Showing just how powerful diving is to heal, #PADIPEOPLE are utilizing breathing methods, adaptive diving techniques and meditation to create the ultimate world of watery wellness — proving that hope can be found for all beneath the surface.
A Full Circle Moment That Defies the Ages
PADI® Dive Instructor Elaina Thomas and her team at Catalina Divers are committed to helping people learn to dive, regardless of their age. In fact, one of her most fulfilling experiences has been seeing one of her first students, Bill McMillan, start his own dive journey at 73 years old. Five years after taking his first breath underwater, he is now a PADI Divemaster at 78 years old.
“These golden divers are showing that age is just a number and that being underwater really can keep you young. Learning is so crucial for our wellness – giving your mind something to be challenged with. Diving in your later years provides you with wellness aspects for your mind, body and soul – as well as connects you to a new community of like-minded people.” – Elaina Thomas, Catalina Divers
Finding Zen Underwater
Many divers have described their experience of being underwater as meditative. PADI Master Scuba Instructor and founder of SoulScuba Amanda Parr felt these same sensations, and decided to create her own PADI Distinctive Specialty – the PADI Yoga Diver Course – to fuse underwater exploration and meditation into one experience.
“Throughout my years of diving, if I ever faced a stressful moment I found myself instinctively reverting to techniques I learned in yoga to keep myself calm. By tuning in to the sound of my breath or fixating my attention on one of nature’s many wonders, I am able to keep my mind focused on the present. When I integrate yoga into my dive, I feel more confident and the dive itself becomes more meaningful”– Amanda Parr, SoulScuba
Sparking Change to Heal Others
Cody Unser, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and the founder of The First Step Foundation, is working with a range of PADI Dive Cody Unser, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and the founder of The First Step Foundation, is working with a range of PADI Dive Centers around the US to help certify individuals with spinal-cord injuries as PADI Open Water Divers. Passionate about getting more dive centers to incorporate PADI’s Adaptive Diving techniques into their training, she has experienced first-hand how scuba diving can help individuals overcome any challenge – whether that be mentally or physically.
“People with disabilities should not have to wait until non-profits like ours have the funds to get certified. PADI Dive Centers have the power to literally change people’s lives by simply training their teams on adaptive diving techniques and incorporating this into their courses offerings.” Cody Unser, The First Step Foundation
Share Your Hope Rising Stories with #PADIPeople
There is hope rising everywhere. PADI will continue to amplify stories like these with fellow PADI Members and divers to inspire, excite and accelerate recovery by demonstrating the spirit of #PADIPeople around the world.
Share your own stories about how you are making a difference and the better days that are possible right now through diving. Simply post descriptions, photos or videos to your social media channels, tagging PADI and #PADIPeople.
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