Teachings of the depths

Teachings of the depths

A photographic love letter to the teachings of freediving and acquaintance with oneself through sport and breath.

This weekend I had the opportunity to train for myself at the pool I normally spend time teaching at – Némo33. With a group of friends old and new, from Paris. It is one thing freediving, and another thing teaching freediving, and since July I have mostly spent time doing the latter while somewhat lazily letting the former rest on the training back burner, not really managing to connect with opportunities to take care of my own breath practice other than by taking care of life’s demanding responsibilities mindfully.

It was a great time finding a path in the full space of mind and body through lungs, heart and brain work. It had been a while since I’d experienced the depth’s pressure on my sternum, and it came with precious sensations. Speaking with very experienced statics freedivers also helped me understand why I experienced migraines after teaching long hours in the pool and how to prevent them. And as it always does for me, focusing on the pleasure of the practice in a safe setting and connecting with water soothed my thoughts and let me work through feelings that needed attention.

I was so tired afterwards I crashed for a three-hour nap in which I dreamt of an old friend Peter who I discussed the kelp forest and life with, while painstakingly, patiently pulling out one urchin’s needle at a time from the flesh of my thumb and gazing at the bleeding hole they left behind.

To honour all of our personal and physical explorations of depths, I wanted to share these three photos of me taken by Fede at the end of my level 2 instructor training. I like to think that the order in which they are presented translates an invitation to turn away from ‘normal’ life from time to time to familiarize ourselves with the darker regions in us fully and enjoy the precious teachings they have to offer. They are not as scary as we think they are.