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Article written by Amanda Parr

Like most divers, I naturally felt some apprehension when first learning how to dive. With all the
cumbersome gear, awkward movements, and unfamiliar sensations, scuba diving can be a bit
stressful in the beginning. Even experienced divers can face stress and anxiety at times, like when
diving in a new environment, or under challenging conditions.

Throughout my years of diving, if I ever faced a stressful moment, I found myself instinctively
reverting to techniques I learned in Yoga to keep myself calm. By tuning in to the sound of my
breath, or fixating my attention on one of nature’s many wonders, I am able to keep my mind focused
in the present moment and respond with control. When I integrate Yoga into my dive, I not only feel
more confident and at ease, but the experience is more vivid and meaningful.

Yoga is an ancient practice that uses gentle physical postures (Asanas), breathing practices
(Pranayama), relaxation techniques, and meditation to promote a healthy body, encourage a calm
and composed mind, and create a foundation for heightened awareness and a peaceful state of
being.

Here are a few ways Yoga can enhance your Scuba experience:

 

PADI Instructor Kaleigh Anne Hughes. Photo: Lee Vk
PADI Instructor Kaleigh Anne Hughes. Photo: Lee Vk

 

Asanas

Scuba can be a physically demanding activity. Therefore, maintaining good general health
and fitness is an important part of being a diver. The physical postures in Yoga help strengthen and
limber the body, which reduces the risk of injuries, as well as prevents over-exertion, which can lead
to breathlessness and anxiety. Being in better shape makes diving less strenuous, and therefore
more safe and enjoyable.

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Pranayama

The breathing techniques practiced in Yoga encourage the body to use full capacity of
the lungs and absorb and use oxygen more efficiently. Slow, controlled breathing facilitates a
relaxed body and mind, improves air consumption, and can be used as a tool to fine tune your
buoyancy.

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Meditation

Meditation trains the mind to be calm and completely absorbed in the present moment.
When you dive in this heightened state of awareness, you can improve our alertness and composure
in stressful situations, as well as expand your sense of wonder, appreciation, and oneness with the
underwater world.

Scuba diving has become like a meditation in itself for me. I consider my time underwater to be the
most serene and profound time of my day. As a Yoga teacher and PADI Instructor, I use the same
Yoga-Scuba fusion that has inspired my own diving practice to help my students relax in the water
and become better divers. These techniques are the inspiration behind my PADI Distinctive
Specialty, the Yoga Diver course.

A diver who is relaxed in body, breath, and mind, becomes one with the water. When tension and
anxiety is removed and you are able to completely indulge in the present moment, a surreal and
inspirational experience awaits you in the underwater world.

For more information about the PADI Yoga Diver course, visit www.soulscuba.com, or contact Amanda if you are interested in bringing Yoga-Scuba activities to your part of the world.

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