Published February 28, 2020 | Diving

Have you ever tried meditation breathing while scuba diving? We are here to answer all your questions.

Benefits of scuba diving and meditation

From the moment you begin your open water course, you are often reminded of one thing: always breathe. Never hold your breath. In the beginning, you are not aware of how much this rule applies throughout your dive career.

When beginning to practice meditation the focus is purely on the breath. Before learning any aspect of what should be in your mind, you practice focusing on the air flowing in and out of your body. In through your nose, out through your mouth in a controlled, steady fashion.

Breathing allows the diver to stay calm given a stressful circumstance above or below the surface. While scuba diving any situation could happen: regulator ripped from your mouth: breath, the tank is stuck on coral: breathe, current arises out of nowhere: breath.

Strong currents can often arise while diving, especially in Komodo.

diver floating in meditation pose

Underwater meditation (controlled, steady breath) has the following benefits:

  • Reduction in stress and anxiety
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Lengthened attention span
  • Sensory deprivation
  • Enhanced emotional well being and diving

Reduction in stress and anxiety

Many different factors can arise during a dive. The capacity to control your breath will reduce your stress and will enhance your ability to stay calm throughout unexpected situations.

During a dive, the waters can turn at any point, from calm to a strong current without warning especially in Indonesia. This can cause stress for yourself, your dive buddy or other members of your dive group. Remaining calm in this situation will benefit everyone involved.

Even when we can’t speak, we can pick up on how others feel. When one diver observes calmness in their group, they will realize it is not necessary to panic. Your dive guide will also be thankful for the extra help underwater.

Increased self-awareness

The more aware you are of your mind and your body the more enjoyable your entire dive experience will be. Starting with being on the boat:  do you get seasick? Are you anxious about the dive ahead?  Is your anxiety caused by diving or another personal thought? Can you remember all the steps you learned in your course?

Understanding yourself and the answer to these questions will allow you to deal with issues directly related to diving and leaving everything else behind. Once underwater, it will be easier to focus on the beautiful world around instead of any issues left on the shore.

Also, awareness of your own body position is an important attribute to diving. Your body position needs to stay neutral and horizontal. The more controlled breath you have, the higher the chances of this position. Or being aware of needing to move your body back to the appropriate posture.

Divers in neutral position

Lengthened attention span

A standard dive can last between 40 to 60 minutes. During the entire time span, it is key we pay attention and do not lose focus on ourselves, our equipment and our surroundings.

There are a variety of different feelings underwater. You have equipment attached to you, water pressure over your entire body, new marine life you possibly have never seen before and people you need to stay around or follow.

It is a less daunting task to handle all these feelings when you can pay attention throughout the dive. The dive will be over before you know it and you will feel like you were in control of your breath throughout.

Sensory deprivation

So often when we try to meditate our minds are quickly pulled away. Our phones dinging, our family and friends talking or interacting, or our email alerts are constant.

When underwater, all the distractions are gone. The only noise you can hear is the sound of the bubbles coming from your regulator. Or if you listen closely, the noises coming from marine life.

Sensory deprivation is an effective way to learn meditation. It is a part of meditation that does not always come naturally for people. Often, scuba diving is the first time people are truly able to focus on breathing without distraction from anything else around them.

coral reef and fish

Enhanced emotional well being and diving

Overall, meditation improves the well-being of our minds and bodies. We have lower heart rates, better sleep habits, and generally more energy. Our minds are more peaceful and more present every day.

The more we meditate the healthier we become and the more relaxed our dives become. Between meditation and scuba diving, we become overall healthier, happier individuals.

Buoyancy and breath

Our lungs are a built-in BCD underwater. When our lungs are full of air we are more buoyant, therefore when our lungs do not have air in them we are less buoyant.

With this being the case we can control our breath to control our buoyancy, to get close to the reef, see the smallest of macro life, and even rise or fall to get around a coral in our path. Are you interested in learning more about buoyancy? PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy might be right for you.

As we inhale we rise and when we exhale we sink. This is why breathing in a controlled steady manner allows us to stay in a neutral position. There is little movement up or down when the breath is controlled. Similarly, in the practice of meditation, we learn to focus on body position.

Sun and blue ocean water underwater

Eventually, meditation while diving comes naturally without additional thought or effort. In order to be great divers, we focus on our breath. To meditate we focus on our breath. Two amazing, life-improving activities are combined in a paradise that cannot be denied. Come dive with us at Scuba Center Asia! You will have a great time and leave feeling zen!