Water Treading for Beginners
Struggling to stay afloat? Do you feel like a jittery 'Ganjiong' spider when you water tread, kicking like mad to keep your head above the water? You might not notice that you've exerted too much energy and slowly you will feel out of breath. What I teach my students is that water treading can be effortless if you incorporate mindfulness into it, what we call Mindfulness Water Treading.
What is Mindfulness Water Treading?
To put it simply, the technique emphasises movement reduction and putting your body into passive mode in order to save energy. At the same time, it is about being attentive to your body movements and breathing technique regardless of whether you're bobbing up or down the water or being pushed by the waves.
You can reap the benefits from this 'power save mode' if you practise it right. Here are some tips to learn it.
How to do it?
4 simple movements:
1. Body position – sit on an invisible chair, to prevent the body from sinking
2. Breathing – keep some air in your lungs, to keep afloat
3. Arms – sculling, pushing water in and out, to create balance
4. Legs – kick to the side (NOT down), when you need to break the surface to breathe
Remember to be mindful and keep focused on your breathing: COUNT – BUBBLES – BREATHE and repeat. This mantra will keep you calm.
Key Takeaway Point
Our body naturally floats. No matter how heavy you are, your lungs are a natural float which is sufficient to bring you up to the surface.
I want to break the perception and fear that you will sink in deep waters. Often it is the vigorous movements when you panic that are causing you to sink. Learning mindfulness water treading is about finding your body equilibrium and gaining more confidence in the water.
In the event of panic or anxiety, practise this until you regain your composure. Swim safe!
By: MySwim Passionate Coach Alyze Ooi, who coaches Learn To Swim and Stroke Correction for aspiring swimmers.