I had never heard of floating until this past summer and I went on my first float at Samana Float Center in Denver last week. I was not quite sure what to expect. I didn’t know much about floating and I learned that not many people do. What I learned through this experience is that floating tunes you in to yourself so you can become a better version of YOU! It also brings an awareness of your thoughts and feelings.
Read on to learn a little more about it. Hopefully it will encourage you to try a float if you are looking for a way to be more present physically, mentally and emotionally in your own life.
Expectations can keep us from experiencing a lot in life, right? When I walked in to Samana Float Center, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I pictured a small room with a tub that had very deep water. Since I am a bit afraid of small spaces, I built up in my mind that it would be difficult to relax. Add to the fact that I had a WHOLE 90 minutes in this experience, so I was a bit nervous! I even brought my suit because I just wasn’t sure about floating without clothes on. When the owner gave a quick run-down of the process, I realized how wrong my expectations were.
The float room had a lock and was insulated from sound. There was a shower and the float tank looked like a large tub with a door. I was instructed to shower and wash before getting in to the float tank. The tank itself had about a foot of water and 1100 pounds of Epsom salt. The salt keeps you buoyant so that you don’t have to stress about floating and can just relax. The water is kept at about 94 degrees and is “skin-receptor neutral” – which means you don’t know where your body ends and the water begins. You feel like you are a part of the water! The light was low with changing colors and the music played lightly. There were two buttons to control light and music near where my head would be. The float center provided ear plugs and a float pillow for my head. Since I had everything I needed, it was time to float!
Do you ever find it difficult to relax? Not just because of everything going on in your head – but because you can’t physically figure it out? That was me for the first several minutes of the float. I turned a lot and just couldn’t relax my neck on the pillow. Finally, I did! I chose to keep the music on a low volume. I tried to float with the lights on, but chose to go for total darkness instead. I found my mind racing and thinking of how long 90 minutes would be. It was a war between my mind and body at first. In the first several minutes, both wanted to convince me that I just couldn’t relax.
Finally, I entered a state where both my mind and body stopped fighting each other and I discovered how to physically relax. I believe this is the state where I started to let go of the “control” I fight so hard to have in my everyday life. I had several short little snippets or “scenes” flash through my mind of difficult or stressful parts of my day. I remember seeing my kids fighting about something. Another time I saw myself trying to do several things at once. These “scenes” flashed and disappeared as quickly as they came in to my mind. A few times, I began to fall asleep and these scenes woke me up in a bit of a panic. Since my body had finally relaxed, I believe my mind tried to convince me that I needed to deal with these issues instead of accept where I was at.
Once I passed the state of where scenes were flashing in my head, I began seeing shapes and a color while my eyes were closed. The color I most frequently saw was green – which represents peace and growth. I did not see this during the entire float, but the colors would flash around as my mind started to relax. Gone were the scenes of discord, stress and control. I entered a state where I was not only relaxed, but felt peace on the inside as much as on the outside. Before I knew it, the 90 minutes were up and it was time to leave the float tank.
The float itself is an interesting experience. What happened afterwards was pretty interesting and intense. The next day I had an “emotional purge.” Even though I felt like I had increased peace and decreased anxiety, I was pretty emotional and had a good cry. Going from that space of “nothing” back in to the real world again takes a lot of energy.
I did not waste the whole day afterwards crying! Later that afternoon, I became very motivated and have been riding that wave ever since. My workouts have been highly charged and full of energy. I have felt more self-aware and motivated. I have been inspired to share my personal experience with anxiety with other people. The part of me that neglects self-care has been highly in tune as I have been prepping food, cooking and taking care of myself.
Floating is relaxing but you must accept that all you need is nothing in the float tank with you. Trying to bring your fears, your anxiety and your own expectations can take away from the experience. Like anything else, the more you float the better you will become at getting the most out of the experience. When talking with Heather Clift, owner of Samana Float Center after the float experience, she mentioned that as with most things in our lives, practice makes perfect. The more we float, the quicker we can get into the "theta brainwave." The longer we can stay there, the stronger the effects on our emotional state and our physical bodies will become!
A Side Note…
I was so excited for the float that I forgot to take a Colorado Hemp Honey stick before getting in the tank. The full spectrum hemp extracts in the honey helps calm my nerves and anxiety without a psychoactive effect! I believe would have helped me settle in to the experience a little sooner. If you are going to float, I recommend taking a Colorado Hemp Honey stick before you go in to enhance your relaxation and calm your mind. Samana Float Center sells them right up front.
Relax. Enjoy. Unwind. I can’t wait to hear about your first float! If you are in the Denver area, you can book your float at www.samanafloat.com or you can find other float centers in the store locator on our website. Email me about your float experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org.