“Yoga is just good for you.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Freediving is about silence…the silence that comes from within.” Jacques Mayol

DeeperBlue.com recently returned to our continuing series of reviews of Yoga for Freediving and had the opportunity to review Energy Beyond Breath, the third of six courses in the series. Yoga for Freediving is the comprehensive course of study and practice created and designed by Sara Campbell, 4-time Freediving World record holder. This “Master Class” series explores the mental and spiritual components of freediving success.

Sara Campbell is the founder of Discover Your Depths, “a unique teaching and personal growth philosophy based on yoga, meditation, freediving and mind-body awareness.” Sara teaches Kundalini Yoga and has developed a training program that can give students a foundation for increased personal growth and personal performance in daily activities and in freediving.

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“Kundalini teaches us, through postures (asanas or kriyas), breath-work (pranayama), chanting (mantras), meditation and relaxation, to embrace our wholeness, the fullness of who we each are, and to recognize that at our core, we have pure, peaceful and joyful potential waiting to be explored.” Sara Campbell

The full Yoga for Freediving program contains six yoga-based freediving courses, each bringing the viewer well over two hours worth of advice, exercises, techniques, and meditations to help you tackle what Sara considers to be the six crucial aspects of freediving as a spiritual journey:

With each of the six courses, Sara is including her 22 free Yoga for Freediving ‘How To‘ and ‘About‘ videos. These excellent modules cover the essential techniques and terminology used throughout the program. Each video is a stand-alone training tool and the yoga sections are crucial for helping you create a regular meditation practice. These videos are also being released on Sara’s YouTube Channel – please subscribe to receive the videos and other exciting updates.

Sara Campbell world Champion freediver running freediving courses in Dahab. Egypt. Photo Credit Dan Burton
Sara Campbell world Champion freediver running freediving courses in
Dahab. Egypt. Photo Credit Dan Burton

Energy Beyond Breath is a six-week course that continues the instruction that began in Deep Relaxation and continued in Manage Your Mind. If you are just discovering this series of reviews, or are new to the practice of Yoga, we would encourage you to read the previous two reviews on DeeperBlue.com which will provide a primer on yoga as a practice, some of the basic terminology you will encounter in these courses, and background on how Eastern philosophy and meditative practice has become such a large component of so many freedivers’ training regimen.

Each course in the series builds on the previous one (though they can be taken as stand-alone courses), providing a comprehensive and detailed training regimen. Energy Beyond Breath builds on the principles and practices we learned in the earlier courses and includes five separate videos:

  • Pranayama: ‘Nadi Cleansing U-Breath
  • Visualization: ‘Yoga Nidra’
  • Meditation: ‘Connect with the Source of Infinite Energy’
  • Kriya: ‘Creating and Conserving Pranic Energy’
  • Meditation: ‘Long Ek Ong Kar’

A challenge for many people new to Yoga is “how do I do this?” As you begin to incorporate Yoga into your daily routine and notice the changes, physical and mental, it is hoped that you continue to grow in your practice. Most times, the best way to know if you are “doing it right” is to be able to actually see an expert perform the exercise or skill. We wouldn’t try to learn how to freedive from a book, neither should one approach Yoga without guidance.

We all know that one wouldn’t run a marathon or start a workout routine without some preparation and warm-up. Sara recommends that each student first watch all five videos to familiarize themselves and become comfortable with the material. The student is then asked to download the 40-Day Meditation Practice document (the link will be provided to each student) to prepare themselves. This helps guide the student in the start of a daily practice (if you don’t already have one started) and gives easy instructions on how to prepare yourself mentally for the course and for the day!

Sara suggests that you set up a meditation corner in your home, decorate your altar, buy a yoga mat or meditation cushion, and buy a journal to accompany you on this journey. Then watch the “How To‘ and ‘About‘ videos, especially if you are new to yoga, meditation or pranayama, to gain a better understanding of how these amazing yogic techniques work and can help you throughout this course. With a little preparation in this first, or “Zero” week of the six-week course, you are ready to begin!

Pranayama: ‘Nadi Cleansing U-Breath’

Pranayama, which is the practice of controlling our breath, lays at the heart of Yoga. In this 18 minute video, Sara explores the use of Pranayama to cleanse our Nadi, or energy pathways. Teaching a rhythmic breath hold exercise, the student learns to use a “Beej Mantra“, which has been described as the shortest type of mantra…a seed…which when sown, can grow into a mighty tree.

“In us, there is a seed of potential…just as the seed needs the perfect conditions to grow, so do we.” Sara Campbell

The exercise starts with the recitation of “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” This mantra is traditionally the first chanted during a session of Kundalini Yoga or meditation. It is referred to as the Tuning In to your Higher Self Mantra, and prepares one to start the rhythmic breathing.

The rhythm we are taught is a simple one-count inhalation, a 4-count breath hold, and a 2-count exhalation. Instead of saying numbers, we are taught to use the Beej Mantra Sat Nam, quietly thinking Sat Nam as we breath, hold and exhale. Sara provides vocal accompaniment and direction throughout the exercise to keep the student “on track”.

As the student completes this Pranayama, they should feel a sense of “cleansing” of the Nadi‘s and a free-flowing of vital energy.

Sara Campbell. Photo Credit Jacque de Vos
Sara Campbell. Photo Credit Jacque de Vos

Visualization: ‘Yoga Nidra’

Yoga Nidra is a classical form of Yoga using guided meditation to take us into a deep state of relaxation. It is a practice of going into deep relaxation while remaining alert and conscious the entire time.

“It is of particular use to freedivers. It is this state of alert relaxation we want to achieve in the water.” Sara Campbell

In this 39-minute video segment, Sara uses guided visualization to demonstrate and lead the student through a full session of meditative relaxation. This is a great tool that can be revisited daily, each session leading to greater ease and speed in finding that relaxed state.

Meditation: ‘Connect with the Source of Infinite Energy’

“A challenging pranayama-based meditation that energizes our connection with the Universe, our navel point – the subtle umbilical cord through which Mother Nature continues to nourish us.” Sara Campbell

In this powerful 15 minute video, the third in the series, Sara takes the student on a thoughtful journey to connect with our core strength which is found within ourselves, versus through external sources. The Mantra used in this meditation exercise is “Har“, a word meaning “the Creative Infinity”. Mantras are short phrases or words that invoke energy, concentrate the mind and encourage the practitioner to “open up” internally.

By combining the mantra “Har” with a rhythmic “Naval Pumping”, or drawing in of the naval as you repeat the mantra, the student will connect with their core strength.

Kriya: ‘Creating and Conserving Pranic Energy’

“Do not waste your pranic energy on useless things. Eighty percent of your pranic energy is wasted on emotions, commotions, feelings, dealings, yelling screaming, talking of negative things and listening to such talk.” Yogi Bhajan

Pranic Energy” is the air we breath and the life force energy, or “spark” within each of us. A “Kriya” has been defined as an action, technique or practice within a Yoga discipline designed to achieve specific results. This 52-minute video concentrates on how to take action to maximize your Pranic Energy to achieve your goals.

Sara suggests that the student “add this into your practice between Nadi Cleansing and Connecting with the Infinite Source meditation at least once a week. This energizing kriya is great to support the work you are doing with the pranayama and meditation.

Through close and detailed instruction and guidance, the student is taught how to tap into their Pranic Energy. As freedivers, we are unlocking that otherwise “wasted” eighty percent mentioned by Yogi Bhajan. The student is also introduced to the concept that Men and Women have different “energies” and the Male Side is the right and the Female Side is the Left…and this difference informs the position of the practitioner’s hands in the performance of this kriya.

Sara Campbell. Photo Credit Discover Your Depths
Sara Campbell. Photo Credit Discover Your Depths

Meditation: ‘Long Ek Ong Kar’

“One of the most powerful meditations, practiced every day by thousands of yogis, it systematically wakes up the Kundalini energy, our life-force. Through visualization and control of the bhandas, we energize our main nadi, Sushumna, balance our energy, and strengthen our aura to protect us from negative or depleting energy.” Sara Campbell

Just as millions of people start their day with a trip to the local gymnasium or a jog around the neighborhood, Yogis often start their day with the Long Ek Ong Kar. This powerful practice is also known as the Morning Call as it is normally practiced at dawn. Sara suggests in this 22-minute video that students “try to fit in three minutes of this magical mantra to your day.”

Before sunrise, when the channels of energy are most clear, if this mantra is sung in sweet harmony, you will be one with the Lord. This will open your solar plexus, charging the solar center, connecting it with cosmic energy…Yogi Bhajan

Sara emphasizes that this three-part mantra will work on our diaphragmatic breath control…and the meditation is broken down by Sara to maximize diaphragm control.

 

More About This Course

  • Features:
    • Five videos and over two and a half hours of training and exercises to maximize your Energy Beyond Breath
    • a further two hours of tips and technique training in 22 HOW TO and ABOUT videos
    • video streaming on any mobile device
    • audio downloads of the lectures and visualizations to take with you wherever you want
    • step by step program guidelines to ensure you get the best out of your experience
    • Premium version available for an additional cost, offering personal consultation and one-on-one coaching sessions with Sara Campbell

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Yoga for Freediving: Energy Beyond Breath
John Griffith
John Griffith is an avid SCUBA and Freediver based in Southeast Florida, with over 34 years of experience in the recreational, military and commercial dive fields. Retired from military service, John completed Bachelor Degrees in both Business Administration and Journalism, a M.Ed and PhD in Education. John is a driven conservationist and social activist...with a great passion for sharks, cigars, rum and writing. John is an Associate Editor with DeeperBlue.com.

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