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Four Meditation techniques for every scuba diver



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

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

Join Me On My Commute To Scuba Diving Key Largo! (Watch Video)



Sunrise was so beautiful the other morning, I wanted to take a time lapse of my drive from home in South Miami to Key Largo before morning dives with Horizon Divers.

I thought you might enjoy taking the ride with me! Silly I know! But here’s 2 minutes of chill!



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Dive Training Blogs

Ten Sensational Spots to Snorkel or Learn to Dive!



A guest blog by PADI

Snorkeling has long been a beloved way to explore the underwater world. With vibrant coral gardens, large schools of fish and a vast underwater topography to explore, snorkel excursions are a great way to experience both your own backyard and create memorable holiday memories to last a lifetime.

But often these sensational snorkel spots are an equally a great place to make your first ocean dives. Whether you participate in a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience or take the PADI Open Water Diver course to become a certified diver, you’ll be guided by a trained PADI® Professional who will be looking out for you the entire time as you take your first breaths under the ocean. This experience allows you to have an intimate connection with the location you are exploring as, oftentimes, you will have the opportunity to see even more marine life than you would from the surface of the water.

To help you plan your next ocean adventure— whether it be down the road or on your next overseas adventure (whenever that may be!) —we have rounded up ten sensational spots where you can both snorkel and learn to scuba dive!

  1. Kohala Coast, Kaanapali, Maui, USA

Not only does Hawaii come with beautiful scenery above water, but the island chain equally boasts some of the most incredible underwater landscapes in America. One of the best places to experience this is along the Kohala Coast in Kaanapali, Maui—whose calm and clear waters make it a favorite spot amongst snorkelers. But it makes for an equally exceptional scuba experience, where you will get to do either do a boat or shore dive and get amongst the turtles, tropical fish and dramatic underwater landscapes.

Photo Credit: PADI

  1. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Be delighted by one of Australia’s most beloved underwater gems—the Great Barrier Reef. Featuring a rainbow of colorful coral gardens and hundreds of tropical fish species, there is plenty to explore here. It is an ideal spot for groups that want varied experiences as tour operators can cater for those that want to snorkel, those that want to learn to dive and those that are already PADI certified. And when you’re not in the water you will get an enriching reef talk where the experts, who will take you though ways in which you can play a part in conserving the reef system.

  1. Sharks Bay, Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt

For those that don’t want to spend the whole day out on a boat but still want to have a memorable experience on the Red Sea, Sharks Bay in Sharm-El-Sheikh is a great option. With stunning house reefs and wrecks in a marine protected area, the colorful underwater experience is beloved by both those that snorkel or do a discover scuba through the area. The boat ride to the house reef is a short one and the memories will certainly last you a lifetime.

Photo Credit: PADI

  1. Poor Knights Island, Northland, New Zealand

Have the perfect day out at one of New Zealand’s first marine reserves. Dubbed by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, Poor Knights Island offers something for everyone. You can easily spend hours swimming through the dense kelp forests and archways full of fish! And in between snorkels you can sign yourself up for a PADI Discover Scuba® Diving experience, where the chances are high you will encounter nudibranchs, long-tailed stingrays, devil rays, sea turtles and even an occasional orca!

  1. Stingray City, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

With unique marine life and spectacular underwater topography, Stingray City in Grand Cayman is a stunning spot to explore the ocean. It is famous for the large of stingrays that come through in search of a meal and offers water enthusiasts a special encounter with them. Those lucky enough may even get a kiss on the lips from these friendly sea creatures. Whether you are snorkeling or doing a discover scuba experience here, make sure you also have your camera in hand, as this spot is extremely photogenic and you’ll want a keepsake of you and your new underwater friends.

Photo Credit: PADI

  1. Great Astrolabe Reef, Kadavu, Fiji

One of the most intimate places to snorkel and also have your first diving experience is in the Great Astrolabe Reef. A few seconds underwater and you will quickly discover why Fiji is regarded as the soft coral capital of the world. It is a great spot to have your “Finding Nemo” moment and chances are high that you will also see manta rays and resident white tip reef sharks while you’re in the crystal-clear warm waters. With only small groups exploring the reef at a time, it is the perfect spot to have a special moment amidst the pristine nature.

  1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo, Florida, USA

With this state fully re-open for business (at the time of writing), ditch the crowded amusement parks and beaches for Florida’s underwater park at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which was the first of its kind in America! What makes this an equally great place to snorkel and learn to dive are the shallow waters that have an immense landscape for you to explore. You’ll see abundant sea life with over 650 types of fish, 40 types of living coral the famed 12-foot submerged statue of Jesus.

  1. The Blue Hole, Gozo, Malta

Whether you are snorkeling or diving for the first time in Malta, taking a giant stride into their blue hole is a must-do bucket list item. It’s no surprise this is a favorite spot amongst ocean lovers, as Jacques Cousteau rated this spot one of the best in all of Europe. Be amazed as you watch the natural light rays bounce off the beautiful reef—illuminating the unique topography of the area. For those that try a dive here, it will certainly set standards high for future dives to come!

Photo Credit: Manuel Bustelo

  1. Robberg Nature Reserve, Plettenburg Bay, South Africa

What’s cooler than snorkeling with seals? Diving with them! Plettenburg Bay in the Western Cape is home to some of the friendliest seals who are keen to play all day long. Sign up to snorkel with them for the day during an ocean excursion or do a discover scuba experience— where you learn to dive in the pool first and then head to the ocean to find your furry friends! Either way, it is only a short boat ride out to find the seals, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to play with them in their natural habitat.

  1. Crag-y-Mor, Wales, United Kingdom

Explore the cooler (literally) places in Wales by going on an underwater snorkeling or diving adventure! There are both half-day snorkeling and diving trips that give you a new perspective of the coastline—where both seals and historical ruins are in abundance. While there are magical marine life encounters in these waters all year long, summer offers a chance to see the water sparkle from both moon and blue jellyfish. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll swim passed walls that are covered in red sea squirts!

Photo Credit: PADI

Ready to dive in? Visit or contact a PADI Dive Center or Resort to start planning your snorkel or scuba trip!

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email

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