I have called this blog mindful swimming without really explaining what I mean. There are hundreds, even thousands of books, website, blogs, courses, research papers etc on mindfulness, but nothing I can find on mindful swimming. However, lots and lots of the books, pages etc have pictures, drawings, representations of water. Water and mindfulness it seems, go together. To me swimming is an inherently mindful activity.
Swimming is a solitary activity. Although you may be in the pool, lake, river or sea with many others, essentially you are alone when you swim. You are alone with your thoughts and feelings. Your body is as near to weightless as it is possible to experience. You need to concentrate on coordinating your breathing so you need to be aware of the breath entering and leaving your lungs. Swimming is a very rhythmic activity. Swimming lengths in a pool can be an ideal time to meditate.
The children that I teach show me how to be mindful without even realising it. One little boy said to me after he had jumped in that he could feel the water fizzing. He was talking about the air bubbles bursting against his skin. I had never noticed that even though I have jumped and dived into water thousands and thousands of times. Maybe I did notice when I was a child but I had forgotten to feel it. For this little boy it was a new sensation and so he noticed it.