Yoga and Diving

yogaman

We are regrettably losing one of our instructors this week for 2 months because she is taking a break to train as a yoga instructor in southern Costa Rica. We wish her all the best! We also have our new Divemaster in Training doing a peak performance buoyancy dive whereby one of the performance requirements is to: ‘use visualization techniques before the dive to relax, establish a comfortable breathing pattern and move gracefully’. As PADI instructors our Membership Agreement states we must evaluate our physical health and fitness for diving as well as your ability to supervise and respond to diver emergencies.

So in light of today’s well-being theme here is some information about how Yoga can improve your diving:

What is the link between diving and yoga? Entering a meditative state of mind and being in the present moment. The fusion of yoga and diving can help you understand what meditation is and to apply it in your daily life.

Definition of Meditation: Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.

How can yoga practice complement or enhance your diving? Through diving, one can experience a moving meditative state, a sense of peace and connection with nature as you float silently, weightless in the blue, only hearing the sound of your breathing, being in the present moment as you experience the sensation of being submerged in another environment. The sensation of hovering in midwater is immensely liberating, the nearest most people will get to experiencing near-zero gravity. This natural tendency of entering a meditative sate while diving helps us to understand meditation better which is one of the limbs of yoga practice.

How can yoga enhance your diving skills or learning how to dive? Yoga places emphasis on slow controlled breathing, on proper inhalation and exhalation, as breathing is considered the essential connection between body and mind. Practiced regularly, yoga promotes deep, slow breathing, and teaches you how to calm your mind. The breathing skills we learn in yoga will help us to breathe better underwater and thus improving our air-consumption. One also learns how to refine your buoyancy through breathing properly underwater and being relaxed. Yoga teaches us how to relax consciously. If you are relaxed underwater while diving and breathing slow and rhythmically and with good buoyancy then it becomes easier to enter a meditative state of mind. You don’t consume as much air by relaxing and staying calm underwater and this good presence of mind prevents perceptual narrowing; a common factor in the escalation of problems underwater.

So if you dive already, or even if you don’t yet, give yoga a try? Barbara will be back in 2 months to share what she learned on her training course in her 3 times weekly yoga sessions at 6am on the beach. (yep, that’s right, 6am!).

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