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Four Meditation techniques for every scuba diver

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By Margarita Solotskaya

Meditation is getting more and more popular in the western world. Many successful people use this method to help achieve their goals.

Meditation is often seen as one of the freediving preparation techniques. But – meditation and scuba? All this equipment, lead, heavy tanks and… lotus position? Weird idea, to say the least. Or not? How can meditation techniques be helpful for scuba divers?

1. Mindful preparation

Diving starts with preparation. Good planning, correctly assembled gear and a positive attitude are all elements of a comfortable dive. Some people don’t like preparation, but others (myself included) are fond of examining dive sites’ maps and planning the route, checking gasses and assembling equipment. So, what can we do to prepare better for the dive and make this step more enjoyable?

  • Try to find something that will cheer you up in this process. Pay attention to it. You should take your time anyway, so why not have fun? Studying the dive site map, I try to imagine how this place will look underwater. During the dive I compare this mental picture with the real one. It’s interesting, both when they resemble each other and when they don’t.
  • I like the process of preparing my equipment because it is well-thought out and logical. When everything is ready, I feel satisfaction because everything works well, is nicely arranged, and streamlined. If you don’t like your equipment, maybe it is time to make changes?
  • Try to notice whether you are nervous. What, exactly, are you nervous about? Sometimes it is an unfinished report at work, but in this case, diving is the perfect way to distract from it and have some fun. However, at times I feel somewhat anxious before a dive without any special reason. If that happens, I mentally recheck all my equipment, to be sure that nothing was forgotten during preparation. That gives me confidence, but if some doubts persist, I know that there will also be a bubble check underwater. Usually this helps to alleviate any worries and leaves me just thrilled with the depths that await me. At the same time, it’s ok to feel some anxiety. It stops us from being careless and negligent. Water is a non-native environment for humans and we must dive well prepared.
  • The last question that is worth asking is what exactly are you expecting from this dive? Sure, you have defined its purpose during planning, but now I’m talking about other things. You may want to have a calm underwater walk with a friend or your loved one, to experience weightlessness, to have a chance to spend some time alone or feel the total calm of the sea’s abyss, undisturbed by the waves passing on its surface. You can find your own purpose. By the way, if you have planned for a meeting with marine creatures, be sure to check that you’ve arranged it well. One of you might have the wrong time or place.

2. Seeing more

Diving is a contemplative sport. One of the most popular competitions among divers is “who sees more.” Have you ever won? Don’t cheat! Pay attention to what is already in front of you. You may notice something new, even in a familiar coral. During your dive, think about what in the unfolding landscape you have never actually seen before?

When I saw a tropical reef for the first time, I wanted to absorb it all at once. As a result, it all turned into a colorful spot inside my brain. My attention was skipping from one coral to another and I couldn’t concentrate on a single thing. Novice divers are usually attracted by bright large corals, schools of fish, huge pelagic creatures. They don’t notice small nudibranchs, shrimp, or worms that hide in their houses at the slightest movement. And then – a whole new world of tiny creatures opens to them!

Everything changes when you have hundreds of dives behind you. Everything is well-known and explored. But still, there is always possibility to look with more attention – this fish is unusually bright, that coral has such a lovely branch, and I have never seen it at this angle…

3. Be here and now

At my very first diving course in 2008, I quickly learned that I needed to fully concentrate on what I was doing; otherwise, I wouldn’t succeed. Before that, my whole life was marked by the “do two things simultaneously” slogan.

At that time, I was visiting Egypt with my 3 year old son was planning on spending my holidays at the beach. There was a diving center at our hotel, where I got acquainted with some divers. I wanted to see all the beauty of the sea that I loved so much. They told me that I could come on their boat with my child and somebody would take care of him while I was underwater.

The next morning, we were all ready and headed out to sea on a beautiful snow-white boat. Once onboard, I realized how much danger there were for a 3 year old – ladders, lines, heavy equipment, and finally the open dive deck! During my first dive, I was constantly thinking about my son – how is he, has he hurt himself, and is he bored? I don’t remember much of that dive, even though it was the renowned Red Sea. We were doing some exercises and I wasn’t very good at them (by the way, my son was absolutely fine).

I decided to take the course. While preparing to perform the hovering exercise – not an easy one for a beginner – I realized that if I continued to think about my son, I simply wouldn’t be able to do it. So, I concentrated only on what I was doing during the dive, because I was not near my son, not able to help him if… well, if what? He was fine. This dive is still in my memory. My hovering was irreproachable. I saw marvelous tropical reef fish of every color you can imagine. Afterward, my instructor told me that my eyes reflected my fascination with the underwater world. This dive was an immense pleasure and I still remember it eleven years later. That is not without reason. The feeling of happiness is directly linked to being in the present moment. Being able to think only about what we are doing and what is happening right now. I managed to accomplish this.

4. Breathing and getting relaxed

Usually, the first thing you are taught when learning meditation is to watch your own breath. In diving, breathing is practically the only thing that links us to the surface. Everything else is different – environment, vision, pressure, light, movement mechanics, etc. Pay attention to how you breathe. You should inhale and exhale slowly, calmly and deeply. This pattern ensures the most effective air consumption. Remember: never hold your breath. If you notice that your breathing pattern has altered, it may indicate that you are moving inefficiently.

Breathing and tension in your body are closely linked to one another. Tension makes us breathe more rapidly and use more air. It is important to relax during the dive, as it helps to feel more self-assured and spend less air. From time to time, pay attention to what is happening to your body and your breathing. This will help you to notice the first signs of excess tension in your legs or back. This may lead you to slightly change your body position, fin stroke or adjust your equipment before it becomes really uncomfortable.

Rapid shallow breathing is a sign of not only physical exertion, but of mental stress as well. If something underwater makes you nervous, you begin to breathe rapidly. The good news is that your breathing can help you to calm down too. Do you remember an old rule for diving emergency situations? “Stop. Breathe. Think. Act.” There is a reason for it. You should stop, not only to avoid worsening the situation, but also to concentrate on your breathing. By just paying attention to your breathing pattern, you will be able to calm down. But, if you do 2-3 conscious and deep inhalations and exhalations, anxiety will more than likely disappear and you will be able to analyze what made you nervous.

All these uncomplicated steps allow you to take a fresh look at diving and make each dive more enjoyable. After all, we all dive for the pleasure of being united with the wonderful underwater world!


To find out more about International Training, visit www.tdisdi.com.

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… IDC’s and what to expect

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Looking at becoming a PADI Instructor? Why would you not, it is the best job in the world! Getting to become a PADI Instructor though is sometimes a scary process… or so I have heard…. It really isn’t, trust me! It’s actually pretty fun. 

The first thing I always like to get people to remember is their Open water course. When you started did you know everything about how the equipment worked? Did your instructor expect you to know all of the skills before they showed you them? No? Well, guess what, the IDC is a course too. It is about preparing you and working with you to give you the tips and tricks to not just pass your Instructor Examination (IE), but to prepare you for teaching your own students. 

I am well aware that there are courses out there that just teach you how to pass, and I am by far not saying that I have the best IDC in the world. I don’t, and I learn all of the time myself. There’s always an instructor that comes along in the dive season doing something a different way that I pick up and use. We learn all of the time, and is the only way that we ever get better. So to clear up that misconception, the IDC is not just a stepping stone to the IE and you are not expected to know everything before you come along. 

So, what does the IDC actually involve. Theory… obviously. You are going to need to have a knowledge of physics, RDP and all of the other topics that you will have covered throughout you diving levels. The theory side is the ‘boring’ part… I mean, we all dive for the water, no?! But, it is an important part and it’s going to help you be able to explain how to use the equipment, how it actually works, and the other questions that your students are going to be curious about. This section is all about developing your knowledge of those sections.

The water side then, confined water and open water. The fun parts! In short this is where we are going to go through the course skills and see how everyone does them. There is no perfect way for this… you do not have to play Simon says on the course… your way may be better than everyone else! What we will do though, is work with you to make sure that the demonstration is clear, concise and controlled to demonstrate to your students. Again, there is no expectation to be perfect before you come. We want you to ask questions, we want you to make mistakes… because that is how we learn, and most of all, how we get better. 

The other part of the in water activities, aren’t just about the skills though, it is also about your control under the water. We want to make sure that when you head out with your own students, that you are comfortable and can control the situation. Not something that comes to us all naturally straight away, but with coaching on the IDC, I am sure that you will get to this point before the end!

Last but not least, the course standards, content and rescue scenarios. All of this is in place to make sure that you understand the syllabus for each of the courses that you are going to be able to teach, and just as importantly, you are able to effect a rescue if the situation ever presented itself. A gloomy but important situation to think about. 

And after all that… voila! Thats it, the IDC! After completion there is then the ‘scary’ IE with the PADI examiners… they aren’t actually that scary, I promise! The two day IE basically covers what you have learnt in the IDC. No surprises, you are assessed on exactly what you have covered.

So stop putting off your IDC. If you love scuba and want to make it your career. Do it! 


Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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Dive Training Blogs

Tips for… Boat Diving

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Boat diving… the best kind of diving! We love the months of March – October when our dive boat, Little Viv, hits the water for the season. Diving from a boat offers so many more dive opportunities, and don’t get us wrong, we love shore diving too but the change of going off to Tudwals islands, being the only divers on site, is something special.

So, what do you need to know about boat diving other than it is amazing? First off, don’t rule out the RHIB boat… and yes, we are biased. Little Viv is a RHIB, but there is a reason for that, and it’s not just because we don’t like giving you the opportunity for a toilet break! The dive sites around our coastline here are pretty shallow, which makes it hard for a hard boat to get to where we want to go. For the diving with the seals, into the coves… Little Viv is perfect to drop us in and collect us. That said, there are also some epic hard boat dives here in the UK too: Plymouth for the wrecks, Eyemouth for the deeper reefs, all of which are suited to their own type of boat.

Next off… what to bring? We can answer that for you – just your dive equipment! You don’t need to bring a whole host of items with you. There is a small amount of room on the boat, and let’s be honest, if we are doing it right, we shouldn’t be on the boat for that much time in the day – we want to be underneath the waves! We recommend getting yourself a small dry bag to pack some snacks and to keep your phone in and a coat with you (it can always be a bit chilly out at sea regardless of the time of year).

Anything else that we get asked? That last all important question of how much experience do you need to boat dive. Well, once you are qualified, you are entitled to dive anywhere in the world… that includes boats! All of these types of dives improve our experience in diving and open doors to new exciting opportunities. There are plenty of places, including us, that offer guided boat dives which are a great way to get into boat diving if you are new to this type of dive.

So, if you have not dived off a boat yet… definitely put it on your list for this year!


Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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