Prior to the launch of her new website, Technique in Blue, Maria Teresa Solomons, Instructor Trainer with the International Association for the Development of Apnea, (AIDA), was invited by Dora Sandoval, owner of the Rocio del Mar Liveaboard, to be the guest speaker and freediver for a trip to the Revillagigedos (Socorro )Islands, Mexico. Whilst aboard she talked to the clients about her freedive experiences – and whilst they were SCUBA diving, she played around them, and below them to depths where the White tip sharks and the Hammerheads were circling.
Subsequent to this Maria Teresa joined the Rocio del Mar again in her capacity as a freediver and voice for conservation and was interviewed for the November 2012 issue of the magazine MEXICO DESCONOCIDO. (Photos by Javier Sandoval.)
There are four major dive locations on the Revillagigedos Islands as they are known in Mexico. “Vamos a Bucear” entrepreneur, Saul Ramirez, filmed this video in the waters around the Socorro Islands in the Pacific about 40hrs south of Baja California Sur on one of the sea mounts called Roca Partida, which is famous for its huge vertical rock wall,. It is still considered one of the most pristine marine environments despite the fact that it still comes under threat of long-liners and illegal fisheries, and for certain if you ever have the luxury to enjoy diving here – you will undoubtedly swim amongst the huge Pacific Manta which congregate in certain cleaning areas as well as dive amongst some of the resident sharks or whales that visit the area.
Maria Teresa is in the process of arranging a future visit to the Revillagigedos later this year. She will be leading an introductory 4-day freedive-Yoga Integrated Training clinic with extended freediving for the more advanced freediver. She will direct the group discussions together with an expert Life Coach, and together will invite you to explore the nature of Self-Awareness through the art of form and movement in the water using techniques from meditative yoga disciplines.
If you simply prefer to remain a dedicated SCUBA diver the clinic will help you develop better breathing habits and will look at methods of relaxation essential to freediving which are skills directly transferable to SCUBA. You will not only be able to establish patterns that will empower your diving but also recognize those that might have been disempowering you. The end result you will come away with will be an improvement in body awareness in the water and therefore improved air consumption.
If you are a keen photographer, either as a freediver or SCUBA diver the breathing, relaxation and breath-hold skills will help you be more at ease underwater and learn to perhaps work more in tune with the environment around you. Of course when time is the essence, you could still choose to complete your experience of life on a Macro scale and finish your trip on SCUBA remembering one of the cardinal rules to NEVER FREEDIVE AFTER SCUBA.
If you are passionate about wildlife then this is a unique opportunity to dive with some of the most majestic creatures in the sea. The waiting lists are long and the permits to go there are restricted.
In yoga the body and mind are not considered to be separate entities and in practicing the postures, or asana in Sanskrit, both are integrated and harmonised. Where the body and mind harbour tension there will be a corresponding mental or physical, muscular knot. By dealing with these tensions on a physical level yoga helps to release them also on a somato-psychic level- through this body-mind connection. The result is a release of dormant energy. Regular practice of asana will leave you feeling more energised, the body feels lighter and the mind becomes balanced, and more positive.
Surya Namaskara (sanskrit) Sun Salutation
The physical base of the Surya Namaskara practice consists of twelve postures, asanas linked in a dynamically performed series which alternately stretch the spine backwards and forwards. Each asana should be done focusing on alternate inhalation and exhalation. The twelve dynamic asana help to stretch, strengthen, tonify and massage the whole body, muscles, and joints as well as the internal organs. One of the core asana in the Surya Namaskara is Adho-Mukha-Svanasasana.
Adho-Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog
This asana is extremely important in yoga as it is an inversion and requires as much the physical strength of the arms and legs as it does the freedom and flexibility of the upper back and shoulders. As a restorative asana with the heart and head below the waist, it can be repeated many times, and helps relieve fatigue, rejuvenate the body, improve the immune and digestive systems and direct blood flow to the sinuses, calm the mind and lift the spirits. At the same time it is a posture that requires strength and tonifies the spinal nerves and improves circulation in the arms, legs and upper back especially between the shoulder blades.
Bakasana – Crane or Crow Pose
This asana belongs to a group of postures known as hand balances. The simple method of achieving it is by crouching and positioning the knees a little above the elbows and by keeping the elbows bent. The more advanced method is to push up from a head stand and then by subtly contracting the abdominal muscles and squeezing the legs against the arms straighten the arms and holding the gaze fixed on an object in front of you.
Bakasana helps balance the nervous system, tone the shoulders, arms and hand muscles and strengthen the abdominal muscles and internal organs. It requires patience, continual practice and more co-ordination than physical strength!
NICE Magazine, July 2012, La Paz