swimming and yoga
How much do you know about swimming?
Other than plenty of physical benefits you can gain from swimming, like building cardiovascular fitness and boosting muscle strength, to name just a few, what I want to share with you today are some of its byproducts related to mental health which you may not realize.

1. Swimming is a meditation in motion, Yoga in water

Swimming is a rhythmic physical exercise, which is more breath concerned and helps you get yogic benefits. Amazing right? Swimming is an ideal alternative to Yoga as far as I am concerned. What are the commonalities between these seemingly different activities?

2. Swimming and Yoga are both arts about breathing and grabbing control over your breath.

Breath is operated by the subconscious mind, which means we don’t have to breathe purposely to take in oxygen and most of the people generally don’t feel their breath intentionally in daily life.
We take the breath for granted, though it makes sense anyway, what’s the point of being distracted by breathing when it can automatically happen?
This is just the case when we are above water, but underneath the water, it’s a different story.
choke in waterTiming is the first fundamental thing when swimming. It pushes you to concentrate on your breath.

During swimming, the gravity of your body and the water-resistance won’t allow you to emerge above the surface as long as you can.

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This time-intensive inhalation urges you to be aware of your breath. It feels so awful to choke in the water.
No matter what kind of swimming stroke you choose, whether it’s freestyle or breaststroke, the principle is nearly the same(although might be a bit different according to your coach):

Here is a tip to utilize your swimming time to a full extent.

Slowly exhale as you trickle the air through the nose underneath the water, and when your mouth is exposed to the air, take a deep, sharp breath, take in air as much as possible, and as quick as you could.

Despite the inadequate timing for inhalation, take a gulp of air down just leads to shallow breathing and subsequently insufficient oxygen delivery, you should avoid gulping.

What you should do is make the inhaling so deep that you can feel the fullness in your lungs.

The Mouth-in, nose-out, time-intensive breath pattern is oddly different from the breath involuntarily functioned in our daily life.

3. Your fight or flight mechanism is triggered by the underlying danger of being drowned. Thus, the mind goes into survival mode.

combine swimming with yoga
When you’re swimming, suddenly you come up with a random thought– I pick a wrong swimming suit today,  I look fat in this. With this distraction, you are mentally dragged into this specific thought, even for one second, you may swallow water.
Your subconscious is quite smarter than you, it will not allow your body to take any risk. The panic of being drowned free your mind from thoughts.

4. Your mind is at its full alertness. 

A state of mindfulness where you can monitor every emerging thought is created naturally.

Likewise, the subconscious mind has to adapt to the new surroundings, so it forces you to withdraw your sensation. Therefore, your senses are also narrowed down.
You can hear the sound of the bubbles streams when you’re exhaling, and you can feel the touching of them bursting in your face.
bubble in waterThe sensation of flow across your skin when you are rotating and sliding is so unique that they literally give you a dolphin-like feeling. And this enhances the consciousness of living in the present.

Conclusion:

Try a Different way to Swim

Next time you dive into the water, pay attention to what you feel in your body, blow away your panic

This yoga in the swimming pool provides you a moment with yourself. This real enjoyment of life can help you find out more about yourself, about the world around you.

 

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