Saturday, 5 May 2007

Part 13: A discussion on diving and air consumption: Breathing techniques

Note how far down the list I have put breathing techniques and this is the one people feel holds the magic answer. I firmly believe that if you address all the previously discussed headings, relax and get the basics right, you will see an improvement in your air consumption.

Again, yoga teaches breathing techniques as part of relaxation and there are some things you can try underwater. It is widely accepted that in diving, breathing should be slow and deliberate (as in yoga) using the full normal range of the lungs. I and others have found that reversing your normal pattern of breathing can really help you use air more efficiently hence conserving it.

At rest, your normal breathing pattern will be; breathe in, breath straight out, pause with empty lungs for second or 2 and then repeat.

Try reversing this by breathing in slowly, pausing at the top of the breath, breathing out slowly then immediately in slowly again with no pause at the bottom of the breath. I find I adopt this pattern automatically when diving – try it and see if it works for you.