JBL Hai-Workshop Bahamy 2018

Holding the breath for 7.5 minutes

Our teacher's world records are impressive: 100 m of distance diving under ice, 61 m of deep diving under ice, 101 m distance diving in a cave and many more. He can hold his breath for 7.5 minutes - which sounds unbelievable. How does that work? Checking our current skills in the pool we found we were between 1 and 2.5 minutes. Only our Scotsman Colin had secretly practiced and already managed over 4 minutes.

We began to learn in the pool how to properly fill our lungs and how to calm the heartbeat with a breathing technique. Such exercises should ALWAYS take place under supervision, as breathing or incorrect breathing may lead to sudden loss of consciousness. These techniques alone helped all of us to much better times.

But the most interesting thing for me was that after a certain amount of time under water we felt that we needed to breathe – long before we really did! Lying in the pool with your face underwater, you involuntarily start to think about how long you’ve been there and the subject of time generally dominates your thoughts. Chris taught us that we should have an imaginary movie in our mind that describes slow, sequential activities. For me it was leaving the house, locking up, going to the car, putting things inside, starting the car etc. This movie occupies our thought processes and stops us thinking about time. But at some point our mind will tell us: "You have no more air and need to breathe!" That’s when the fascinating part of the training starts. Play with your fingers: this takes15 seconds. Put one hand on the edge of the pool, then the other: 15 seconds more. Play piano with your fingers on the edge of the pool instead of ascending: 20 seconds more. And if you now think you are choking, ignore it for a moment, that’s 10 more seconds! All these mind games help you pass a full minute!!! Incredible - none of us would have thought that possible. All of us, apart from our Scotsman, at least doubled the time we could hold our breath.

In the sea it’s totally different, of course, assuming you don’t plan on lying back, relaxing and holding your breath, but on diving down to interact with the sharks.

Because you now have a decreasing lung capacity and pressure equalisation. Moving and using the fins is also a great effort. The long free diving fins are fortunately a big help.

Chris Redl freediving at a depth of 12m. His smooth movements, even during the ascent are worth seeing.

Chris is really happy with his mares fins and anyone watching his calm movements will begin to understand that rushed movements are ALWAYS out of place.

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