Can You Breathe?

Guest Blog by: Simone Benhayon of Creative Aquatic

If the question was asked to an adult can they swim, majority of the time the answer would be yes. Whilst there is a small population of adults that may admit to the fact that they can’t swim, it is here important to distinguish early in the piece that we will not be focused on those who openly admit to not being able to swim but more so those who “do know how to swim” yet cannot breathe. Society as a whole will focus on teaching those who cannot actually swim, yet the lack of ability to breathe in water has a more damaging and lasting effect.

So lets begin with a question: 
Q) What movement is truly taking place if the body is not breathing?

When analyzed, the further questions need to be asked -

a) Do we know truly how to swim, meaning a rhythmical in and out breath, which then has a relationship with the whole body?
b) Has each person developed their own interpretation of what swimming is, regardless of what they have to compromise to ‘achieve’ it?

In society, unfortunately the most common definition of ‘going swimming’ means to go from one destination to another in whichever fashion as long as you survive. Often this means without breathing.

The most common response heard at a swimming pool is “ Yes I can swim - I just can’t breath.” If that sentence is truly understood then not only is it a contradiction but a confirmation of how we condition ourselves to just cope and survive in any situation in life. 

Breathing in life is a key ingredient in all that we do, yet within swimming we compromise quality and manage to function with limited to no breath at all. 

How does one get to this conclusion? Simply by beginning to ask some basic questions, rather than asking can you swim, a more potent question is:

1)    Can you breathe and swim at the same time?
2)    And, if you can breathe, can you breathe in a way that panic is not created in the body? 

This then begs the question if adults are enjoying swimming and they can swim yet they are not breathing, what is truly taking place? Could it be possible that there is an amount of strain and pressure being placed on the body that is creating a tension to then attempt to carry out the desired function?

This discussion will continue but before we dive further into the topic of breath and breathing deeper, an experiment needs to take place. Next when at the pool conduct a study on yourself: is your out breath and your in breath the same consistency? Meaning do you breath in and out to the same quality? And how does your body feel after you have focused on that breath? Once this part has been brought to our attention we are then able to examine and test the breathing method and quality deeper.

Over to you.


Simone Benhayon – Multi-National award winning Swim Instructor and founder and owner of award- winning swim school Creative Aquatic, 12 years Swim Coach, Trainer and presenter Nationally and Internationally, ambassador for learn to swim for international swim company – Zoggs. In addition to Program developer and writer for PE programs for schools throughout the UK. Follow Creative Aquatic on Facebook!





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