2019, can you believe it? It is true what they say, time flies when you are having a good time!
Introducing people to something that makes life better is the best thing in the world to me. Combining two things that make life better is just… joy overload! I have genuine gratitude to everyone who has given me the opportunity to share my passion and creation, the Yoga Diver course with them this past year. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
In 2018 I had the privilege of bringing some new divers into the world and introducing Yoga to some beginner students who have now made it a part of their life. I also had the pleasure of certifying some new Yoga Divers, in diverse environments, from clear blue, tropical waters, to frigid, pea soup quarries.
I started out 2018 in my tropical home base, Nevis, West Indies, working as a freelance Yoga Instructor and Scuba Instructor.
In July, I headed home to Indiana, USA, for some annual family time.
In August/September, I was aboard the Turks & Caicos Explorer Liveaboard. We spent our time mainly off the shores of the undeveloped West Caicos and French Caye. I enjoyed offering sunrise Yoga on the deck enveloped by the tranquil, uninhabited surroundings, followed by 5 stunning wall dives per day with 100+ feet vis and regular shark encounters.
Later in September, I found myself in drastically different surroundings, Dutch Springs quarry in central Pennsylvania, USA, (or the “Amish Caribbean” as my host, Course Director Ron Willis of Harrisburg’s Westshore Scuba, likes to call it.) Why in the world would I leave the tropical islands to come dive here? Well, let me tell you, in the summer months Dutch Springs is a festival for divers who just have to get wet. All levels of divers come from all over Pennsylvania and the East Coast…New York, New Jersey, Maryland, even as far north as Massachusetts. We camp along the banks of the tranquil quarry, filling our days with fun diving and skill development (if you can learn to dive here, the warm, clear, Caribbean waters are a breeze, let me tell ya) and share our scuba tales next to the bonfire at night.
I taught my first ever Yoga Diver course here so it has a special place in my heart, and I have returned every year since, certifying up to 15 Yoga Divers in one weekend alone. Ron Willis and the Westshore Scuba team are honest-to-god one of the most professional, helpful, fun groups I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Every summer/fall I have to try to get there, even if just for one weekend.
This year, in addition to my typical one day Yoga Diver course offering, I offered a Weekend Yoga-Scuba Camping Retreat. The weather was slightly cool, but with the season winding down, the quarry and surroundings offered a tranquil and mystic ambiance for our weekend of mind-body wellness and bubble therapy.
Read about the Dutch Springs Yoga Diver Camping weekend first hand from one of its participants http://smalllivingbiglife.com/scuba-adventures-yoga-diver-certification/
And finally, one of the highlights of 2018, was getting the chance to share my sweet little island home with some Dive Yogis in the first (but not the last) Nevis Yoga-Scuba Vacation. A perfect balance of relaxation, wellness, and adventure in a tropical island paradise. Click here to read the Nevis Yoga-Scuba Vacation Trip Report. Don’t be upset you missed out, you can choose your dates and come anytime you want!
Ready for your next holiday? Packages for non-divers, certified divers, and those wishing to learn to dive available. Join me for personalized Yoga-Scuba experience with some authentic island vibes. Nevis Yoga-Scuba Vacation 2019 Get all the info here
2018 was my first full year as a freelancer, a fancy way of saying I am self-employed. Being a freelance Yoga and Scuba Instructor means that I have the freedom and time to move about and pursue my niche as a “Dive Yogi”. It also means that there are sometimes gaps of time where there is not enough work or income rolling in. Nothing to fear. There is always work to be found as long as your are flexible and open minded. Those who know me know that since starting work at the age of 13, I have never been a snob about taking on temporary basic wage jobs. I strongly believe in the adage, “never put all your eggs in one basket”. It makes alot of of sense, especially when pursuing a career in an industry that is highly desirable and saturated, like teaching yoga and scuba diving.
So, currently I have been putting some of my eggs into Taste of Fari – Ital Food and Rastacrafts. Along with my partner, Ras Derrick, we have been gradually nurturing some original vibes next to Sunshine’s Beach Bar at Pinneys Beach. Derrick cooks healthy, vegan, local “Ital” Rastafarian food and I make unique jewelry and crafts out of coconut, calabash, bamboo, stones, and sand, shells, volcanic lava, and other natural materials. We have started to build a beach side Yoga deck and eventually hope to develop a scuba presence as well. Stay tuned!
In other news, one of my biggest accomplishments this year is starting this blog! It has only been on my to-do list, for I don’t know, 5 years or so. I would not say that I am clueless with technology, but it does take a bit of effort for me to figure it all out, and accomplishing anything requiring internet on a small island takes a lot of time and deep breathing. Not to mention, I have a love-hate relationship with social media and the expectations and demands of modern marketing. The self-promotion feels awkward, forced, and downright grotesque at times. A necessary evil in the modern business world, I suppose. But I won’t ramble on about that, not today anyway, perhaps a whole other blog post on its own…stay tuned!
My intention with this blog is to connect with all the Yogis and divers I have had the pleasure of meeting along the journey, as well as those that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. In addition to sharing SoulScuba and Yoga Diver events, offerings, and news, I will use this platform to share thoughts, stories, and anything I feel worth sharing in my world of Yoga, Scuba Diving, and especially in the world of “Yoga Diving”. I also have a separate blog dedicated specifically to SoulScuba Events, including Yoga classes, Scuba Diving trips, and PADI Yoga Diver course and other Yoga-Scuba offerings.
Another technological accomplishment, in my typical 5 years late fashion, was finally creating an my Instagram “handle” @soulscubayogadiver. #stillfiguringitout #laaarrrrdhelpme. I hear that it is highly desirable and important to have many followers, so please, by all means, I would be grateful if you will help me fulfill my duty and bless me up with your Instagram patronage.
Another recent technological accomplishment that I am very excited about is the launch of Yoga Diver E-Learning!
Yoga Diver E-Learning is your first step if you wish to pursue my PADI Yoga Diver Distinctive Specialty Certification. Even if you are not considering the Yoga Diver certification you might still find the E-Learning useful as an introduction to Yoga, to expand your practice, and/or to inspire and beneficial relationship between your Yoga practice and your scuba experiences.
For a one time payment of $34.95 you get access to the PADI Yoga Diver Student Manual, highlighting basic history, theory, concepts, benefits, and practices to enhance your experiences both in and out of the water. There are also downloadable audio recordings of guided meditation/dive briefing, Yoga Nidra deep relaxation, and soon there will also be some instructional videos added that are useful for both divers and non-divers.
When I began formally structuring the Yoga Diver course in 2014, internet search results on the concept of fusing Yoga and Scuba Diving were scanty. I would never claim to be the first or only person to recognize a profound and beneficial relationship between Yoga and Diving, but there appeared to be a wide-open space for a structured fusion course. Since the Yoga Diver course was born in 2015, the idea of marrying the two has become quite the buzz .
Every week I get enquiries from divers from around the globe that are interested in taking the course. Unfortunately, I am only one person and can only be in one place at a time, so I would really love to connect with some talented instructors who are qualified to teach both Yoga and Scuba Diving…not as many out there as you’d think…who would be interested in teaching the Yoga Diver course in whatever location they are in.
So, what will 2019 bring?
Those who know me can confirm that for most of my life I have not been able plan my life more than a few months in advance. I working hard to change that. Although some plans are still taking shape, here’s what is in the works so far:
January – July: Nevis, West Indies
Regular Beach Yoga and Meditation at Pinneys Beach
March 29 – April 7: Bonaire
July – October: USA
Plans are still under construction, but here are some of the events I am working on. Stay tuned, and if you see anything that interests you, let me know! Nothing helps to solidify plans better than the interest and commitment of actual, real people 🙂
Yoga classes/workshops for both adults and children in northeast Indiana
Pretty Lake Yoga
Scuba Camp – Indiana
Yoga Diver course and other Scuba offerings, Northeast Indiana
Yoga Diver Course, camping retreat, and other Scuba offerings at Dutch Springs, PA
Yoga classes Indiana for adults and children
October – December
All the best to everyone for a happy, healthy, prosperous new year!
Bring on 2019!