Why Skydiving Feels A Lot Like A Mindfulness Meditation

Why Skydiving Feels A Lot Like A Mindfulness Meditation

Recently, uMore was awarded 1st Place in the Gritti Fund’s #PitchUpInTheSky competition, a competition where Dubai-based startups had to pitch their business ideas. It all sounds very normal, until you realize that the pitch had to be delivered 12,000 feet up in the sky, on a plane, just before a skydive. It was thrilling to say the least.

The event was live-streamed on social media in collaboration with TikTok and Dubai Tourism. It can still be viewed on YouTube today through this link. It was a pleasure to have been a part of such an innovative event, which to date is the most streamed pitching competition in history.

I wanted to share however a takeaway I had while I commenced the actual skydive itself. To me, the skydive reminded me of my own experiences trying to meditate.

After having been announced as the winners, my skydiving partner, Rodney, and I sat on the side of the plane. It was overwhelming at first, to see the Dubai coastline rush by in a frenzied roar. At this point I was feeling pretty nervous, though these feelings of agitation all started to leave as soon as the jump commenced.

For those of you who have never skydived… know this. It is the most calming things you can do. It sounds crazy, but the skydiving experience is very similar to meditation. You begin with a frantic rush and an inability to concentrate on one single things as you plummet down to the ground at speeds too quick to grapple with. This is not to different to the racing thoughts we encounter when trying to meditate, getting distracted with little focus.

Meditation can help us break away from racing thoughts.

However once the parachute is pulled, there is absolute tranquility. There is silence and little movement, as you glide through the air peacefully you feel relieved of all the stress which came before.

From my own experiences when meditating, I always am aware of my own agitations and stresses before I begin. Even when I start to meditate, these feelings linger while I try to concentrate on my breathe. I notice the frantic and frenzied thoughts as I “descend” into the meditation. With enough time and concentration though, these thoughts start to dissipate. When I am free of distractions, I feel like I am gliding.

While I do not believe I have reached it, I imagine this is just like the feeling of enlightenment in meditation. It’s a state which we can all strive to reach.

Grounded, soothed and calm. Just like at the end of a meditation.

It was a pleasure to have been invited by the Gritti Fund to take part in this competition. We met many incredible people, and learned a lot about taking-off along the start-up runway (pun intended). While any of us put in the practice to become skilled mediators, a taste of skydiving can give us the enlightened experience.

If you would like to try some meditation exercises to break away from agitating and racing thoughts, try the exercises that we have created on the uMore app!

Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders
Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders

Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.