Tucked away in the mountains of Bali, Indonesia, not far from the coast, is Zen Resort Bali. Home of Zen Harmony Diving, this resort brings in people from across the world to try something not often heard of: underwater yoga.
Zen Harmony Diving is a concept created by Dr. Mahendra Shah, which integrates scuba diving, free diving and snorkeling with holistic wellness options including yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. Some people may think water lacks in having extraordinary health benefits, but Shah credits this misconception to taking it for granted in everyday life — noting it does amazing things for the human body.
“Besides experiencing the beauty and amazing diversity of the marine world, scuba diving and snorkeling offers a unique pathway to health and fitness through the effective practice of controlled underwater breathing, meditative relaxation and free flow physical exercise in an underwater environment some 800 times the density of air,” said Shah. “Thus, the oceans have the potential to deliver human health and fitness benefits through physical, mental, emotional and spiritual therapy that is critical to confronting the globally emerging ailments and diseases of modern lifestyles.”
One of the great things about Zen Harmony Diving is visitors don’t need to have scuba certifications to experience the offerings at the resort. The company offers courses that can be tailored to skill, experience and comfort. All of the dive and snorkel trips are conducted by licensed guides in small groups. For those with zero experience, there are free “try dives” in a pool to acclimate you to using the equipment.
“At Zen Dive, we believe diving and yoga are complementary activities,” said Shah. “Diving encourages you to enter into a meditative state of mind and be completely present. We encourage you to experience diving as a form of moving meditation, where you float weightlessly and silently, focusing only on your breath and the present moment. This allows you to relax completely and experience a powerful connection with nature.”
When a student arrives at Zen Harmony Diving they meet with a diving and Ayurveda instructor to have a consultation for how their stay at the resort will be structured. The pre-dive preparations are set to make everyone comfortable and at ease for how the rest of their time will be spent. The specialist will review breathing techniques to make sure everyone has a calm underwater experience.
“The benefits are as we become totally blended with the environment, resistance disappears and we experience a whole new realm of possibilities,” said Shah. “When practiced in the pool or the ocean for a few minutes of floating and water relaxation exercises, it is particularly beneficial for rapid relaxation and body alignment.”
Zen Resort and Zen Harmony Diving are currently working toward the goal of opening more locations, with ongoing negotiations in Norway, Iceland, Latvia, Holland, Spain, India, United States, Brazil and New Zealand.