About Freediving and the Beauty of Breath
© Florian Gruet
The world is breathing at the same time; all together we are exploring. We navigate an ocean of stillness and feelings and we have to find new ways to adapt to the unknown. The earth and nature welcome a new season and all together we are breathing.
Let yourself be taken on a journey with world-class athlete Arthur Guérin-Boëri, guided by his experiences as a Freediving world champion and world records holder. May his key messages find resonance in your everyday life. Arthur specialises in dynamic apnea, a warrior of breath. He is the most renowned French athlete in Freediving history in this discipline.
Freediving is a way to reconnect to nature. It raises consciousness of a strong feeling of living in the moment. With authenticity. Away from the outer world. To embrace it afterwards.
Just a breath in and a breath out…
At this special period in humanity we have all the ingredients of a subject dear to him: self-realization. Facing challenges and risks, having to find a sense of serenity in the unknown, playing with adaptation, getting to know ourselves, mastering resilience and having to form commitments and goals. Patiently tuning inwards to enjoy a new freedom, when you dive deep inside of you.
Freediving is a wellbeing sport based 90% on the power of the mind; a sport-philosophy with huge psychic impacts. You learn to go beyond your limits. Breathing exercises act as a kind of natural doping. You go into deep introspection, learn listening to yourself, your body and thoughts, your own strength and your abilities. Very appealing for the strange times we are currently in.
This discipline demands to go beyond a primary reflex: the desire to breathe, which is different than the need to breathe. It calls for a survival automatism anchored deep within us. Learning to surpass it is mentally demanding, so it allows self-transcendence, a path of self-realization, faith, heroism, and values.
Take another breath…
The world champion loves to explore and reinvent himself by going outside his comfort zone. After breaking the Freediving world record under ice in Finland in 2017, in his wetsuit with his monofin, he will once again face the icy waters of a Finnish lake. In March 2021, he will swim breaststroke, without his monofin, the purest apnea discipline. For that he must prepare his body and mind intensively with cold-water acclimation, demonstrating the incredible capacity of the human adaptation.
The most important thing in life is to become yourself by exploring your potential. It is possible for everybody to access a state of self-realization by surpassing yourself. I don’t go over my limits; I soften them and push them back. We must dare our own adventure; surrender to our destiny, something that transcends us. We have to cultivate and nurture the relation with others, with our body and our breath.
What Freediving can teach you? Inspirational Life notes from Arthur Guérin-Boëri:
Learn to breathe
Learn how to breathe well. Explore how to use your diaphragm, soften the thoracic sphere, the volume of the lung. Practice belly breathing. Place one hand on your stomach, one hand on your chest. Lie down; practice some breath-holding exercises at home even if you are not an athlete or a freediver.
Under water you train to master your breath, focusing on sensations, putting aside the automatic thoughts. Take care of your lungs as they are the filters of the world.
Trust in the capacity of adaptation
The body is a wonderful adaptation engine to its environment. Your mind and body know how to adapt to changes. You just need time and patience. Freedivers’ bodies adapt to the underwater conditions immediately. They have been demonstrating the body’s ability to adapt for years.
Be here and now
Take time for yourself here and now, meeting this moment. When we dive, we savour the time by being both in abandonment and feeling the sensation of sliding, while mastering our breath. Raise consciousness of the strong feeling of living in the moment.
Boost your self-confidence
Learn to know your body and learn to relax to increase your confidence. The regular practice of Freediving creates a shift in the balance, a new self-confidence that invites an opening of consciousness. You will achieve a better awareness of yourself and others around you and create an enormous amount of harmony to everyday life.
Make friends with silence
Silence is a secret place; a sacred space.
The path of self-realization
Self-transcendence allows for self-realization. Surpassing oneself by overcoming oneself mentally or physically. Find out what this means for you. Realize your personal triumphs and don’t to regret what you didn’t dream to do.
Develop your concentration
Without it nothing is possible. Underwater concentration is the primary tool to gain self-control and maturity.
Know how to get into your bubble: relaxation, concentration, and visualization. Explore how to stay in a relaxed state despite the discomforts in life. For a freediver they are the discomforts connected to the desire to breathe. Being at ease with the uncomfortable.
Know yourself better
Freediving forces you to listen to yourself, to understand how your body works, your limits, the sensations, your mental blocks and fears. Coming face to face who you really are. Cultivate the relation with yourself.
Have the courage to go outside your comfort zone as regularly as possible. Play with life in different ways and reinvent yourself. Break free from the comfort that you enjoy all the time, nothing happens without risk taking. Rise above your own limits.
The rhythm of the music
A freediver knows that the most important thing is his rhythm; it is like music to me. It is efficient, slow, quiet and under control. Like the rhythm of life.
Set goals for yourself and commit to them. Learn to go beyond your limits. Set commitments. Nothing happens without effort; it will give you more strength.
Surrender with humility
Freediving is a way of life much needed in our world today: inspiring us to know how to embrace this life without reservation and with resilience. Surrendering to the vast mystery.
Exploring the underwater world always reminds me of why I fell in love with this sport in the beginning. Make your life an example.
Follow Arthur Guérin-Boëri on Instagram and Facebook. He offers conferences and workshops, as well as breathing and relaxation coaching sessions for businesses and individuals.
He participates in various documentary, art, photography projects to sensibilise people to the sea and ocean.
“When you dive deep inside of you..
Graceful silhouette in the arms of the sea,
after passing the games of discomfort,
the barriers of your body,
so focused in your mind, you tame the sensations,
feeling all the feelings.
There’s the in-between.
Between two breaths of air.
Between your exhale and your inhale.
On the wings of an angel, you are flying.
Everything settles in you, so gently.
You find your heart.
For what there is to explore,
for what can be transformed,
you surrender without doubt.
Because this great mystery knows how to carry you.
Lost in these blue waters, your soul can fly.
This silent world fills all the movements of life.
Unfold and opens up, millions of possibilities
In the middle of the natural element,
everything awakens beautifully
The breath of life is dancing in you.
When you dive deep,
Hold on anyway in that inner travel
True power, within you.”
P.s.: The stunning images showcased in this article are brought to you by the talented Mr Alex Voyer.