I knew a few months ago when I was asked to join the Zen Float Co team and assist with their marketing and customer service efforts, that the unrelenting question would arise, "When are you going to try out floating for yourself?" So, I'm here today to tell you about my first experience in my journey of floating. This is the first post in a three part series.
After researching floating non-stop for the last three months I finally looked up the only float center that I know of in my area, Salt City Float Spa, and scheduled an appointment for last Friday. I was so excited to try finally try floating for two main reasons:
1. I needed a way to shut off my mind completely. I've tried meditation, yoga, massage, and many other relaxation techniques but nothing completely shuts out all the thoughts that fill my head in a day or leaves me completely at peace.
2. I was looking for an outing to force me to relax. Years back I used to work at a massage place where I always took the time to pamper myself. But since I quit I've barely been able to make time for me to go back and get a massage even once a year. I never just take time to myself anymore. It's such an important thing to do and I've neglected doing anything about it for too long now.
My First Float
When I arrived at the float center it was just as I imagined it to be in my mind. I walked into a room surrounded in heavenly music, candles, and dim lighting that instantly made you feel calm. After filling out some initial paperwork and waiting about ten minutes I was guided back to my room where I could see the light from the tank gleaming down the hall. When I walked into the room I was instantly ready to give it a go. I popped in my ear plugs, showered, and gently hopped right into the tank.
My first thoughts as I began to lay down were, "DO NOT get salt in your eyes, whatever you do just make sure you avoid getting salt in your eyes." I've heard a lot about how much that burns and didn't want my first experience to start off on a bad note.
As I layed back and began floating I kept the lights on until I knew I felt completely comfortable inside the tank. I really liked that I had the option for music during my one-hour float where I chose to have it play for the first and last five minutes of my session. The music helped a lot initially with making me forget that I was floating in an enclosed chamber and made me feel more like I was laying near the ocean on the beach. By the time the music ended I already felt pretty comfortable so I reached over and pressed the button to turn out the lights and began floating in complete darkness.
The inability of me to turn my mind off was completely apparent right off the bat. Just like normal, thoughts were buzzing through my head. I took the previous advice of my boss, Shane, and started counting down slowly from 100 while also focusing on my breaths. It took me about 5 or 6 times of starting over for my mind to be able to focus and finally start to shut off.
From there, I don't remember much other than being completely relaxed and feeling weightless. At one point I was trying to decipher what parts of my body were in the water or not but because it is the same temperature, you can't tell at all. I forgot at times I was even in water. After a little bit I started to drift off for a moment only to wake up from a drop of salt water splashing onto my forehead. It was my mistake as I had previously touched one of the sides of the tank to adjust myself which then led to that happening. Luckily, the salt water didn't roll into my eyes like I was fearing. After that I shut my eyes again after what seemed like only a few minutes, the music came back on to alert me that my float was over. I was so bummed. Had an hour really gone by already? I wanted another 30 minutes to get back into the floating zone but I knew that was all for now.
As I walked out of the spa to my car that day I could tell that everything seemed just a little brighter and I was truly refreshed and more energized than before. I felt amazing. It was just what I needed. Only five minutes into my car ride home when my phone starts getting blown up with phone calls and texts and it's then I know for sure I'm back in the real world again.
Three days later and I'm still feeling very refreshed. All weekend long I had more energy than I can remember having in a long time and I was actually able to enjoy some time off rather than working through the weekend. I think if you're a person like me that has trouble turning off their mind and is constantly on the go, floating is a very beneficial solution.
I'm already craving another float session and I have another appointment scheduled for this coming week (additional post to follow).
My Advice For Your First Time:
1. Prepare For Your Float Accordingly. I had ready many times not to eat right before your float but the day of my appointment I hadn't eaten much so I had a small snack shortly before I left. During the beginning of my float I could hear my food digesting in my stomach and it definitely took away from me getting to clear my mind sooner. This could have been avoided if I had planned out my day a little better.
2. Ask the right questions before you go. A huge part of why my first experience went so well is because I knew exactly what to expect. If my boss hadn't give me the advice to count down from 100 I might not have been able to relax very easily or as fast. Any questions that might have come up during the first few minutes of my float had already been answered so my mind was free to truly relax.
3. Focus on relaxing your body as well as your mind. There were times at first where I would feel my thoughts clearing my head but I would then find myself tensing up certain parts of my body like my neck or even my jaw. Take the first five minutes to really make sure that every part of you is relaxed, not just your mind.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Or do you have a first time float experience you want to share? Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you!