Swimming is my first big love. I used to train in a big team when I was younger for many hours every day, I was actually living most part of my life in or around a pool. As life’s responsibilities grew more and more I had to quit since there was no way I would find so many hours to train daily. That is how I kissed my big dreams to enter the Open Sea category and participate in international events goodbye.
Well, this year I decided that since I won’t be running during winter time I should find a pool and go for a swim 3-4 times per week. And I did. Going back after all these years was great but at the same time felt so different.
Well I have to say one thing for sure: swimming has a lot in common with yoga. First of all you need to stay focused when you swim, align correctly, make sure you move using the right technique and work your whole body. The concentration is initially turned to breathing, as breathe and swimming movements create a beautiful steady pattern. This really relates to a vinyasa yoga style like my beloved Ashtanga.
All the above I pretty much remembered from before, though managing to focus solely to breathing and alignment pleasantly surprised me. In the past I always raced with myself, the timer or the person next to me, thinking all the time how will be faster and stronger than others something that resulted in all kinds of vivid feelings like anxiety, egoism, excitement or disappointment. I guess yoga is responsible of me being able to let go of these urges and feelings. But the greatest surprise came a bit later. When the first few minutes of concentrating to my breathe and alignment passed I found myself into a meditative-like state. My mind cleared of all daily thoughts and concerns and my attention turned inwards to myself. This state is not the same every time. Sometimes it is just blank space and sometimes I get random thoughts popping up. No matter what happens I feel utterly relaxed and relieved of any stress, negative thoughts or tension that has built up through the day. It is very similar to what I feel when I finish my yoga practice.