Our motto, at Ocean Sound, is "Experience Your Breath". This is because both diving and yoga are really all about breath awareness and control. When we think about diving, we tend to think about floating effortlessly through the aquatic world, observing and enjoying the marine life and landscape. When we think of yoga, often funky body poses come to mind first - in either case, we don't generally immediately correlate these activities with breathing. However, any diver, and any yogi, will tell you that their ability to enjoy their activity, whether swimming with the fishes, or moving around on a mat, depends on their ability to consciously manipulate the breath. Without breath awareness, both diving and yoga become difficult, if not impossible.
In yoga classes, students are guided to become conscious of their breath and work to breathe more slowly and deeply. When they take these skills underwater they will be able to extend their dive time as their air consumption will be reduced. This means more time to explore the underwater world!
Also, breath awareness will give divers better buoyancy control- as we teach students in their PADI Open Water Course, the way in which one breathes will affect their position in the water. As such, with conscious, controlled breathing, as taught in yoga classes, divers will be able to use their lung volume to adjust their depth. This makes diving effortless and fun for the diver, and also makes it a lot more environmentally friendly! Divers with good buoyancy control are able to avoid kicking corals or damaging aquatic life, which is, of course, extremely important!
Through the practice of the asanas, or poses, of yoga, students will be in better condition, physically, and will be fit for diving, avoiding potential problems with over-exertion caused by poor physical condition. The yoga poses also help make people more aware of their bodies and so they will be better able to swim efficiently and will be more hydrodynamic. This will allow them to maneuver in the water to better see aquatic life, without damaging the environment, or scaring our underwater friends!
Finally, the yoga practice helps to calm the mind and trains students to detach themselves from feelings of tension or stress. This can benefit both beginning divers, and more experienced divers who dive in challenging or technical situations as developing a calm mind is undoubtedly essential for divers when feelings of anxiety or stress could otherwise arise. It's totally normal for first-time divers to feel anxious, but with a few deep yogic breaths, feelings of tension soon melt away and students are absorbed in the beauty of the aquatic world!
We don't actually teach yoga classes underwater. We get asked this a lot! To effectively use the yoga poses as part of a practice, you need to take deep breaths... but you also need gravity.