My First Time Floating
This is the story of my first float in a float tank. Not ‘floating’ as in swimming, but taking the time to float in Epsom Salts/the floating was the actual experience. My first float was so relaxing, interesting, and I even learned more about how to relax! I thought that to float you had to go to outer space or the Dead Sea! What? Let me explain. I am not usually one to try new things. For a long time though I had been curious about having a First float. Like a growing number of people in the industrialized world, I get nervous, anxious, and sometimes not feeling terribly great from the stresses of everyday life. I do what I can from exercise to meditation, but nothing has been really transformative. Furthermore, I am usually sceptical of remedies that promise a magic bullet. I am a busy person and I usually don’t have much patience for trying new things. However, floating in Epsom Salts was a very unique experience, and one I think more folks should be open to learning about.
I am not very spiritual or esoteric, but I do believe that there is something to Eastern philosophical practices of being mindful, and trying to be less attached to material or superficial things. Floating fits really nicely into this worldview. My first float was seeing the glass half-full.
I really enjoyed SensaFloat’s facilities and warm staff. I took advantage of the showers they have in the suites for their Float tanks, and that helped me get comfortable for some alone-time in my first float.
The instructions on “how” to float given by the staff seemed simple enough. Getting into the tank, I will admit, felt a bit odd. In my first float, wondered what I was doing and why I hadn’t just gotten into a hot bath at home. The water was surpisingly warm, and the guided meditation that starts at the beginning helped create an ambiance of relaxation.
What was the first float really like?
I was really happy to find in my first float that I did not at all feel trapped or claustrophobic. The door of the tank was too easy to lift up and down, and the staff provided handy tools like a cloth and a spray bottle with fresh water to avoid salt from getting in my eyes. Floating, like actually being held up by the weight of the Epsom salts instead of my muscles, was extremely relaxing for my body.
However, relaxation doesn’t come easy. I read a lot on my phone. I watch videos and often have to write or be in front of a screen for work. That’s not even mentioning the myriad of apps on my phone that I use to connect with everyone from co-workers, old college roommates, family, and friends. Oh, and I am always getting news updates, because so much is happening in the world now. Being away from screens and electronics was absolutely liberating. However, my head would instinctively and reflexively fill that space up with common worries, concerns, or even just mundane day dreams. That was not so liberating.
However, your mind and body do fully relax. Your body, as I mentioned, is able to almost fall asleep as the water replaces your muscles in doing the work of holding you up. Just being becomes easier. What the time, the darkness, and the complete and utter silence did offer was a moment of escape. When my worries came rushing in and my mind started racing, I had enough time to think about each one to exhaustion. I then realized that my mind was racing. This was actually a really great discovery. A key to mindfulness and concentration is having the power to be aware of your minds’ sometimes not-so-rational reactions, and then learning how to observe, sit with, or otherwise come to terms with these attitudes and thoughts. The silence and the time of floating forces you to do this in your mind, and then allows you to drift off (if you want) into a blissful sleep. In water. It was ridiculously comfortable and hard to explain over text.
Floating was a unique experience. I only got fully relaxed towards the end, and the staff tells me that for folks with chronic conditions, the benefits of floating don’t come overnight/with just one float. However, it was an encouraging process. I want to be able to relax my mind further and treat my mind and body to not having to attend to anything for a good hour so as to recharge my batteries. For anyone looking for a similar escape or just another way to unwind in this stressful world, you need to try floating!
–Written by Anonymous.