Last week I went to Halifax’s The Floatation Centre for my first ever float, and it was amazing! I’d been curious about the practice for awhile but was worried that I’d just find it weird, claustrophobic or pointless, so I put it on the back burner for awhile. Eventually, curiosity took over and I decided I was ready to give it a try. The experience was so much better than I even expected, so I want to give you a run down on what floating is and my experience.
What is Floating?
I first heard about floating, or sensory deprivation, from Jenny Sansouci– the same blogger who inspired me to try naked yoga, cold shower therapy, and to take my blogging more serious (she is always trying something new and fascinating- check out her blog for more inspo.).
Floating basically involves lying in a tank filled part way with a salt water solution and floating for ~75 minutes. There is no light and you use ear plugs so there’s next to no sound, and you just chill out and float in a state of sensory deprivation. By removing stimulus, you allow your body and mind to deeply relax.
As The Floatation Centre’s site puts it, floating is “an environment free of sight, sound, smell, touch, pressure & friction + 10″ of water with 800 pounds of epsom salt dissolved + peace quiet & calm = Pure Bliss”
That pretty much sums it up!
So why would you float? My reason was honestly just because I was curious and thought it would be fun to try.
Reported benefits of floating include relaxation, stress reduction, anxiety reduction, help with chronic pain, regulation of blood pressure, detoxification, muscle relaxation and more.
Basically, it makes you feel great.
How it Works
When you get to the centre, one of the staff members will show you around and take you to your room. There you will find your tank, which looks like something from Star Trek, a shower, and some toiletries.
After a quick shower to rinse off any products, you pop in your ear plugs, and get into the tank, closing the door behind you (though you can leave the door propped open if you’re nervous or uncomfortable with having it closed). From there you lie back and effortlessly float in the salt water solution and pretty much just hang out for the next 75 minutes!
When your session is over, soft music will begin playing to indicate that it’s time to get out.
Once you’re done, you rinse off in the shower, get dressed (floating is done naked), and then head to the waiting room to relax and have tea (optional, of course).
I was pretty sure going into it that there was NO WAY I was going to be able to lie in a pitch black tank without being really creeped out. I was sure I’d get claustrophobic, but I didn’t at all.
From start to finish I just laid back and enjoyed my time in the tank. Sometimes I kind of moved around a bit and stretched out, but for the most part I just lied there and floated and took deep relaxing breathes.
I wasn’t really meditating or anything, I was thinking about things, but it was all just really nice and fun and relaxing. The environment of the tank allows you to let go of any kind of tension in your muscles and just relax and be supported. I didn’t sleep at all, but I did kind of zone out for awhile.
After I got out of the tank I felt soo relaxed, like more relaxed than I’ve felt in such a long time. I didn’t feel sleepy or out of it- more like just calm and aware. And my body felt amazing- so relaxed, no muscle tension. Just a little pool of contentment.
I had some tea after in the waiting room (which is the cutest room ever- I could have hung out all day) and flipped through some of the books and cards they had available. Nothing like some Rumi poems after a float to make you feel like the most zen-ed out person ever!
(Also, the tea they have on hand is a really nice blend from Blue Apples).
All in all I loved my float. It was so relaxing and an all around really cool experience.
I got to chat a bit with the founder, Lindsay, and one of the float hosts, Robyn, who were both so awesome and friendly. They both told me about how they got into floating, and they said that it generally takes three float sessions before you really start to get a feel for it.
I am not booking anything in the nearish future (mainly because I’m going to NYC for 5 weeks this fall so all of my money is allocated for that! woot) but it is totally something I will do again in the future. When something feels that good, it deserves a repeat!
For more info or to book a float, check out The Floatation Centre’s site. And feel free to message me with any questions!