Now in my mid-sixties and having spent a lifetime with a fear of falling and heights and consequently a fear of water, I had experienced many panic attacks in the process of learning to swim and never really enjoyed swimming. The experience at Croft Farm with Ian and Cheryl was an amazing revelation. The idea of standing in a swimming pool just letting go and falling forward into the water was a very daunting prospect. The first few attempts were very stressful producing a lot of tension in my body. However, with Ian and Cheryl’s help and encouragement gradually I learned to relax. In fact as the lessons progressed I discovered that doing nothing in the water to achieve a floating position apart from allowing it to happen was in fact a very pleasant experience. By the end of the course I discovered that I was able to fall forward into the water allow myself to drift around calmly, gently exhale with my face submerged, and even to look from side to side. I could then allow my feet to sink without feeling I needed to keep everything rigid in order to float.
Floating by actually doing nothing in the water was amazing.
Thanks to Ian and Cheryl this was a truly unforgettable experience.more
03-May-2013 / written by Jean
As a regular yoga practitioner, I have always found it frustrating not to be able to transfer my yoga breathing and body balance to the water. I love swimming, but easily felt fatigued and suffered with annoying neck and back pain after a swim. An intense week with Ian taught me how to slow myself down and balance my body from side to side in the water, to let my arms drift into the stroke rather than thrash them into it and to breathe at a natural point in a more relaxed position rather than fling my head to the side and gasp for air. Breast stroke had always been my preferred stroke, but I always suffered with neck and lower back pain after a swim. In a short time Ian helped me to transform my stroke by giving my head to the water, taking more time to glide and taking a breath at the right time. I can now swim for long periods of time, switching from breast stroke to crawl and enjoying my time in the water more than I've ever done - without pain or stress to any part of my body. Less is definitely more.
My daughter Lucy (7) and I have just completed our second Swimming Without Stress course at Croft Farm, having enjoyed our first one so much, when we visited last year. Lucy has since decided that she no longer wants 'conventional' lessons, rather preferring to wait for lessons with Ian when we take our holiday -Ian & Lucy have a lovely connection. He brings a fun, but gentle & calming element to Lucy's lessons, and I have watched her morph from a previously over excited, slightly panicky swimmer, gasping for breath and tiring easily, into a relaxed & confident child enjoying the water more than ever. She has learnt to rest on top of and under the water and breathe in a relaxed way. She has learnt to kick her legs in a way that doesn't tire her out quickly and she can spend long periods of time in the water without tiring or ending up with neck & back pain. Ian's ethos of teaching children to love the water and to move around, rest & breathe with ease, is one which I believe all parents should look into for their children. It's an emotional and enjoyable experience for a parent to observe.
I am a confident and previously competitive swimmer. I had absolutely no idea
how the Swimming Without Stress lessons would benefit me. I had previously been stuck in breast
stroke as I tired quickly using front crawl, so Ian spent the week intensively
teaching me how to be balanced on either side, how to use my arm & legs in
a much more restful way and how to breathe more easily, rather than grab a
breath. The techniques have all come together and I have managed 3 x half hour
sessions of crawl since my course using my new style, without tiring and I
could have easily carried on each time.... Maybe my childhood dream of swimming
21-Apr-2013 / written by Hilary
Having swimming lessons with Ian at Swimming Without Stress was actually an enjoyable experience! The difference from all other adult swimming lessons is the relaxed atmosphere in a dedicated pool with a dedicated instructor. Ian has the ability to work around the person. He will use different approaches to achieve the same thing and with me this was quite successful. The whole family indeed enjoyed the experience. I strongly recommend swimming without stress if you want to enjoy the water!more
03-Apr-2013 / written by Tarek
I chose 'The swimming without stress course' after looking at many websites, it stood out as being the most suitable for me. I have never been able to swim and indeed have always been fearful of being in the water, so I knew that the only way to learn was to tackle my deep insecurity and at the age of 42 I felt this was the right time. I was instantly reassured when I spoke to Ian on the phone to make the booking. He immediately grasped my situation and was very encouraging without being too over-zealous. During the swimming lessons Ian and I tackled my anxiety, he was very understanding and patient and constantly reassuring. At the end of my lessons, which were 5 in total, I was able to do a small glide in the water. This may seem trivial to all those swimmers but for me it was monumental, a life-changing experience.more
02-Apr-2013 / written by Tina
I am now back to swimming three times a week and have had no neck or back pain since working with Ian. The lessons have transformed my swimming style and my attitude to swimming. I don't get in the pool worrying about times but focus on my technique and the quality of my swimming. I've found that my attitude to swimming has changed - I'm much more reflective when I swim, which has made me more positive and relaxed afterwards. I had the hangover of a competition mentality: get in, swim hard, put in the laps. Now I swim for longer but it feels much better.
I have even tried open water swimming using this technique and found that my stamina has improved.
Ian has helped me love my swimming again. It's as simple as that.more
02-Apr-2013 / written by Amanda
After many years in fear of water, now in my 30's, I decided it was time to take some action.
I had swimming lessons in primary school but I never enjoyed them and dreaded every Wednesday! The fear continued through my teenage years to the point which I would never put my head under the water. I just believed there must be something different about my body which made me unsuitable for swimming. In particular my nose!
I first downloaded an e-book of "Swimming Without Stress" then decided a holiday in Wales with a chance to overcome my fears was a great opportunity. I'm so glad I did as now just try and keep me away from a pool! :o)
Ian and Cheryl's approach is like yoga or martial art . They teach how to be calm in the water before moving onto any stroke techniques. First and foremost my lifelong fear of water breathing was dealt with swiftly by Ian!
They teach at your pace. For me this meant a focus on breathing technique associated with different swimming strokes. 8 lessons later I can now float pretty much indefinitely! I can swim a good technical front crawl and back crawl. Not too bad at breast stroke and can do all the lazy glides useful for sunny holidays ;)more
02-Apr-2013 / written by Andre
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“ I'd like to help people through this blog who are currently struggling with something in the water - strugglers of all abilities - non-swimmers, people unable to co-ordinate the strokes, fitness swimmers who can't stop watching the clock, teachers of swimming getting nowhere with belligerent pupils. There are a lot of you about and if it wasn't for you, Swimming Without Stress wouldn't exist. So please feel free to comment."Ian Cross - Swimming Without Stress