Rangiroa Diving Center - French Polynesia


Breathing preparation & Pre-dive relaxation


Raise awareness among the diving population before any immersion, preparation for safe diving.
For some divers, these dives represent stress, the ocean a stressful place! An unknown place, a worrying fauna and a sea and a lagoon which call out with their forces and currents.

A long trip, a long period without diving, an average physical fitness and a breathing not always relaxed and close to over-breathing and therefore breathlessness.

This approach is not intended to diagnose and prescribe any therapy. It is quite simply based on feedback from lived experiences and therefore to share views to help and facilitate the immersion and diver autonomy.

A moment of reflection, just stop a moment and step back. At first, we find it strange that our dives weren't as long as planned, some of the dive group showing to the guide their mid-tank consumption while others were already on their air reserve. Why excessive consumption for some? Do others have hidden physical abilities? Our dive does not happen as if we are on the surface, our minds stick to our world above. However, here we have a factor penalizing us, our volume of air carried in our scuba tank.
It takes us a long time to figure out what's in it? Despite of our diving training we still believe that we are carrying oxygen! Certainly 21% in part, but our tank contains pressurized air. In fact, we simply used a compressor to add this air that we will breathe underwater.

Reminder: On the 12L tank content, our compressor inserts air into it at 200 bars of pressure. So 12l x 200b = 2400L of compressed air.
So, it may seem huge, but underwater our autonomy will decrease with pressure and depth.


But not only! We now really get into this aquatic, magical moment! But here is some feedback:

  • "I remember having always consumed a lot"

  • "OK, well…. because the air in my BCD comes from my tank" (a true comment!)

  • “Further down we dive, the more we consume. I.e., 20 m = 3 times more than on the surface "

  • "My stability is inadequate; I have a BCD and as its name suggests it will stabilize me. Indeed, frantic adjustment of its buoyancy with the BCD "Hence the decreased in our air quantity and autonomy.

  • “The dolphins circle us, they go up and down, they want to play, I am receptive to their message. As on the surface, my instantaneous air consumption increases the more my air demand is important because the more I put in a significant effort to play ".

  • "Underwater I pedal!! I cycle, my hydrodynamics require an appropriate kicking to the aquatic environment, must be loose and flexible" just let you glide under the water.
  • “I weigh 75Kg, but I need 10kg on a 3mm suite, otherwise I will float! "An improper weigh ballasting and considerable efforts will cause you to consume much more air than the other divers from the group. They will be frustrated to ascend to surface when they have enough air left to continue their dive!

My consumption can therefore vary depending on the effort, my physiology, the depth and also my stress and anxiety.

We will therefore consume more air and therefore oxygen to supply our alveoli and cells.

In this pre-dive work, we shall stay without moving, seated, quiet, until we can welcome calm and serenity in mind. This first step will perhaps not provide all the expected results, it is sometimes needed to wait longer for this letting go, slow to come!

 10-minute pre-dive session is offered to divers wishing to reduce their level of stress and anxiety.

Guided meditation session (relax) and breathing session (relearn to breathe)

The goal is for everyone to regain peace in mind, confidence to their likely fear and stress.

Preliminary methodology

First steps in controlling our breathing for its relaxing effect.

Breathing has its impact on our mind. Some said it and have said it for centuries: "breathe better to feel better". So, we're going to try to calm down, relax our mind, and work on our breathing, I stop, I breathe.
Some divers already have the practice of Pranayama (in Sanskrit Prana: force of life, breathing and Ayama: extension, expansion and pause) which includes all the breathing Yoga exercise. In Pranayama we can therefore understand the pause in breathing with full or empty lungs.

Breathing better allows you to produce the same level of energy required for efforts underwater. We tend to breathe in one pulmonary phase, when we have to start with the abdomen then the lungs and balance our concentration of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in our body (lungs, blood and cells) .

Guided meditation session (relax)

This is about unblocking physical emotions (stress related to travel, fear of water and the aquatic environment as well as respiratory disorders among others.)

  • Mechanical reminder of our breathing:

  • A good posture has only one purpose: to free the diaphragm.

The diaphragm is the muscle of respiration. It is located just below the lungs. It is the one that stretches and compresses the lungs with each inhale and each exhale.

As you breathe in, the diaphragm muscle contracts downward, pulling the lungs with it. This creates a suction effect of the outside air towards the inside of the lungs allowing them to inflate.

  • When diving you breath calmly:

Breathe slowly.
Exhale completely.

Copyright © 2017 - 2021 Rangiroa Diving Center - All rights reserved
Photos credit: A Avare
Web site : Polynesia Pulse 2.0