By Rebecca Drew
MEET the stunning female champion freediver who uses yoga to help her discover new depths of the world’s oceans.
The series of majestic images and video footage show yoga teacher trainer and freediver, Kate Middleton (29), who can hold her breath for an amazing six-and-a-half-minutes underwater, performing camel yoga poses on a swimming pool floor and striking a pose inside a hula hoop on the seabed.
Other photographs show Kate performing ambitious yoga positions on dry land with a partner on a wall and striking a standing split in a doorway.
“I have always felt at home and at peace in nature, I learned to Scuba dive while travelling and I fell in love with the underwater world,” said Kate.
“I loved witnessing the magic and aliveness of the ocean but the cumbersome equipment and the restrictions on Scuba felt like a barrier to a deeper experience.
“I started to play around with snorkelling and diving down around the local reefs without the tanks and bubbles and it felt weightless, light, free, playful and fun.
“This was my first taste of freediving and I immediately felt the wonder and connection that I was seeking.”
Kate, who was drawn to yoga at the age of 13 after finding an old yoga video says that she sees yoga and freediving as being the same thing so found it a natural step to combine the two disciplines.
“When I started to learn to Freedive, everything felt so familiar and it was,” she added.
“Yoga and freediving share many similarities, devotion to nature, self-study, learning to trust yourself and your infinite potential.
“Most of the widely-used breathing, stretching and relaxation techniques for Freediving are grounded in traditional yogic practices.”
Kate, who runs Freedive GIli, a freediving and yoga resort in Indonesia can dive 288-feet in depth without an air supply and says that she competes for what she learns along the way.
“The photos are an attempt to capture what I feel while Freediving or practicing Yoga which is freedom, joy, beauty, connection.
“The challenge is to stay true to what the practice means to me even when there is a photographer capturing the form.
“It’s tempting to try to perform a pose, to erase all evidence of imperfections, but those imperfections are what allow for connection.”
As a champion freediver for New Zealand, Kate encourages people who might want to try the disciplines to go for it.
“Find a teacher who inspires you and encourages you to shine,” she said.
“You are pure potential; love, beauty and freedom desiring to be expressed through your creativity. Love yourself, express yourself, laugh freely and support others to do the same.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/katemiddletonyoga/