Yoga and Scuba Diving have had a long link, with yoga improving your scuba diving so you can stay in the water longer. Most aspects of yoga translate to scuba diving pretty well and many report that their yoga improves their diving so they can stay down longer and enjoy their diving more. You will see many freedivers using similar exercises too prepare themselves for a dive both mentally and physically.
One of the most common limiting factors while on a dive is your air supply and consumption. Yoga concentrates on your breathing which is very important in diving too and when you train your body and mind to breathe more effectively you can spend more time underwater. One thing you will always notice while diving, especially on open circuit, is your breathing. Among all the other sounds you hear in the water one of the loudest and frequent is your own breathing and by focusing on this you can calm yourself.
The yoga practice of Pranayama makes you work on your breathing so you breathe better. Long deep breaths clear out dead air spaces and get rid of as much carbon dioxide build up as possible which is especially important while snorkelling. Flushing out the CO2 and filling your lungs with fresh gas will improve the concentration of dissolved gases in your blood so your body will work better, reducing the chances of DCI.
Training your body as well will help your diving because scuba can be a physically demanding sport. Maintaining good physical health and condition is an important part of being a diver. The physical postures of Yoga help strengthen your body and increase flexibility and control which is great for shutdown drills and putting your fins on. Controlling your movements and better physical condition reduces the risk of injury as well as over-exertion which can lead to anxiety and problems.
Controlling your body will help stop you bumping into things as you are more aware of your arms and legs. You will also have better trim in the water which can improve your air consumption too. Modern dive tables and algorithms are pretty general and made for the average diver so I would rather be above average than the alternate when it comes to predisposition to decompression.
Peace of mind is essential while diving for problem solving as panicking will get you nowhere. You are taught most of the important skills how to fix or prevent problems in the water but the best skill you need is to be calm and decisive. More comfort in your own head may help you notice signs of a problem before they occur and if it is too late you can think clearly to fix the problem without making it worse.
With a level head you will notice more and be safer but if you are rushing you will miss things and it is easy to get turned around while diving. It is obvious to a third party when a diver is not thinking clearly and you will learn all about that in your PADI Rrescue Diver course.
There are also a wide range of diving holidays and resorts now that also have a yoga aspect too between dives. Yoga is pretty easy to get into and it clearly has benefits in and out of the dive site so why not give it a try. If you already do let us know what your favourite position is for scuba diving and how you prepare for a dive.