When it comes to floating for your first time, it may not be as relaxing for you as it is for others. A lot of this comes from fear or discomfort with the process and it's completely normal. Not to mention that if you do a search for "sensory deprivation" online, it can return some surprising and even frightening results.
So, we asked our community of floaters, home floaters, and float centers what their best advice would be for someone's first float. Because you can't knock it until you try it. Here's what they had to say:
Responses from our community:
"Leave your ego, expectations and desires behind. Know that floating is like any other worthwhile mode of self care - you get better at it with time. Your first float may be amazing, or it may just be something you need to get out of the way. Even if you don't enjoy your first experience at all - give it a second and third chance. The tank will win you over in the end, and the benefits are worth it." -Fadeaway Floatation Center
"Pee! Even if you don't think you have to! I also recommend starting with a shorter float until you get used to it. 90 minutes was too long for me." -Lauren Acklin
Since most first floaters will be skillfully instructed by a float center staff member 1) listen to all of their advice and, I agree, 2) go in with zero expectations...just "be" and consider that simple act a success after your float...anything else that comes along for the ride, is just a bonus to be grateful for. Oh yes...and your first float doesn't really count as a float attempt...you haven't truly floated until your 3 or 4th....so 3) be sure to book them before you leave. wink emoticon. And once you're hooked....4) visit Zen's site, hook yourself up with your own on-demand, at-home float and save money on float center visits. gas, and time." - Tim M. Hoefer
"Spend some time figuring out how to get comfortable. Do not worry about achieving anything on the first float." - Caleb Fawkes
"Go the the bathroom first, even if you don't think you have to!!!" -Randall Peterson
"Don't touch your face! Ever!" -Blake Norfleet
"Dry your face before you get in the tank after you shower." -Chris Coyle
"Leave your expectations in the shower." -Nicholas Trietsch
"Let GO and surrender to what happens next." - Benny Kong
"It's okay to be curious about your 'self'" -Bryan Phillips
"Let go" -Michael Musa
"Relax the neck, be water smile emoticon" -Gaynor Longden
"No shaving of any kind prior to. I don't consume any fluids an hour prior and make sure I go to the bathroom just before getting in regardless. And for me I also don't consume any food at least 2 hours prior. That works for me." - Joe Roberts
"I agree with making sure you pee before going in! Also...float 1 is throw away, don't judge floating on your first float. It takes a few to let the darkness and water relax you, replenish you & show you the way. Never touch your face, but if you do just grab that water bottle ASAP to spray the salt away." -Wendy Kesinger Kuhn
"Have something in mind to think about. Then the tank will laugh at you and show you what you really should be thinking about." -James Miller
"I agree with the Don't touch your face,
2. Don't go in with too much expectation of yourself to come out with some great revelation or life changing moment, just let those expectations go and see what happens
3. Journal about it afterwards
4. Relax your neck, it's ok to let it go, your head won't go under!" -Sara Lord
"Don't expect anything. The float will give what it wants.
Don't touch your face" -Dustin Mark Dee
"No expectations, everybody is different! Don't take anything in but curiosity and a sense of wonder at the prospect of feeling weightless! Bliss!" -Lynn Taylor
"Trust the water" -Donavan Suwanapal
"Bring neck support." -Darcey Olsen
"Be yourself" -Cari Klenk
Surrender your body by relaxing every muscle and letting the water take all of your weight- especially around your neck and shoulders. Feel that you are fully supported.
Surrender your mind by allowing thoughts and memories to drift through like clouds, without expectation, resistance, or attachment." -Michelle K Lange
"Give yourself time after the first float to come back to earth. Thankfully, my sister (who commented above) was a pro so I was able to talk to her afterwards. Also, its ok if it takes time, like 30 min, to slow your mind. Be patient with yourself and relax. Its like a womb of joy and relaxation that you never want to leave. -Jenny Kesinger-Patton
"No expectations." - @richypocket
"Keep your face dry. Be still. No expectations." -@floatuniverse
"Every time you feel like getting out don't. Force yourself to stay in and focus on your breathing. Slow it down, in and out of your nose into your lower belly/diaphragm. This will help you disappear and quiet yourself to another level." -@handsomhairless
"Trust the water. Relax into it as if you were trying to sink into your bed. Let go with every muscle. -@pismokitty
"Make sure you keep your helmet on, otherwise you may run out of oxygen. KIDDING! Everything above plus if your neck starts to ache, make sure you push it back so the water nears your brow line, stretch it, use your hands as a pillow (or use pool noodle/neck pillow). Enjoy the amazing instant experience of the water supporting you and as it's your first float, play. There are no rules." -@cocoonfloatation
Big thanks to everyone in our community for their participation and feedback! We got tons of great advice that hopefully will help newbie floaters have a better first time experience.
If you're new to floating and want to find a float center near you, please visit floatationlocations.com.
To find out more about our affordable home float tank please visit here.