Sara Campbell's 'Yoga for Freediving' - Setting the Standard for Freediving Education Online
As a freediving instructor, national record holder and international competitor myself, I have to admit that before I encountered this beautiful, thought-provoking course from former world champion Sara Campbell, I imagined there wasn’t much for me to learn about something so basic, and so integral to freediving performance as relaxation. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It’s probably quite rare these days to find a qualified freediver who hasn’t had at least some experience of yoga. Increasingly, Asana (yoga positions and stretches), Pratyahara (‘turning inward’) and Pranayama (breathing exercises) form an integral part of freediving training for the simple reason that, as Sara put it in her recent interview with Freedive-Earth, “yoga IS freediving” and “freediving IS yoga”. Even if you don’t subscribe to this view, you don’t have to do much yoga to realise that, providing you’re paying attention, it has a way of taking you to places that you never knew existed before.
That’s pretty much how I felt watching the six videos that make up the first instalment of Sara’s brand new “Yoga for Freediving” course entitled “Deep Relaxation” which is on general release now. For a start, the materials are stunning. Shot on location in Sara’s meditation studio on the shores of the Red Sea, and with post-production by international hipster video gurus VHX, it’s a welcome relief for those of us more accustomed to getting our freediving education through clunky powerpoint presentations and sweaty do-it-yourself-in-your-bedroom you-tube clips, to say the least.
The relaxation course, consisting of 6 videos, makes up just one part of this 6 part education program which, to our knowledge is the first of its kind to explicitly explore the links between freediving and yoga for a general audience. For US$50 you get access to over 2 hours of core relaxation material, as well as an additional 22 “how to” videos that introduce key concepts and techniques for yoga. Splash out another $250 on top of that, and it gets personal, with a private online consultation and 3 1:1 sessions with Sara herself. Considering Sara’s level of expertise in this subject, and the fact that she normally charges €200 a day for freediving instruction, I found myself thinking that was pretty good value.
The videos are accompanied by written material designed to guide you step by step through the practical aspects of the course, which is actually pretty helpful: There’s a lot of information in the course altogether and without some kind of structure or guidance about how to use it, I think I’d have found it all a bit overwhelming. The written material helps to break it all down into bite-sized chunks and even includes a training planner to help you fit everything around your existing schedule.
The tone of the whole course is really, really gentle which might not suit the more macho of the Spearos out there. For me personally, though, it was the perfect antidote to that voice in my head that makes me try to approach everything (even - bizarrely - meditation) at 100 miles an hour and a goal in mind.