My Experience with Floating
Throwback: It is Tuesday the 27th of January, the day after boxing day. I am walking up the stairs to Float Well after just having my entire body kicked at a Les Mills Grit Strength class (Side note: why did I decide to do Grit Strength, out of all classes after just emerging from my Christmas food coma?!). I’m feeling sweaty and sore. Nevertheless, I’m excited to ‘take a float off’ and unravel all of the end-of-2016 tension that has been building up.
Upon arrival, I am immediately greeted by Sam, the co-owner of Float Well. As we are talking, I can already feel my body starting to relax- you can’t help but breathe in the beautiful, airy space. You’d never guess when you are floating in the pod completely deprived of your senses, that you are in extremely close proximity to Cuba Street. It truly is a haven in the city!
I slip my shoes off and walk to the ‘Third Eye’ room- one of the two dedicated float spaces. First things first, as a symbolic dedication to completely disconnect for an hour, I switch my phone off. I have a pre-float shower (this ensures you are in your cleanest state before entering the tank). I opt to have singing bowls music for the first 10 minutes of my float and the last five, so as the music starts to play I am cued to hop into the tank.
The abundance of salt (500kg, to be exact) dissolved in 1000L of water creates a buoyant environment which allows a person to float effortlessly on top of the water. Once you shut the lid, ear plugs block out sound and darkness renders you sightless. This sensory deprived environment is used to relax, de-stress and heal with each session in the tank lasting an hour.
I always like to keep the fluorescent lights on for the first few minutes of my float, and after that I lay in complete darkness. Interestingly with this float being my fourth one, it didn’t take long for me to feel fully comfortable. I emptied my think tank and was able to just focus on my breath.
When you see the same level of complete darkness with your eyes both open and closed, when there is nothing to smell or taste (except salt water, which I would not recommend), it is just you, your thoughts and 500kg of epsom water for company. With that, leaves a pretty incredible environment for transformation to take place.
While floating, time seemed to slow down and speed up again. At times, it felt like I was in there forever, but when the music started playing to signal the 55-minute mark, time had flown by. With my eyes closed, I felt asleep but fully awake at the same time.
The nature of floating is interesting. It is not like a massage- where there are many dependent variables that contribute to a person’s overall experience- such as the spa, the masseuse, the style. The float pod doesn’t change. The fluorescent lights are on the same colour rotation. Yet, every person who steps into the tank will have a different experience. Some transcend into a deep meditative state, and others walk out with the rationale that they just lay naked in a salty bath. Neither experience is better or worse. Just different!
What I both struggle and enjoy with floating is the lack of control you have over your experience. You can’t manipulate yourself into falling asleep (I tried it once, and failed) and you can’t tell what it will feel like no matter how many times you have step foot in the pod.
When my session ended, I left the pod with a big smile on my face. I like to call this the ‘Glow Effect’- that feeling when the tiredness behind your eyes diminishes and you feel radiant and energised from the inside out. I can’t help but smile from ear to ear once my session has finished (this is definitely helped by the elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins that are released!
The mystery of floating and the exact reason why you must try it for yourself. I’m fortunate enough to be a Float Well Ambassador. With this, I have passes that I am able to give to people who live in Wellington and want to give floating a go at a discounted rate. If this sounds like you, flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see what I can do.