Free-diving and my dentist

I had a small cavity filled today.  This is only significant because I routinely have panic attacks when considering dental work.  Several years ago, my dentist offered my Xanax for cleanings because I was so jumpy.  I declined.  (fool!)  What I am left with is my yoga breath to calm me during difficult moments.  As usual, the hygienist asked me if I wanted a magazine or the TV on while I waited to be orally violated.  I declined.  How am I supposed to access my deep breath if I’m all wound up about the earth shattering, mind blowing news tumbling from Kelly Ripa’s mouth?


She does have great teeth.

And so I began the systematic breathing (pranayama) techniques I learned at my recent Mysore Intensive Workshop.  Next thing I know, I was in my car.  I removed myself from the anxiety at hand by simply breathing and then it was no more.  Cool.  Very cool.  I pondered this notion and remembered the time I observed a very large snake crawling up the trunk of a tree in my back yard.  There was no  yoga breath within a light year of my little piece of the planet.  Husband out of town and three smallish children playing outdoors – I called my sister-in-law in a panic.  After verifying it was not a poisonous snake she laughed and said:

Good God, Clair – where’s that yoga breath?



Good question.  And so I became inspired and empowered by the treasure of the breath so immediately accessible to help us out of a jam.  From childbirth to dental work, from reptiles to in-laws; all can be well with a well placed full, deep, delicious margarita —  oops!, I mean breath cycle.  In researching ways to cultivate quick and easy access to the most expansive and healing breath, I tripped over this amazing, intriguing and some may say crazyass, sport:


Freediving (or free-diving) is a form of underwater diving that does not involve the use of scuba gear or other external breathing devices, but rather relies on a diver’s ability to hold his or her breath until resurfacing. Examples include breath-hold spear fishing, freedive photography, apnea competitions, and to some degree, snorkeling. The activity that garners the most public attention is the extreme sport of competitive apnea in which competitors attempt to attain great depths, times, or distances on a single breath.  (Wikipedia)

A real head-scratcher.  Learn more here.

Friends, I’m not sure who Stig is but, this stuff is big.

“I became aware of the power of breathing properly for the first time when I went free diving with Stig in the Red Sea. After performing breathing exercises for a couple of days I could hold my breath for more than 4 minutes in the water. The sensation of surplus mental energy and inner tranquility was intoxicating.”

Bjarne Brynk Jensen, 43
Company coach and consultant for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010

It’s amazing what people will do to liven up their day.  BTW, yoga can give you that body but the fins are sold separately.

Me, I’m trying to master the Ashtanga Primary Series and get through a filling.  Power breathing is the ticket for both.

What are you powering through?




2 thoughts on “Free-diving and my dentist

  1. Very interesting stuff. And I never knew you were afraid of the dentist. I knew you were a pescatarian, though. BTW, that is NOT Kelly Ripa!! It’s Kathy Lee.

  2. Clair, I loathe missing classes, but cannot find a way around it with work and getting home to Noa. Any good home DVDs you can recommend? Any work around you can think of would be appreciated. It will not be nearly as good as being your class, but….

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