Hilary, a keen Yoga practitioner, learnt how to chill out in water.
As a regular yoga practitioner, I have always found it frustrating not to be able to transfer my yoga breathing and body balance to the water. I love swimming, but easily felt fatigued and suffered with annoying neck and back pain after a swim. An intense week with Ian taught me how to slow myself down and balance my body from side to side in the water, to let my arms drift into the stroke rather than thrash them into it and to breathe at a natural point in a more relaxed position rather than fling my head to the side and gasp for air. Breast stroke had always been my preferred stroke, but I always suffered with neck and lower back pain after a swim. In a short time Ian helped me to transform my stroke by giving my head to the water, taking more time to glide and taking a breath at the right time. I can now swim for long periods of time, switching from breast stroke to crawl and enjoying my time in the water more than I’ve ever done – without pain or stress to any part of my body. Less is definitely more.
My daughter Lucy (7) and I have just completed our second Swimming Without Stress course at Croft Farm, having enjoyed our first one so much, when we visited last year. Lucy has since decided that she no longer wants ‘conventional’ lessons, rather preferring to wait for lessons with Ian when we take our holiday -Ian & Lucy have a lovely connection. He brings a fun, but gentle & calming element to Lucy’s lessons, and I have watched her morph from a previously over excited, slightly panicky swimmer, gasping for breath and tiring easily, into a relaxed & confident child enjoying the water more than ever. She has learnt to rest on top of and under the water and breathe in a relaxed way. She has learnt to kick her legs in a way that doesn’t tire her out quickly and she can spend long periods of time in the water without tiring or ending up with neck & back pain. Ian’s ethos of teaching children to love the water and to move around, rest & breathe with ease, is one which I believe all parents should look into for their children. It’s an emotional and enjoyable experience for a parent to observe.
I am a confident and previously competitive swimmer. I had absolutely no idea how the Swimming Without Stress lessons would benefit me. I had previously been stuck in breast stroke as I tired quickly using front crawl, so Ian spent the week intensively teaching me how to be balanced on either side, how to use my arm & legs in a much more restful way and how to breathe more easily, rather than grab a breath. The techniques have all come together and I have managed 3 x half hour sessions of crawl since my course using my new style, without tiring and I could have easily carried on each time…. Maybe my childhood dream of swimming the English Channel is finally in my sights!
Thank you Ian, once again, for your patience with us and for teaching us how to love the water in a way we never knew existed. I feel privileged to have had such an experience.