I went floating recently for the first time.
It is an interesting experience.
I am an active meditator, and have been for several years. I very rarely miss any days when it comes to my meditation practice. So the practice of clearing my brain and taking space for myself is nothing new to me.
This was a whole new level of that.
Complete sensory deprivation.
I was worried that I would be cold when I read that they keep the water at 93 degrees. I mean, I keep my hot tub at 100 and can sit in there for hours. That just sounded cold!
It was anything but cold. Honestly, the biggest problem I had being in there was a sense of claustrophobia that kept rising up. I don’t typically get claustrophobic, particularly when I still have full ability to move my body around. And yet… the heat of water, the steam in the air, combined with the pure pitch black…
I felt like I couldn’t breathe. And I had to pull out all of my anxiety and breathing techniques to get myself to calm down enough to stay in for the full length of time.
And yet, when I was calm, I just floated. It was amazing.
My brain is pretty good at not being a running movie clip when I meditate. It was a little harder this first time with floating. So I just had to watch the images and let them pass.
And I came upon a few realizations.
1- Sensory deprivation is weird. Seriously. Not being able to hear or see anything? I’d be fine with not being able to hear anything, but not being able to see too took it to a whole new level.
2- It is incredibly relaxing to not have to worry about supporting your head! I had to fight with myself for the first few minutes to get my neck muscles relaxed. They are so used to having to support me even when floating in regular pools, but with the concentration of salt in that water, you truly don’t have to support yourself. The water will do it for you. All of you.
3- The water tastes nasty. Seriously. Don’t get it in your mouth. At one point, I wiped my mouth totally out of reflex, and OMG. It’s some nasty shit.
4- The hour is simultaneously so long and yet so short. I kept thinking, “Is it done yet? Nope, probably only been 2 more minutes. Now we’re probably at 10 minutes. Now maybe 20. OMG is this ever going to end?” And then suddenly the lights were turning back on and my first thought was “I’m done already?”
5- An hour alone with my brain was amazing. I usually only meditate for about 10-15 minutes (ya know, dogs and kids in the house create a lot of noise and need a lot of attention!). As I was floating, once I hit about that 10-15 minute mark, that was when my brain really kicked up, ready to move on. But as I was forced to keep sitting with it, new thoughts came up. Things that I didn’t realize were bothering me were coming up. New ideas for my businesses came to mind (unfortunately, I was half asleep at that point and didn’t exactly have a pen, but I remember thinking “Oh, that’s an awesome idea!” So hopefully it comes back to me…). But you’re able to go to whole new levels of being with yourself when you spend the hour in complete silence, vs the normal 10-15 minutes that you can snatch for yourself.
So overall impression?
I want to love it. I’m a total water person anyway, my day isn’t complete unless I’ve found myself in a body of water. The hot tub is my normal place to destress.
Yet, it was much harder than I expected. I was surprised, honestly, because it’s not my first crazy experience. I mean, I meditate for an hour in salt caves regularly!
But this was different. It was a whole new level. However, they tell me that it gets easier with each subsequent session.
And yes, I’ll absolutely be going again!
Have you tried it? What did you think?
PS. Know someone who you would like to read this article? Feel free to forward it! Thank you for helping me make a change in the health care fields!