Scuba breathing technique directly impacts how long your air lasts while you’re underwater. And your skill at buoyancy control goes a long way in helping you master how you breathe while you’re scuba diving.
The faster you breathe the less time you have to enjoy the aquatic environment. When your breathing is controlled, smooth, and slow, you get to dive longer. And the longer you dive the more stuff you get to see.
When divers go through their certification courses they get basic instruction on how to breathe underwater. The first thing they hear, and one of the most important lessons they get, is “Never stop breathing while you’re diving. Never hold your breath on scuba gear.” It’s a health safety thing. Holding your breath on a dive threatens damage to your lungs, and sometimes death.
After certification the diver is on his own to figure out the best method for his own diving activities. Most new divers burn through their air supply like a tornado rips through a trailer park.
Those first dives often last no longer than forty minutes or so.
To get more time underwater, determined divers study breathing techniques. With enough study the diver finds a breathing style that fits well with his diving style, and body composition.
Once a diver finds his best scuba breathing technique the next step is to practice that technique until it becomes a habit. The diver’s goal is to turn the method of breathing into a personal habit. Then he automatically transitions to breathing that way every time he starts putting on his dive equipment.