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Sarah Wilner, dive and yoga instructor, reports in on Bonaire’s event for the PADI Women’s Dive Day.

When I first dove into the underwater world, I had an experience many have shared, the feeling of being a part of something greater than myself, the feeling of being connected to the planet in an entirely new way. Diving is like meditation, just as when you sit still and close your eyes you are transported to a deeper level of connection to yourself.  So too, the moment you drop below the surface of the ocean you are immediately humbled by your connection to the planet. The interesting thing about the diving community that I discovered, however, was that wellness wasn’t an integrated aspect of the dive experience. This surprised me.

Diving can be hard on the body, and the experience of being underwater can have a profound impact on the mind (read Blue Mind to learn more). To prepare someone to get the most out of the dive experience, it seemed to me that wellness should be a priority for divers, and a highlighted aspect inside the dive community. While I give props to PADI and their four pillars, one of which is specifically focused on wellness, in many ways there is still a lot of work to be done to bring awareness of the importance of wellness inside the dive community. This year, in honor of PADI Women’s Dive Day, I had the special pleasure of joining forces with Dive Friends Bonaire to create an event on the island that begins to do just that:  integrate wellness into the dive community.

On July 21st, 2018 25 amazing women and one brave man came together at Te Amo Beach to celebrate PADI Women Dive Day. This half-day event included a reef safe sunscreen demonstration using Stream2Sea (a woman-owned company), a yoga session on the beach (led by Sarah), a raffle with numerous prizes from wellness-focused businesses on the island, healthy food, diving, and the opportunity to connect and celebrate the belief that the health of our planet starts from within.

Dive Friends Bonaire and my wellness company, Mindful Diver, came up with the idea for this event a few months back, stemming from the intention to put more effort towards bringing the community of Bonaire together, and highlighting the importance of caring for our bodies, breath, and minds so that we can get the most out of our dive experiences.

— Sarah Wilner, Mindful Diver

This first wellness and diving event was supported by many generous businesses including: GoGreen Restaurant, Nature’s Discount Bonaire, Bon Bida Body Gym, Royal Tours Bonaire, Yogarriba, Body/Mind Bonaire, Sorobon Beach Resort, Yoga Sensibile Bonaire, Smiling Buddha Yoga Studio, Jane Bakx Yoga, Irie Sports and Wellbeing, and Susan Porter (the author of Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy), who gave away generous prizes.[/beautifulquote]

The event takeaway was that people wanted more: more health and wellness-focused dive events to come together in ways that feel good, not just for our bodies, but also for our oceans. The organizers of this great event are working hard to meet this need, and continue to grow their efforts towards by putting a greater spotlight on the importance of caring for our own wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of the ocean we all love so much.

Stay tuned for some exciting projects coming up soon on Bonaire, such as the seven-day Mindful Diver New Moon Retreat Sarah is hosting this coming September 8-15, 2018. For more information email

(Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire and Mindful Diver)

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Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 



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