February / March 2000
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The Mediterranean, he reminds, can rejuvenate itself once every 50 years. It has an exit only to Gibraltar and to the Suez and Caspian Sea. The Nile was once the Mediterraneans largest most important source of fresh water and silt, but the dam of Aswan closed it. Luckily, Eastern Mediterranean countries, unlike western ones, have a rudimentary rather than advanced fishing industry and still have high fish reserves.
Breathing for Survivaland the Ocean Home
Yazbeck adopts an alternative view of evolution that proposes water as mans native element. If we were to have evolved from a life form, he argues, it would be an aquatic one. Humans are the only mammals on Earth whose skin is tightly glued to the flesh, just like the dolphin and whale. Second, we have the ability to sustain water pressure, and our physiology changes as we dive. Cold water temperature slows down the heart rate. After 20 minutes or so of semi-continuous emerging (diving in and out of the water), the spleen starts producing up to 20% more red blood cells, indicating adaptation to the water environment. No wonder free divers at this point feel they have grown a third lung.
According to Yazbeck, once you learn that breathing is everything, every life activity becomes a thousand times better. All that he needs to start a new day is ten minutes of breathing right. He even calculates land distances in breath holds. As mastery over ones breath, free diving is the ultimate addictive sport.
The rewards of letting go in the water are immeasurable: When in a water environment, whether in the big blue or a small pool, you must learn to relax. When you relax, your heartbeat slows down, and so does your oxygen consumption. Of people who swim, 99.9% are tense. The trick--first and second and third--is to relax, relax, relax.
Further info at: www.yazbeck.com and www.yazbek.com/roger
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Picasso Freediving Gear and Equipment at: www.picassoamerica.com and www.picasso.ca