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What kind of mental concentration?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Hi Michael,

*mmmhhhmmmm* sounds nice, very nice :) .
I know that description from personal experience too, and from literature. It's just perfect...
Csikszentmihalyi calls this state "Flow". Flow is a state that can occur if the demands of the situation and your abilities match exactly. Everything comes easily without thinking. So as far as my understanding goes it involves some action - doing something - which could be an explanation why you experienced it during CW but not Statics (just a guess, though).
What I experienced during statics - exclusivly there - didn't resemble Flow though I don't know what it was. It rather was some form of total concentration without thinking about anything, combined with a feeling that is very hard to describe. Perhaps "being one" with the water and the state of holding my breath itself comes closest ?

Gee, am I getting weired :duh :eek: ?

Originally posted by Veronika

It rather was some form of total concentration without thinking about anything

Sigh that is something I am searching for. Actualy not only for Freediving but for personal needs. I feel the urgent need to be able to concentrate and relax without having loads of memories and other stuff rushing in my mind :(


the state i try to achieve is a condition of almost falling asleep where the mind is at ease and i don't make any effort
congratulations sky to the new pb!

maintaining any specific thought. that leads to statics or dives where i literally forget that i hold my breath. those usually are the most pleasent experiences and time-wise they tend to be quite good also. for diving a good warm-up is key. for statics it helps to do longer breathing preperation. sometimes up to an hour.

during warm-ups i spend most of my time conentrating on individual muscles and trying to relax them as much as possible. somewhere this was refered to as 'body-scan'-meditation.

also: i'd be interested what kind of visualisations any of you do during statics.

I have managed to get in the zone before. It's when the urge for air goes away and the only reason you need to come up is because you start to get a bit dizzy.
Hi everybuddy,
I recommend for the absolute beginners first to try a freediving school and then after to start own experiments at a 4+ min level.

Anyway, my static preparation is against all odds:

no relaxation before, last food - 5 h

-3 min: Select a TV channel

-2 min:
Start with 10 strong, deep, full inhales, short passive exhales. Only the last exhale is long, active and relaxing.

0 min:
When I feel a prickle on my teeth then I know that I'm full of oxygen, I smile and let me fall in a long long adventure ...
Originally posted by zawi
0 min:
When I feel a prickle on my teeth then I know that I'm full of oxygen,
Sorry, but that's a sign of being low on CO2 (hypocapnic) rather than being high on O2 - though there is some claim that hyperventilation might increase venous blood O2 saturation.
Anyway, hpyerventilation to that extent (when you feel tingling) is questionable by some for doing wet apnea, especially for diving.
There's alot of info about that here...
Just thought I'de correct you and throw a warning, so you'll know better about what you're doing. :)
Hi Michael,
I don't think its hyperventilation because my exhales are short and passive, and not strong enough to reduce the CO2 level significantly. My breathing pattern is more to pump O2 in my body than to remove CO2.

A similar prickle I feel if I do something like packing in my deep dives and this is definitely not hyperventilation.

Anyway I agree that hyperventilation is not a good practice ...
I don't know of any sign of "full of oxygen", hyperventilation doesn't necesseraly means that you panted, it means that you lowered you blood CO2 level below normal. It's a vague definition, but what it means is that even with slow breathing you can hyperventilate.
Your blood is 95%-100% oxygenated anyway, you don't need to breath in a spesific way for 2 minutes to get it superoxygenated.

It sounds prefectly logical to me that you might get the same signs with packing as well.
Both packing and hyperventilation can get you temporarly low on O2 supply for the brain.
Hi again,
According to your hype-definition it seems to me difficult to achieve a 6+ min static without any touch of hyperventilation, especially if you are not a yogi.

BTW, what is your breathing pattern for the last 2 min ?
I agree on Deepthought consisting the o2 level in blood. I myself am far away from having a fix pattern which I could describe in detailed tmie frames but I mainly breath in deep at normal speed. To then breath out very very slowly. That I do for a few mnutes before the attempt (maybe not long enough I am working on that) Then I'd say soemthing about the last 5 breaths are inhale and exhale on quite normal speed.

I try hard to avoid hyperventilation.


Originally posted by zawi
Hi again,
According to your hype-definition it seems to me difficult to achieve a 6+ min static without any touch of hyperventilation, especially if you are not a yogi.

BTW, what is your breathing pattern for the last 2 min ?
Well, it is a tricky buiss, but it's been done. And it's not my hype-definition.
There are 3 common definitions I encountered:
1) Any kind of breathing that will get you hypocapnic.
2) Any kind of controlled breathing (even more strict definition).
3) Breathing at a rate of X breaths per minute (which is obviously wrong since it differs too much from person to person).

I think the first definition is the one that is more relevant to us.

Anyway, I'm not saying that there should be a strict no hyperventilation of any kind to any kind of discipline. I was just pointing at what might have lead to a gross mistake (tingling=O2 loaded). Maybe we should call it excessive hyperventilation? ;)

I Don't do any statics at the moment, never sticked with them for a long period, and my breathup varies.
But in general it's about 4 full breaths per minute, emphasis on slow exhale. Also taking about 1-2 second stop between each exhale/inhale phase. Sometimes it's 3, sometimes it's 5. Depends on mood feeling and what preceded that hold.
About relaxation and heart beat:

I found out that my static preparation does't effect neither my heart beat, nor expand the relaxing time DURING static.

After 3 min the relaxing part of my statics is gone, independent if I just jumped on the sofa, or resting before ...
Even the TV program has no effect ...

But for me statics is neither philosophy, nor competition, its simply training for deeper dives, and I am afraid when I dive 30 m I never feel relaxed.

Bye and thanks for the nice discussion!
"autogenic training patterns"

Hi -- can someone explain what is described in the "autogenic training patterns from the freediver manual" mentioned in the above thread? Is this the technique where you concentrate on relaxing specific parts of the body (one hand, arm, foot, face, etc)?

There are several ways to relax while you are breath holding and each person has a different preferation!!

i prefer to tell myself a story or to recall one of my trips abroad (times that I had fun)!!

some people concentrate on sounds, or stare at an object, some people use yoga methods like imagining that a line of light is going through your body and relaxing every area its going through...

also you should try and see if you are more comfortable with eyes shut or open!!!

good luck!
i like songs even though they remind me of time they are good and my rule when i have control of the stop play pause buttons on the music player is i can't hear the rest of the favorite song unless i listen in apnea. so wanting to hear the whole song i push on.
I'm relatively new to freediving but have studied physiology for many years. The brain does in fact use a large percentage of available oxygen, so simpler/relaxing thought would logically seem to work better. What works for me, so far, is more of a meditation/visualization state. I've often found that when having trouble getting to sleep, the thought that makes me relax and sleep is imagining that I am swimming with whales at night, under moonlight, and as we all dive, things get blacker and colder and I can feel the immense pressure of the water. I know, it sounds like drowning or something stressful, but it relaxes me. It's more like a strong hug from a loving source. I've found that when practicing apnea, I get the best body response when I imagine what it is like for a whale to hold its breath and gracefully slip into the depths, moving slowly yet gliding through the water smoothly. I imagine that the whale feels safe underwater, at peace with it and soothed by it. I know, it sounds sappy, but...it's fun and is very relaxing and seems to bring on the dive response more rapidly. Freediving, for me, is my stress release so this all works very well together. It is possible that music, or counting, or remembering prime numbers or many digits of pi could work better, but they aren't as entertaining to me ;-))
The brain does in fact use a large percentage of available oxygen, so simpler/relaxing thought would logically seem to work better

Do you know if this consumption varies depending on what tasks the brain is performing?
There has been significant research on brain oxygenation during tasks, as it is used as a method to assess areas of brain activity-circulation patterns in the brain are variable based on what its needs are in different areas. The arterial system that feeds the brain can constrict or dilate, changing blood flow to different areas that need less or more blood. Here are some examples:
Fluctuations in the cerebral oxygenation state dur... [Med Biol Eng Comput. 1997] - PubMed result
Changes in cortical blood oxygenation during arith... [J Neural Transm. 2009] - PubMed result
Cerebral blood flow and BOLD responses to a memory... [Neuroimage. 2007] - PubMed result
Functional brain mapping of the relaxation respons... [Neuroreport. 2000] - PubMed result
Basically some of the modern technology used to map out brain functions and better understand them use measurements of circulation in the brain to see which areas are hard at work and which are not, during specific stimulations or mental exercises. This leads me to the conclusion that doing something that your mind has to work at will make you burn more oxygen than doing something that makes your mind more inactive and relaxed. My opinion is that when we dive with apnea, we are activating more of the "primitive brain"; dive response etc, and more structured logical-calculating thought may be counterproductive to that. Even the way we swim, undulating using only core musculature, uses the more primitive midline parts of the cerebellum. Using arms and hands like in a freestyle stroke evokes more "modern" parts of the brain. That's just my idea though, as I haven't tried to research that one yet ;-)
hope that helps
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