Belize is hoping to capitalise on recent discoveries linking the health benefits of scuba diving to those of yoga by promoting the country's wellness credentials to a wider audience.

With exceptional scuba diving and new yoga retreats and spas constantly opening, Belize is hoping to transform into a destination where stressed-out travellers can get back in balance.

Recent discoveries by groups who practice both yoga and scuba diving have reported similar meditational qualities between the two activities, since breathing underwater creates a weightless state and the ability to achieve inner quietude.

Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Belize Tourism Board, Shakira Oxley-Tsai, said: "We were thrilled to introduce Belize’s first yoga and wellness retreat a little over one year ago, to accommodate the millions who travel specifically for yoga.

Belize’s emerging focus on wellness is the perfect compliment to our already impeccable diving, making us the ideal spot for the budding travel trend of diving as the newest way to help achieve inner balance."

Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world and divers have access to plenty of spectacular sites, such as The Blue Hole, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Turneffe Atoll.

According to LeisurePro, one of the largest sellers of scuba equipment in the world, there are six reasons why ’scuba as the new yoga’ is becoming the latest travel trend:

  • The body becomes relaxed underwater in a gravity-free environment where divers become naturally buoyant, like being in outer space.
  • Many athletes use underwater meditation, such as Olympic swimmers.
  • Certain types of dives called "drift dives" allow divers to gently move with the current, with minimal body movement.
  • As with meditation, slow breathing works best with scuba. Focusing on breathing relieves stress and promotes relaxation.
  • The only noise you generally hear underwater is the sound of your breath.
  • Observing the beautiful colors of fish, coral and other sea life is stimulating.