I knew when I was first asked to join the Zen Float Co team 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 time floating and experiencing the world of sensory deprivation tanks.
Months before ever going, I had researched floating non-stop. I was so excited to finally try floating for two main reasons:
- 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.
- I was looking for an outing to force me to relax. A few years ago 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 and peaceful. 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 got to the room I was instantly ready to hop in the tank and give it a go. I popped in my ear plugs, showered, and gently made my way 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 laid 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.
During My Float
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 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 actually 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 that quickly? I found myself wanting another 30 minutes to get back into the floating zone but I knew that I would have another chance soon.
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 had went. I felt amazing and I could tell it was just what I needed. It only took about 5 minutes into my card ride home for my phone to start blowing up with phone calls and texts and it's in that moment I know for sure I'm back in the real world again.
Days later as I write this post and I can report that 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 worrying about what I have going on that next week.
If you're someone like me who is constantly on the go or struggle with shutting off your thoughts, floating can be a very beneficial solution. Plus, it makes you feel good too! I'm already craving another float session and I have a second appointment scheduled for this coming week.
So if you're reading this and are considering going to float for your first time, I want to lend you some pieces of advice that helped me to have a good first experience:
My Advice For Your First Float Tank Session:
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.
Ready to try floating for yourself?
To learn more about the benefits of floating and find a location near you, check out our free Float 101 mini course.