6 Reasons to Include the AIDA 1 Freediving Beginner’s Course in your Summer Bucket list!

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Freediving is going underwater without the aid of breathing equipment. By means of relaxation techniques, it aims to condition the body to stay longer underwater at every succeeding attempt. If you’ve familiarized yourself with its more whimsical form, Mermaiding, then you would have a good grasp of what Freediving would demand from you.

6 Reasons to Include the AIDA 1 Freediving Beginner’s Course in your Summer Bucketlist!

Normally, one who is interested in taking Freediving lessons would have to pay a visit to the numerous dive sites in the country. But guess what, Carlo Navarro, the first Filipino AIDA instructor & SISID Philippine Freedivers Association President, has made it more accessible for city rats like you and me. Held at the Scuba Studio in San Juan, you can now indulge in a half-day adventure, that is the AIDA 1 Intro to Freediving class. A detailed account of what goes on in class can be found in A Basic guide to Freediving in Panglao as told by Hyacinth Maniquis.

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It’s meant to give you a taste of Freediving so you’ll know whether it’s something you’d want to venture into further. If you’re a natural lover of the sea, and if you’re reading this article and are looking for that extra push to convince yourself that Freediving is both fun, challenging, and addicting, read on as I summarize the benefits of this fun an compelling sport.

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6. To give yourself time to breathe

Figuratively and literally. Have you tried staying underwater and being completely still? It’s almost as if time is stopped and suddenly you become enveloped by a comforting silence you didn’t even know you needed. Down under, you’re miles away from distractions. There’s only you and the calm sea fluidly moving as one. It lets you take a step back and clear your head. Freediving is oftentimes likened to Yoga with its therapeutic, calming, self-discovering effects. Both activities similarly teach you to rely on an elemental thing – utilizing your breath.

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5. To have the courage to face your fears

The ocean can go from being peaceful and serene to ultimately your worst nightmare. As beautiful and spectacular as it is, the deep blue sea is also a mélange of fear. Whether it’s fear of drowning, fear of sea creatures, or fear of the unknown, the deep blue easily triggers your panic buttons. Asphyxia would be the deal breaker for me. It is a challenge to get used to the feeling that I’m not supposed to stay underwater for long periods of time. The fear of suffocation is difficult to eliminate once you’ve grown up thinking that you can’t breathe underwater. But the thing is, fear is mental and once you learn how to conquer it, you’re good to go.

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4. To get a full body workout

Obviously swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can engage in. It’s a whole body workout and in Freediving, you are not restricted by heavy equipment and Scuba gear. It’s all you and all brawn.

3. To have a humbling experience

The underwater world is one that we can never comprehend in this lifetime. It’s far too majestic, deep, and complex than what we see everyday. When you’re down there, you encounter a billion times as many different faces than up here. Experiencing the sea and its creatures for ourselves will acquaint us with the delicate world that exists underneath. Being exposed to the underwater world makes us realize how threatening our habits are and will reinstate the fact that you are only a small part of what encompasses the world. Respect and protect all creatures. Explore not exploit.

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2. To keep a lasting relationship built on trust

Your mentor will put all your preconceived notions about the ocean to shame. He tells you you’re meant to stay for long periods underwater. More importantly, he’ll have utmost confidence that you’ll be able to reach that 5m mark at the end of your session no matter how inexperienced you are in Freediving. At first, you’re skeptical but as the lesson progresses, you’ll find that everything he says actually starts to make sense. Little by little your confidence builds up and you start to surpass your limits, making higher goals. Your mentor then evolves from being a complete stranger to a person that you completely trust with your life, knowing his years of experience won’t jeopardize your safety. And just like that, you have made a friend for life.

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1. To have FUN!

The most important thing is that above all, you get to have fun! It isn’t surprising how one gets hooked instantly. Who knows you might even get competitive!

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Despite my love for the ocean and having grown up spending my weekends at the beach, I was never prepared for this encounter but at the end of my session, Carlo converted my fear of drowning to full mermaid confidence!

What are you waiting for? Experience it for yourself and see how Freediving can give you a whole new perspective and love for the water! Scuba Studio’s pool is 5m in depth but if you’re up for a more challenging adventure, feel free to sign up for the advanced courses in the closest dive spot in the Metro, Anilao!

For inquiries contact: carmelofranconavarro@­gmail.com

Scuba Studio

Cor P.Guevarra St., San Juan, 1500 Metro Manila, Philippines

+63917 811 3883






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