I will be explaining the methodology of this yoga technique, called, Uddiyana Bandha, (Definition: Abdominal lock. The second of the three interior body “locks” used in asana and pranayama practice to control the flow of energy),and several others, with Pranayama breath control exercises as part of the advanced courses and Instructor courses.
I have 15yrs of experience in yoga and meditation awareness techniques and have seen the growth of Apnea as a sport before AIDA was even a formal concept, and certainly before the mainstream realised the importance of some of the aspects of the 8-limbs of yoga. The yoga exercises shown here and several more used in the context of freediving, have been adopted over the years, I’d hazard a guess to say, by almost ALL FREEDIVING SCHOOLS. You don’t have to be a wild yogi, or a committed one – but train right because what is taught should be taught well and with respect for the roots of a sacred tradition. And even if you scorn the tradition, I think it would be difficult to scorn the advances in freediving over the last few years. Look at the techniques of the world champions and lesser champions because they are where they are because they pay homage to the intelligence of what the philosophy holds. Those techniques are not new inventions!
I have added below, a summary of the roots of FREEDIVE LUNG STRETCHES AND BREATH-AWARENESS TECHNIQUES, but have used the Sanskrit terms as their analogy, just in case you had never thought to research them deeper. If you take away the idea of Samadhi, (bliss or Oneness with the divine), for you – just be aware that everything about the search to dive deeper into yourself, as represented in my life experience for example, by freediving, touches upon the powerful ideas and practice contained in both dhyāna and dhāraṇā……….( see following context..)
In the Ashtanga (“eight limbs”) preceding dhyāna is dhāraṇā, the sixth stage, step or limb of eight elucidated by Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga.
Dhāraṇā (from Sanskrit धारणा dhāraṇā) is translated as “collection or concentration of the mind (joined with the retention of breath)”, or “the act of holding, bearing, wearing, supporting, maintaining, retaining or “firmness, steadfastness. Dhāraṇā may be translated as “holding”, “holding steady”, “concentration” or “single-minded focus”. It is the initial step of deep concentrative meditation, where the object being focused upon is held in the mind without consciousness wavering from it. (Felt during all the stages of advanced freediving or by an accomplished freediver).
In Dhyana, the 7th stage of ashtanga, and therefore a more advanced step towards the end goal of Samadhi, the final step in the eight-fold path of Yoga meaning “to bring together, to merge.”, the meditator becomes more advanced, the consciousness of the act of meditation disappears, and only the consciousness of being/existing and the object of concentration exist (in the mind). (the GLIDE?!)
In the final stage of Samādhi, the ego-mind also dissolves, and the meditator becomes one with the object, (which in a spiritual sense, is generally, God,or the self, which is seen as an expression of God). In the state of Samadhi the body and senses are at rest, as if asleep, yet the faculty of mind and reason are alert, as if awake; and one goes beyond consciousness.
In all my teaching, my approach is about personal awareness development and humility which I think is essential in the growth of the individual as well as the athlete. The exercises are practical and accessible to everyone. Courses both in English and Spanish, although I do not work with the AIDA texts in Spanish YET! This means we read in English and work all the theory and ideas as an open discussion and of course learning-based on a lot of practice. I do not restrict the courses to a set time or curtailed schedule – so be prepared for in-depth exposure to the water; and I work one on one – so expect to be drilled, even if you are one of a group of 4. I rarely work with larger numbers an important feature of my courses.
So, like everything, you are free to choose to take from it what you need at any moment in time, and be amazed at the journey!