Swimming, yoga, meditation

Swimming is simply moving meditation. I don’t remember where I found this quote. Most probably on Brainy Quotes. It came to mind on a rainy morning the following day after the International Aquatic Fitness Conference was over, which took place in Palm Harbor, Florida, while I was swimming in a pool at Innisbrook, A Salamander Golf &Spa Resort.

Swimming is simply moving meditation.

I was swimming freestyle up and down using the correct technique and thereby  rolling from side to side to breathe,  which enabled me to enjoy the view of the water falls on one side and tall beautiful pine trees on the other. By contrast when I was swimming breaststroke I could only look forward which altered the whole experience.

 

I found myself feeling relaxed, calm and in a peaceful mindset. The constant, repetitive, rhythmic movements of freestyle and breaststroke allowed me to shut out other thoughts except the idea for this very post. I would say I was in a meditative state of mind.

 

I was swimming in a relaxed way, focusing on long gliding, the mild and enjoyable load distribution all over my body, just as I wanted. I could have swum forever…

 

In many ways this experience was a surprise for me, as an experienced swimmer and aquatic professional  I had considered a swimming pool to be of a rectangular  shape with four right angles, however,  I realized I could swim in my preferred way  in a recreational, curve-shaped,  multi-purpose swimming pool at this resort.

 

As usual I was using a full and steady breathing rhythm. Here I would like to refer to the website How To Be Happy where you can find an article written by Duccio Manfredi about the importance of proper breathing.

 

At this point I would like to add the quote from said article: “By learning how to breathe well we will become healthier and stronger, but not only: Knowing how to breathe also help us to control our emotions, anger included, and fears and keep a clear and sharp mind. If our breathing is deep, slow and regular then our mind will reach a state of tranquility and calm” – says Duccio, and I can add that the proper breathing rhythm is the key to the kind of swimming which I have described above.

 

Whenever people search for a method to relax, restore the focus and reconnect with the Self; they immediately think about meditation and yoga classes. There are several yoga schools, but usually people choose yoga to improve physical and mental strength, control the body and the mind, find inner peace, release from suffering, for example, back pain.

 

There is a lot of information out there regarding the impact yoga and meditation can have on relaxation. When you are calm you are in control of your life.

 

“Meditation is free, it is powerful, can be practiced by anyone, everywhere, is extremely beneficial and can help us to feel happier… Meditation helps us to control our mind and thoughts and turn off our mind when we do not need it any more…. Meditation is essential to feel well and live a Happy  life….” – says Duccio in his article titled “Why is meditation so important and why it can help us to feel happier?”

 

It is a well-known fact that the focus in yoga and meditation is breathing. The deep and slow breathing is exactly the same as we use in swimming, which brings me to the purpose of this article to highlight that swimming is as equally beneficial as a form of relaxing one’s mind as yoga and meditation itself. In addition swimming also has other therapeutic benefits for general health and fitness.

 

6 Comments

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  1. Johan Lambeck

    June 1, 2018 — 5:36 am

    Hi Olga, could you place swimming perhaps also in the concept of mindfulness?
    About swimming technique: perhaps there are differences between countries. In the Netherlands, everybody learns breaststroke at first and many will never learn a crawl. This means that for many Dutch swimmers breaststroke is their way of relaxing, distracting meditating etc. Maybe this website is helpfulhttps://www.artofswimming.com

    • Yes, I can but a holistic approach is required to reach mindfulness. I will cover this topic at a later date,

      I agree with you regarding breaststroke and in particular the breaststroke arm movements, which in my opinion and experience, is fundamental to learn.

      Thank you very much for the link, the website is excellent!

  2. I love every single bit of this article because you’ve pointed out the facts about swimming as a way of relaxation and meditation of wich I personally experience while swimming!

    Salute Olga.

    • Faith, I really appreciate your positive and supportive comments and I would love to see your on my other posts.

  3. Hi Olga. That was a beautiful article. Thank you for mentioning me and my Blog. Keep up the good work!

    • Ciao, Duccio,
      Thank you very much for your nice comment.
      I am happy that I came across your website because we think on the same level and I am glad we share the same opinion about breathing.

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