an addictive relationship with extremes of sensation and stimulating the lower endocrine system.

My opinion is that asana practice is one of several areas of emphasis that must be allowed to change over time - both within the practice itself - and also into other, more subtle practices. Without understanding it inevitably becomes a mechanical activity.

In the begining asanas are very much about deconditioning the body - an enquiry into psycho physical obstructions and neurological patterns. If they are engaged with too much force the practice can simply push the conditioning deeper. To little and we may fail to rally our attention. At some point it is really necessary to work with pranayama and meditation.

As the body becomes more open - in correct practice - the tissues function differently - there is more internal movement. Some theorize that bioelectricity is actually generated by the fascia sliding over eachother. In a body where the musculature is bound together there is less of this internal motion - whereas in a body that is open and 'deconditioned' simply gently rotating a forearm can release tremendous energy. Asana practice can also develop into 'nerve stretching' wherein one is not only releasing and circulating energy, but increasing the body-mind's capacity for sensation.

In Qigong we see the same work taking place in very simple static poses held for long periods of time. This emphasises that the important element in asana practice is not the degree to which one can execute complex asanas. There are inumerable 'yogis' out there who can do beautiful advanced asanas. Such ability is relatively cheap.

This is kind of hastily written - there is much to be said on the subject. There are also aspects of these practices which are well beyond what I've talked about here - without even starting on Pranayam and meditation - which Eric has discussed very effectively here and elsewhere.
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It'll be interesting to play around with the controlled exhalation technique, see what happens.

On the lighter side of yoga, there's this new freediving meditation technique going around, but you have to do it under a "fin tree". Here's a pic of Kars hard at it! ;)


Next spring I'll get a shot of that with my sporas on :) hmm.. be interesting to see how swimming works..
Which type of yoga is most suitable for freedivers?

I practice shivananda yoga!
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do you guys sometime find that doing yoga puts strain on your knees, or is that just me
It's important to understand that there are exactly 1.3 gazillion asanas and variations. If something is bothering your knees it then change it, or the way you do it, until it doesn't. Asana practice is not a performance art - it should be adapted to your needs - not the other way round.
thanks, this is the first time that somebody has actuall put it to me like that. it was mostly the pranayama pose that was bothering me.
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