As scuba divers, we have a superpower. We breathe underwater, allowing us to explore the “other” 70 percent of our planet. To achieve maximum comfort and ease when we dive, we must master our breathing.
Not every situation we encounter as divers offers swimming-pool-like conditions like those in which we learned. As we continue exploring, we often experience currents and different conditions and environments. We become photographers, black-water divers, deep divers, and participate in underwater cleanups. We seek adventure. My heart races just thinking about filming an underwater feeding frenzy—and yet the golden rule of scuba diving keeps me breathing slowly, no matter what. Becoming a master of your breath helps you succeed in every underwater environment—as well as your life on land.
The more thrilling the environment, the more likely you are to unconsciously suck up air.
SLOW IS PRO
When learning to dive, we are taught to breathe slowly and deeply. People interpret these two words very differently. If you are a guy, you might want to forget the word deep. Usually, when a man hears the words slow and deep, he tends to fill his lungs to absolute capacity, inhaling and exhaling gallons of air in one breath. This is not necessary when scuba diving. If you naturally are a slow breather and have practiced meditation or yoga, that is the type of efficient breathing we use for scuba diving. Slow breath in, slow breath out. No matter what is happening around us, we must keep our breath under control. Shallow, fast breathers may need to breathe more slowly and deeply. Your goal on every dive is to maintain breath control.
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