This time last year, we showcased how breathwork can play an important part in bringing a state of balance to mind and body. Taking its power one step further is the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, a barefoot luxury resort in St. Lucia. The hotel has gone deeper into the subject – much deeper – through its new and exclusive Windjammer Landing Underwater Breathwork Programme.
Breathwork and mindfulness can help to regulate our nervous systems and reduce anxiety, something that we’re probably all in need of, as we find a way through the pandemic and head out on our travels again. We’ve also talked a lot about ‘blue health’ during this time, which is about harnessing the therapeutic power of being near, or in water.
With wellness and a sense of place a core part of its experiential philosophy, St. Lucian holiday stalwart, Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort has created a unique, ‘fusion’ therapy, combining these two powerful wellness verticals with what surrounds the property: the gorgeous Caribbean Sea.
The property’s spa and dive teams have created the Windjammer Landing Underwater Breathwork Programme, offering avid divers a unique experience. Waking at sunrise, OutThere travellers will dive into the serene and tranquil ocean at first light with resident dive expert Eget Martyr, who has over 25 years of experience in scuba diving. Eget developed this programme alongside Dr. Samantha Maha, a specialist in mind and body medicine, yoga and Ayuverda, creating what is essentially a sub-aqua version of Pranayama: an aged technique of controlling life-flow and power through meditative breathing.
On the way to one of St. Lucia’s most stunning dive sites, Eget will lead a visualisation and mindfulness exercise to prepare for a four-pronged breathwork session underwater and provide tuition into the submersed yoga positions and techniques required to help buoyancy control.
Once underwater, the sub-aqua meditation begins, include Yogic Breath to strengthen the respiratory system and soothe the nerves; Nadi Shodhana to release blocked energy and tension; Sheetali to lower blood pressure and Brahmari Pranayama to clear the mind and help with concentration and memory.
The Windjammer Landing underwater breathwork session is then followed by what is described by Eget as a “very relaxed dive tour” that will allow guests to fully engage and absorb the underwater surroundings. Because of the exercises, divers will notice that the heart rate and depth of breath will slow, creating a deep feeling of calm and an opportunity to dive and explore for longer underwater. Nervous divers will particularly benefit, as the session releases the tension and anxiety that sometimes occurs in the open water. Once out of the water, the practice can be continued on land and is recommended for future dives, wherever you are in the world.
This is, of course, all added stress-busting to already being in St. Lucia on holiday to enjoy what Windjammer Landing has to offer. It’s not difficult to find solace in 60 acres of lush hillside that rolls into the hotel’s six swimming pools and crescent-shaped beach.
We have not yet visited ourselves, but the resort is a classic Caribbean escape, first opening in 1989 but undergoing a refurbishment in 2014. It also seems more geared to families and takes all-inclusive guests. In any case, we’d recommend that OutThere travellers (and families alike) book into the top-tier two- or three-bedroom residential-style villas if wanting to try the Windjammer Landing Underwater Breathwork Programme. They each have their own private pool and are located just steps from the beach for ultimate solace and privacy, your own special space to practise more mindfulness, when you’re back on terra firma.
Photography by James Thornton, David J Pearson and courtesy of Windjammer Landing