I have never been able to float in water: I just sink. In a swimming pool or the sea if I lie back and relax (as I’ve been told to try many, many times), my feet and then my bottom gently drift towards the bottom, dragging me down. I have to be like a shark and keep moving or I will die; so the idea of floating as relaxing did not seem to compute in my head. However, that sensation always sounds so delightful when others describe it.
I was intrigued when a client said they’d tried floating in an isolation tank and absolutely loved it. Then with a weird synchronicity Social Media* (either Facebook or Instagram) targetted me with a competition to win a year’s free floating at a new centre in Islington (Sadly, I didn’t win). However, Floatworks sent me an offer for discounted sessions, which I decided to take them up on and bought three sessions. Having done meditation and other approaches I know that a single go doesn’t give much opportunity for the mind and body to settle to what is going on. Three sessions seemed perfect.
I wanted to see what the fuss if all about: will it help me to relax? Will I be able to let my muscles go? Will I find a sense of peace and calm? I was going through a stressful time in life getting ready for the Cape Cod courses so any help would be great.
With a little trepidation (will I fit my 6ft 4″ frame into the pod, will I freak out in the dark, etc) I went for the first session. The people were really lovely and all very calm and soothing. Having your own private room and pod meant that stripping off, showering and immersing yourself in a pool of warm, very salty water didn’t feel quite a strange as it might have.
I lay back, head supported by a circular float halo. Arms in a place of comfort. I turned the light off almost immediately (you don’t have to, but I thought I’d really go for it) and let every soften. I could see lights to start with, and occassionally throughout the session, but it is amazing how nice it felt to be supported in complete darkness.
Yes, my mind became very chatty and seems to run on 15 minute cycles of “Are we nearly done yet?”.
The first time I spent most of the session noticing what sensations I could feel in my body, and trying to soften them. I could feel myself drifting and at least once I felt like my body was gently floating to be more vertical (impossible in a body of water that is only about 12 inches deep). I played around with using the float halo or not as my head/neck went through cycles of finding it helpful and not-so-helpful.
The second time, I still noticed what my body was doing, but found it much easier to just drift and let go. Still trying to workout where is best for my head and arms, but practice is necessary. I did drift off and had that almost snoring that can happen in a lovely Savasana at the end of a yoga session. The time seemed to pass much faster.
The third time, I didn’t use the halo as I had started to find it difficult to find it comfortable. Instead I floated and was actually able to let my neck muscles relax, which is really difficult for me. I was then able to really feel the wave of the breath travelling up and down my spine: a wonderful feeling.
When my time is up, I feel deeply relaxed and quite spaced out. The herbal tea that’s freely available is wonderful. My only wish is that I could not have to travel on the Underground to get home, but even that is not particularly disturbing.
I seem to be slightly addicted to the whole process, and have bought more sessions.
Thanks for reading this, my lovely Interonauts (and hopefully you understand a bit more about why I call us that)
A few images of Floatworks
Bags of epsom salt, and the Floatworks logo.
That post float feeling, and fluffy hair.
One of the pods that you float in. Don’t worry, I won’t share a photo of me in the pod.