Just a quick note to thank all who have contributed to this thread. I started lessons 6 weeks ago (before that I couldn't even float) and struggled really badly with relaxing in the water and breathing. I turned to good ole google for more info, stumbled across this
blog post, and then this forum, yay! All the posts here have helped me understand what feel to capture when swimming, and I got the TI book a couple of weeks ago (I was lucky to get the last copy in the store!). By using Nicodermus's drill, and repeating to myself 'relax, relax' as I practice my breaststroke, I discovered that my breathing magically sorted itself out. And the Darth Vader tip really helped me keep my nose and lungs water-free. :-) So now I am trying to learn freestyle.. and hopefully will progress to other strokes in the future. I feel like I am addicted to swimming now, I can't wait for my next pool session! Having learnt martial arts in the past makes me really appreciate the TI drills and kaizen spirit of the TI approach.
So, once again, thank you all! :-)