Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort on the stunning Eastern Caribbean island of St Lucia, has created a unique programme combining wellness, breathwork and diving for the ultimate, therapeutic underwater experience.
Working together, the wellness and diving teams at the property have created a powerful programme designed to harness the power of breathwork to enhance the diving experience and the beauty of the underwater environs. The Underwater Breathwork Programme is an offering for those experienced in diving, or wellness enthusiasts looking for a unique experience.
Based around a sunrise dive which takes place in the early morning in calm and tranquil waters, the programme starts with an initial briefing. This takes place on the boat with expert instructor Eget Martyr, the Windjammer Landing resident dive expert with over 25 years’ experience in the scuba diving and hospitality industry. Eget has worked closely with the wellness team and Dr. Samantha Maha to create and lead this breathwork programme. Dr. Maha has over 15 years of experience in mind body medicine, Yoga and Ayurveda. One of her specialities is breathing techniques or Pranayama and meditation, which has been used in the creation of the Underwater Breathwork Programme.
On the way to the dive site, a visualisation and mindfulness exercise will take place, with a full briefing of the breathwork involved during the dive. Four different breathing techniques will be focused on. For each technique, the diving team will take the guests through guided deep breath, explaining the importance of each technique. This breathwork helps to manage any stress or anxiety before the dive.
The underwater experience itself will include multiple breathing exercises, practised on the boat beforehand to aid with buoyancy control and mindfulness. Controlled yoga positions are demonstrated and held underwater. This is followed by a relaxing and scenic dive tour, with a focus on breath and mindfulness, allowing guests to engage and absorb the underwater surroundings. Benefits include slowing down the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and creating a deep feeling of calm, as well as reducing overall stress and anxiety.
The wellness team included both yogic postures and breathwork into the experience. Examples of the breathwork exercises which will take place prior to the dive include:-
a.The Yogic Breath (8 mins) – slow, deep, calm exhalations with a straight spine. Rhythmic patterns of slow deep breathing strengthens the respiratory system and soothes the nervous system.
b. Nadi Shodhana (6 mins) – alternate nostril breathing for releasing blocked energy. This breathing technique will de-stress the mind and release accumulated tension and fatigue, which is ideal prior to the dive.
c. Sheetali (6 mins) – breathing with a rolled tounge to cool the system. This helps to lower blood pressure, stress and anxiety.
d. Brahmari Pranayama (6 mins) – calms an agitated mind. An instant tension reliever that also helps to improve concentration and memory
After the diving experience guests will be taken through a final breathing technique to calm the body down, called Kapalabhati (8 mins). This traditional internal purification practice consists of short, powerful exhales and passive inhales. Ideal for stress management or after a workout to calm the body and mind.
Wellness and diving in action together are a powerful combination and a key component of both is breathwork. From a diving perspective, breathwork is the key to buoyancy, oxygen control and maximising your time underwater. Breathwork is known globally as a key pillar of wellness and its positive effects are well documented on the physical, mental and emotional state. The Underwater Breathwork Programme is the first of its kind to harness the calming benefits of the diving world with the wellness benefits of breath.