What is floating?, you might ask.
Well, in essence, it’s just floating in a small pool of salt water in complete darkness. It’s a fun form of sensory-deprivation.
And why would anyone want to do such a thing?
There are lots of reasons a person might want to float. If you’re into meditation, it can deepen your practice. If you’re stressed or anxious or depressed, it can help you find your balance. If you’re in chronic pain, being in zero gravity can help soothe your aches and take stress off of your jointed.
And why did YOU want to do this?
To try it out. Naturally.
So, let’s talk about Float Sense first.
The place itself is very relaxing, much like a spa. The owner was there, and he showed me to my room. They have 3 pods/3 rooms in the building and in each room there was a shower with body wash and hair products, towels, a bathrobe, and ear plugs. He explained what to do (shower first, jump into the pod, close the door, and relax for 90 minutes). The place was clean and quiet, and the owner was personable and helpful.
So, how was your first float experience? What was it like?
I was a little worried at first, because I’m moderately claustrophobic, but when I got in there, I felt calm and relaxed. It takes a few minutes to get used to the feeling of being suspended, but once you do, you’re golden. All of the salt in the water also makes your body feel kind of slippery (like a seal!), but it’s nothing to worry about.
When I first started floating, I went into it with the best intentions – Meditate. Unfortunately, I’m a complete amateur when it comes to meditating. So, I tried to meditate for probably about 20 minutes before my mind drifted off.
But Cass, what did you think about for 90 minutes then?
I’m happy you asked. I just let my mind wander in whatever direction it wanted to go in. At certain points, I nearly fell asleep (which is completely normal) because I was so relaxed. At other times, I’d think about trivial or shallow things…and then, of course, I had some existential questions that I thought about (“Is this what death would be like?”). I can definitely understand how people who are into yoga or meditation would enjoy floating. The feeling of weightlessness, plus the darkness and silence kind of open up your mind in an unfamiliar way.
What didn’t you like about the experience?
Not much, honestly. A few times I got the saltwater in the my eyes and it burned like nobody’s business so I had to towel them off. Also, your perception of time is kind of warped when you’re in the pod, and so sometimes I was unsure about how much longer I was supposed to be in there. It can also be a bit noisy in the pod, and even with earplugs sometimes you can hear other doors opening/closing and the water below you. This didn’t bother me at all, but I could see how it may annoy other people. Lastly, if you’re not the kind of person who knows how to just be by yourself, it could be kind of hard. Probably it would be most helpful for those kinds of people, but it is an exercise in patience and just learning how to be without doing anything.
What happened afterwards?
So, after about 90 minutes give or take, music came on to “wake me up”. I then showered and toweled off. There are lounges for folks who want to hang around for a bit, and they have tea and water there also. I drove home feeling very, very relaxed. The rest of the day, I felt -much- less stressed and more happy. It was as if I had dealt with all the thoughts in my head, and I was refreshed. It was honestly like a power-button had been reset in my body. I was also, surprisingly, more -body- tired. It felt like I’d had a good workout – so, it was a good sore. I was also REALLY thirsty, and ended up drinking a lot of water the rest of the day. Make sure that you stay hydrated the rest of the day. Another plus – I slept like a BABY that night.
Overall, what’s your opinion of floating?
10/10, I would do it again. I think this is a great idea for people who are dealing with mental or physical health issues. I also think it’s a good way to deal with problems or issues you’ve got going on. I wouldn’t be surprised if innovators, entrepreneurs, etc, use this to their benefit. It definitely helped me work through some things. Along with that, it’s really, really relaxing. It’s like doing yoga without actually doing yoga. That relaxed feeling stayed with me all day – which I think is one of the biggest benefits.
Where did you float again?
Float Sense here in Vancouver! I went to the Metrotown location, but there’s another one up in North Burnaby if you’re in that direction. Seriously, go check them out and have a float or two. I promise you’ll be happy you did.