The Swimoga Story
What is Swimoga?
Swimoga is breathwork, stretches and yoga, the breath linking to the body, and providing us with that reset of calm, in and out of the water.
Yoga means to 'yoke', bring together. Stretching and breathing and dipping / swimming, feels like a natural partnership. Every good yoga session starts with the breath, every perfect swim has breath as it's building blocks. Breathing is at the heart of the way I coach on land and in the water.
And my watery journey?
I have always loved being in and around water, from an early age splashing around in the waves in Devon and the rivers of Dartmoor, to training as a PADI rescue diver in my 20's and diving shipwrecks in the English Channel. Whilst living in London in my early 30's I still found a way to swim outdoors, whether it was in the Crouch End Lido on my way to work or Hampstead Heath ponds at the weekends. Outdoor swimming seemed freer and more elemental than being in an indoor pool.
Around 5 years ago I rediscovered my love for the watery wild, when my father was taken ill. I found the water helped to process the many emotions I was feeling at the time. I then trained as a Yoga teacher in 2017, and was teaching breath work (pranayama) in studios in and around Bristol, and felt the innate connection between the calm from my yoga breathing practice, and the calm of a regular breath on a long swim, or even a shorter dip.
I experienced the flow of emotions whilst swimming down rivers, in Lakes, quarries, and estuaries, and the meditative effect of a long swim. In 2019 I completed the Dart 10k, swimming for nearly 3 hours in water at 13 degrees, and raising as a team over 1.5 k. I wanted to take my curiosity further so last summer I trained with Olympian long distance swimmer Keri-anne Payne to become an Outdoor Swim coach. It felt like a merging of elements in my soul and a bit like coming home!
Cold water reset.
2 winters ago I discovered cold water swimming, and something shifted in me, and every day stresses seemed to lift away after a cold dip. Having done some research now I can understand the science, and what is happening to help reset the nervous system.
Together with some Bristol friends at Open Minds Active, we set up the BODS (Bristol Outdoor Dippers) and we meet (when allowed) at Clevedon lake for dips, chat and cameraderie. Do message if you would like to join us!
I also teach yoga classes and on 1:1 basis, click on the link below to find out more
I hope to be able to meet you soon and help you begin your wild swimming journey! Amelia x