A peek into our recent Yoga, Pranayama and Freediving retreat in Bohol, Philippines.
Why freediving and yoga + pranayama? It's all about the breath. Breath is the life. In the yoga sutras, it is said:
When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.
~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Our retreat takes place in the beautiful island in Bohol, Philippines. Resting in a tropical beach resort with tranquil oasis garden, we learn first about relaxation and breathing techniques, pranayama techniques and the physiology about breathing, about the autonomic nervous system and how managing the breath can help in deep relaxation and fighting stress.
Then theory session about freediving, what it is about and how the body reacts to breath-hold or apnea. Freediving or breath-hold diving is all about relaxation and proper breathing techniques. The most important safety aspects to never freedive alone, and safety and rescue procedures. After practising breathing sessions we jumped into the pool to try some breath-hold in the water as well as rescue procedures.
The big day was Day 2, bright and early taking a traditional banca boat to the island of Balicasag, which is a marine sanctuary. Blessed with deep walls and healthy coral reefs, amazing marine life awaited us to explore by freediving. First we enjoyed a yoga stretch with the ocean view, before plunging into the depths of the ocean in the most eco-friendly way to explore the oceans. We saw turtles, colourful soft corals, different schools of fishes and some fun swim-throughs.
Finally our last morning spent first with some meditation walking and then with an absolutely amazing view of Alona beach at Amorita resort for a rejuvenating morning yoga session and more pranayama techniques, focusing on our breath and withdrawing the senses and purification of the nadis through anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing).