A Yoga Practitioner's Experience with Scuba Diving
Scuba diving was not something that I was attracted to. I had tried it...being guided on two previous introductory scuba dives (where a dive instructor literally drags you by your hand through the 20 minute dive). The places were beautiful…crystal clear Indonesian waters with a cute non-English speaking instructor, and the fluorescent colors of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The experience was nice, but I felt weighed down by all the equipment, I didn’t feel calm, and the experience felt quite commercial and touristy with the multitude of other participants around.
Tzvi, an experienced scuba dive instructor and therapeutic guide, encouraged me to give scuba diving another chance…to complete an open water course of five days so that I would gain knowledge and feel more comfortable under water. We started the course with an intimate group who surprisingly also weren’t as enthusiastic as you might assume about learning to dive. It wasn’t long after Tzvi’s theory lesson and his very patient question answering session that we participants were staring at each other with slightly nervous eyes and descending. Twenty minutes later we emerged from the depth of this alien world we had just experienced with shiny happy eyes and couldn’t remove our regulators quick enough to talk about this amazing experience. Every day the excitement grew as we saw more surreal animals underwater and grew in our own personal ways. We became closer as friends, learned to speak non-verbally, to trust, to find balance, to breathe rhythmically which immediately calmed us…we overcame fears and empowered ourselves, and each other, through facing challenges together. By the end of the forth day I couldn’t sleep, I just wanted to hurry up and get back into this mystical underwater world where I felt so much peace and bliss. By the end of the fifth day and conclusion of the open water divers course I was actually shocked that more people aren’t diving and using this experience for the natural therapy that it gives. “Everyone needs to know about how amazing this is!”, I began telling everyone I came in contact with. For me to find something that brought me the same peace as a yogic lifestyle, but through different means was revolutionary, and I was…and still am super excited about it! I found the rhythmic breathing that I find through pranayama very naturally and absolutely mandatory during diving. In therapeutic acro/partner yoga there is an amazing element of allowing traction and gravity to release your partners muscles passively. In scuba diving you experience weightlessness, relieving muscle pain and tension in a different, but equally effective way. In acro/partner yoga workshops I focus on the therapeutic benefits of working together, communicating effectively, patience and trust, and taking it in to our day to day lives. This is comparable to the “buddy” system in scuba diving, the practice of always diving with someone else whom you support, trust, and protect. There are so many more benefits that I could talk about from the physical, to the emotional and spiritual. I encourage anyone who has questions to contact us and we hope that you will descend into mother earth, into the depths of her waters and to the depths of your beings…to grow, to be nourished, to go deeper. Namaste beautiful souls we look forward to seeing you in the deep blue!