How to feel the close connection between mind, body and breathing
Part 2. Apnea, what’s going on in our Body?
The principle of apnea is to stop ventilation by blocking his full lung breathing. Gas exchanges – the transport of oxygen in particular – continue inside our body through the pulmonary alveoli and capillaries to the vital centers.
The oxygen stored in the tissues is used during immersion, the duration of which varies according to each. The breathing technique for learning how to store as much oxygen as possible in the blood is the basis of learning.
The physiology of breathing is quite simple. The need to breathe is felt when the body detects an increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, conversely, the percentage of oxygen decreases. Even if our movements are limited to the maximum during immersion, the body, the brain, our muscles draw from the reserves stored in the tissues.
This mechanism is the key to understanding apneist practice. It is not oxygen but carbon dioxide stored in the body by stopping ventilation, -it is not evacuated since one does not exhale in apnea – which is the main signal that leads to the respiratory reflex.
At this stage, relaxation is essential. The increase in carbon dioxide and the decrease in oxygen reserves generate abdominal spasms which are a first signal of the need to breathe. It is possible to learn to control them and thus to experience its tolerance threshold and its margin of progression, especially with ventilation exercises that are practiced in yoga.
Being curious about the sensations of the body and the mind, knowing how to appreciate each performance at its true value, allows you to progress in apnea. The joy of welcoming every little sign of relaxation and well-being is the most beautiful gift that can be accorded in this practice in total harmony with the aquatic environment.
Warning: apnea is never done alone, bad practice can lead to serious risks. It is essential to master the so-called ‘recovery’ breathing technique, after each apnea, whether it is more or less long, to quickly bring oxygen back into the blood at a satisfactory level. Learning the basic technique of apnea with a Pro is essential.