More than a passion, become a rhythm of life and being an integral part of my everyday life, I practice the free diving.

The simplest of my activities because we can practice permanently so much the diversity of this sport allows us to find under diverse forms of the moments of pleasure.

The most complicated also because exactly when we reach a certain level, the time and the money can be brakes important to consider.

My objective here will be to give examples of the various possibilities to approach this discipline and how to evolve with its own capacities and the simplest possible organization.

I introduce myself like one of my idols, Master MULINS!

David MESMACQUE “ABYSSE” – Tall and skinny. 187cm, 79kg, VC=068l no packing, 08.9l with packing. Impulsion au repos : 54 bpm.

PR STA : 8“35′ (10/2014) 7″34′ (08/2012) 7″22′ (10/2011) 6″48′ (juin 2010)

I shall give particular explanations and my felt onto the physical and mental aspect of my person, implying only what I was able to observe since almost 40 years on what I know best in this practice “myself”.

In the free diving sport as in quite different sport, the mental has an immediate effect on the result. The psychological control optimizes the physical preparation before a competition and facilitates the recovery.

How the mental preparation allows me to strengthen my state of confidence, to manage the stress of a test, to stimulate me psychologically and physically before the effort, to be positive and above all to strengthen the knowledge of my body and my state, to quote only the main things.

This preparation adapts itself irreparably to all those who aim at the optimization of their potential, whom it is intellectual, sporty or still even emotional (we shall approach the various subjects one by one).

 At first, in free diving, mental preparation is often associated with “Yoga”, each remembers states of waiting of our precursor to all, Jacques Mayol, who started each of its experiences by a session of yoga and associated respiratory exercises.

 For my part, I kept only some positions of Yoga which interest me more particularly for various aspects: comfort, beauty of the position (it is good also to throw positive images of your “state”), facilitated by respiratory practice etc.

But the dominant feature of my concentration and of my force of training is more centered in the practice of the Qi-gong.

There : MENGZI citation (372-289 AD) which accompanies me since many years: « The man must continuously look after himself, not to lose innate goodness. Thanks to the control of his breathing, he must inspire and exhale the breath of the world »

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  • Breathing

It is essential in my opinion to control totally its breath, to know well how to breathe is already good but far from being sufficient if we want to push the limits a little farther, what is most frequently observed at free-divers, whoever is their level!

Each of us possesses a more or less good exploited but exploitable respiratory potential!

We use to the everyday life only a low percentage of our vital capacity, personally I even waited to feel at ease very completely before trying to integrate other methods of breath and in particular the “carp” technic which I shall detail a little later “

I besides frequented a club of famous maid, certain members were practically applied every apnea to this technique but I didn’t feel the need to integrate it !

And then the release was made by the fact that I thought of being a hitch but it is simply that my body allowed it me at this precise moment and my spirit was loosened of any anxiety in front of the unknown. I have much more quickly that I imagined it integrated totally this new technique to realize time and the distances wished by certain disciplines but before any, this technique allows me to work the elasticity of my rib cage, what is not unimportant for the practice of certain activities.

I think that the fact of having disregarded this possibility during my diligent presence to the club, allowed me to train myself below my possibilities and as I “released”, the distance with my reference results was observable.

The general progress in this discipline is generally rather slow but as specified it Umberto Pellizarri (that I greet on the passage:-)) on the occasion of a very instructive training course ” Apnea academy “, it is necessary to know how to settle purposes to be reached and mine was well and truly of 7mn30 in statics in 2011.

My progress was the following one: 6′ 02 ” in February, 6′ 14 ” in April, 6′ 48 ” in June, 7′ 34 “in August. (2011)

So that my history is complete, I have to specify you that I had never timed my performances before 2009, I contented with taking pleasure to make my lengthes in swimming pool, to come down uninhibitedly at sea and “to play” to remain as long as possible “hidden” in the water to surprise my circle of acquaintances…

In August, 2009, it is in the swimming pool warmed in 29 ° of my friend Fabian, that I realized 5′ 05″, my young friend and coach Stéphane happy of my new performances encouraged me to continue in this way and the registration to the club was the logical result.

Some precisions are imperative: :

My respiratory preparation completes pass boorishly by 3 phases:

- The abdominal breath

- The thoracic breath

- The association both + the “carp” maintaining occasionally…

Very often articles dealing with the breath are either directed slightly too medical, or too technical or too much “dictionaries” …

I am rather going to give you my felt with regard to my experience and the various sharings made with people whom I met on the occasion of my travels and activities.

The breath said “abdominal” or still “Buddha” is a breath used in numerous cases and in numerous disciplines to eliminate the stress, in this type of respiratory exercise, the diaphragm acts as a piston. Make the test, take a good inspiration by trying not to send air at the top lungs, you go to feel this famous diaphragm acting, maybe that before, you do not realize it of the whole, this time is past.

For the most hardened, know that the work on the diaphragm allows to go well limits, we shall return there.

When I work in this way, I repeat several times the exercise to become aware of obtained sensations. In another context, he allows me to repeat a rite before the practice of a static or dynamic apnea or still to make a particular descent.

It is one of respiratory exercises which helps to breathe better, it favors the relaxation and many techniques of relaxations begin with breaths of this type.

The breath said “Thoracic” or still “Tarzan” is a breath of positioning, it allows to swell before an action as to give a cry for example, this time you realize a deep inspiration but you leave the brought in stomach (for those who can! ;-) )

It is in certain cases definite that I use the association of this two breathing. Then I supplement them or not by an inspiration forced according to my form and to my mood and as well sure of my objectives (new I remind you of it).

Another precision is imperative, when you participate in competitions, time(weather) of preparation are fixed in a way, it is good to become used in these reference time(weather) so so much is that you participate in these competitions well on.

For my part, still not knowing it because it was not my priority until then, I base myself on an exercise of mental of 15mn and respiratory exercises of 15mn also, then I make two static apneas of warm-up and I realize my “official” time. Well, you know everything of my organization!

Whatever is the place !

In front of the sea in full meditation before diving again in a very cold water !

Let us return in my modest presentation:

An absolute rule is to force never, never to try to surpass itself without having got ready for it previously! A lot of apnéistes have sudden diverse traumas or lived more or less grave incidents because they had not “got ready” for this eventuality and thought that the body would always follow! And well know that it is far from being the case, otherwise the champions would not be there and everybody would reach the same result without preparation …

  • Visualisation or mental imagery

This technique is imperative in any practice, every time you want to realize an action or an exploit, try to represent yourselves to it mentally and when you will have reached there, it is highly likely that you managed to obtain the expected result.

Always with regard to my experience, at time which pilots motorcycle, I represented myself the passages in curve, I saw my slope with regard the side wind, I imagined my reaction in case of rough braking in front of me or further to a fall etc. Then in snowboard, my first one 360 ° was repeated dozens of times mentally and he stood out without embuche the come day! Moreover several times then after long period without practising, I thought of realizing it always so easily without repeating it to me and it was the assured fall!

In apnea, and particularly in constant weight, not only I repeat my actions(shares), me “revise” them but also I think of the interest of my descent, the pleasure which I feel, the objective which I wish to reach etc.

In dynamics, I think again about the corrections of my entraineurs various but also I visualize movies presenting my defects and my key points to keep only the positive etc.

Finally in statics, I visualize the totality of the time of my trainings and I plan a pleasant continuation if I feel good and especially if I keep full consciousness of my state to be well!

I never fight if the sensation of struggle does not bring me satisfaction, on the other hand if I am good, the hardship is on no account a suffering.

The objective of this mental revision is first of all to relax, then to concentrate on images, places or events which will occupy all your spirit either freely, or for a while given.

The visualization has to be the richest possible in detail and you can even integrate the technical movements repeated during your trainings so that they are perfected. I work on it from now on during sessions of dry apnea, which I realize with regard to my objectives to achieve of self-abnegation more than with regard to results to be reached in term of stopwatch!

I sometimes welcome moreover competitors at my home in the forest and we work on these essential points, all left satisfied and more successful!!!

To stay lucid is essential for the end of your time to realize, indeed, the risks during an apnea are to cause a Samba or worse a syncope. If you remain aware of your state and if your preparation was made without cheating with you even (conscious or unconscious) you should avoid this kind of even dangerous unpleasant situation.

During the trainings, your body stores a large number of information, internal bound to your senses: the sense of smell, the taste, the view, the touch, the hearing and the externs bound to your close environment what leads physical and psychic sensations. It belongs to you to know how to replace them in the time of your visualization without lying to you.

Question asked on the risks of practice of certain exercises as the hatha-yoga Let us re-place the hatha-yoga, in west, it is a practice of purely physical exercises, contrary to its origins aiming at the spiritual liberation.

Always in Occident, the great majority sessions of yoga articulates around some positions organised according to the levels of the participants and the objective of session. Breathing is worked in a different way according to schools and to their origins. A session by an instant of relaxation is often ended. At any rate, a good professor will teach you the respect for your body. Positions can be static or dynamic and always require a particular respiratory order for the simplest exercises.

As in the Qi-gong, some experience is needed to take a position in a relaxation “structured «, with a regular breathing and to respect vertebral alignment (co-ordinated in dynamics) with the alignment of other parts of the body.

Positions have different impacts:

•           stretching exercises, which favour muscular relaxation and relieve pain coming from tensions.

•           The massages of the internal organs, by successive compression and decompression (worked in apnea for preparation in deep descents)

•           concentration and some self-knowledge, to be possible contract muscles necessary for architecture of position or in the opposite slacken those who oppose to it.

Here shortly, nothing dangerous so as long is that they respect that all aspects of an approach towards the unknown world whatever it is and that the quality of the supervision to autonomous discovery is favoured when they want to explore its body a little farther than the daily allows it to us …

• The linked breathing called “Pranayama”

She is also known to apnéïstes because apparait often in the reading of works dregs in this discipline.

In Hatha-yoga, four basic stages are explored: inspiration, retention full lungs, expiration and retention empty lungs. In the advanced levels of practices, which once again confide with experienced persons who will be able to supervise you, other stages can be explored.

I won’t go to detail these different exercises, but I will remind simply the aspects that I recall in this presentation and only those linked or linked to the preparation of apnea:

•           Job of the one or some of these four stages,

•           Possibly the speed and regulates him of execution (idem for the IQ-gong)

•           Breathing by alternating the left and right nostril or both nostrils together

•           Some exercises of IQ-gong include a production or an absence of sound, we will come back there later …

Principles and rules to be noticed when they begin!

Various movements and positions require a soft and flexible execution, a progressive training to subject its body to tensions or pressures always controlled.

It is necessary to remain vigilant and in the listening of his body, research is in precision, the collection and the control on long term, under no circumstances you have to to pass your capacities physical appearance.

Practice must be made in harmony with one, with nature and its circle. They try to eliminate the tensions of the daily, not to cause it …

In practice, no need of bodily prowess, positions are to acquire according to your tastes and to your requirements.

In its purely physical aspect, Haṭha-Yoga postpones only not enough physical or sports training.

Conclusion on Hatha-yoga (and for me mainly the Qi-gong):

By respecting these principles which are mine, you will teach in the course of the months, to breathe better, to concentrate you, to improve your amplitudes of movements, to link your exercises to your objective to be attained (there still I come back especially towards apnea diving).

Never copy on the visible results of your neighbor but try to get your own satisfaction in what will be ” your practice “.

Finally, small precision linked to apnea, for expiration work that you must favor, you will favor a better functioning of the diaphragm. This deepening of breath will also help you to diminish the flux of thoughts.

Necessary and imperative concentration will allow you to regulate your speed, address and coordination. From the point of view of yoga (as in the Qi-gong), to persist in postural stability, favors concentration and after, psychological stability and control necessary for approach and dynamic practice.

Practice regularly and in a quiet ambience and without competition. You will be all set when the instant will have come for other aspects (waited sports results, deep diving, physical occasional pressure etc.)

I offer you on this blog some examples of dailies trainings and results if there are in relation to …

Little style exercice with Vince :-)

Après des exercices similaires avec mon binôme féminin à New-York, c’est au tour de Vince de se prêter au jeu improbable de se laisser trainer dans une apnée calme et paisible !

My avatar : “Explonations”

You’re several to ask me the details so I’d like to introduce that interesting subject about it :-)

Marbella Août 2012, deep 35m

Hung on the anchor, I waited for my partner of dive to make our ascent together, it is a great memory, the conditions were exceptional but it was also the sharing with a wonderful binomial with whom I have already shared hundreds of fabulous descents and hundreds of hours of training of any kinds and everywhere.

When the sea is quiet as it was the case, the anchor served us as deep mark, to reach this anchor and to hang on to it by taking advantage of moment was for me the most beautiful reward.

In this depth the sun drills hardly the sea and we are under the influence of the silence, the pressure in 35m feels the effects little and I adored waiting by taking advantage as much as possible of these magic moments :-)

There if you want to create your own avatar, you have to find your ideal picture that is corresponding on you and just click on that link : https://fr.gravatar.com/site/signup/

Have fun and see you soon,

David Mesmacque

This post is also available in : German, Spanish

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