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Nov 22, 2014

While on assignment in Greece, journalist James Nestor witnessed something that confounded him: a man diving 300 feet below the ocean’s surface on a single breath of air and returning four minutes later, totally unharmed... ...and smiling.

This man was a "freediver", and his superhuman abilities inspired James to seek out the secrets of the little-known discipline of free diving, and to write the new book, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves.

In the book, he embeds with a gang of extreme athletes and renegade researchers who are transforming not only our knowledge of the planet and its creatures, but also our understanding of the human body and mind. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away through sonar, sharks that swim in straight lines through pitch-black waters using built-in, natural electromagnetic sensors, and seals who dive to depths below 2,400 feet for up to eighty minutes. From each of these strange phenomena are, James shows how humans themselves could be capable of these remarkable feats such as extreme breath-holding, echolocation, and alternate forms of communication.

James has written for Outside Magazine, Dwell Magazine, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Men's Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, and more, and in today's interview with James, you'll learn: -Why Olympic athletes are learning to hold their breath for more than 5 minutes... -How you can use something called "the Master Switch of Life" to enhance your heart and lung function... -What you can train your body to do to survive as you dive to greater depths... -A new form of air pressure equalization that allows you to go to incredible depths, and how to learn it... -How to use breath-hold walks and other forms of dry land breath training to increase your oxygen capacity... -Why WiFi routers and cell phones may actually be destroying your innate ability to sense your physical location on the planet... -How you can learn to navigate without seeing and instead by using a built-in ability called echolocation... -How you can learn to freedive...

Resources From This Episode -The book Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves. -Ted Hardy from Immersion Freediving who can teach you the Frenzel Technique on Skype. -This Frenzel technique .pdf if you want to teach yourself. -Performance Freediving International to learn how to freedive.

If you have questions, comments or feedback about how to start freediving, the book Deep, or anything else James and I discuss in the podcast, then leave them at