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A Moment of Zen: My First Floating Experience

Hey everyone! First things first, welcome, to the Float Valley Blog, a place where you can delve into the details of floating, read up on other peoples experiences, and just check out some pertinent content on human health. Just to establish some familiarity, my name is Salmaan and I’m a Kinesiology graduate from the University of Waterloo. Being a Kin grad, I view the human body as a temple that should be sculpted, perfected, and maintained which is why I also eagerly seek out ways to pamper it by kicking back with tub of ice cream, squatting some serious weight in the gym, or letting my body unwind in a floatation chamber. It’s my hope that these posts will be both thought-provoking and pleasurable for you to read as you embark on your journey of holistic health. With that, let’s get into this months post!

I recently experienced my very first float (if you don’t know what a float is, you can read up on it here) which turned out to be a rejuvenating, reflective, and relaxing all-in-one experience. Prior to my float, I was cordially showed to my float room, received a crash course in floating which explained the mechanics of what I was about to undergo, and was even offered a unique root based drink called Kava to help relax my mind and get the process underway.

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Float Room (Outside)

Going into the float, I was a little apprehensive about the prospect of being confined in a chamber for an hour because while I wouldn’t consider myself claustrophobic, the prospect of lying in what I thought was something the size of a coffin didn’t scream relaxing to me. This concern was immediately dispelled though because I was not only able to stand in the floatation chamber, but I managed to stretch out like a starfish while lying down! The chamber was well illuminated by warm blue lighting which was accompanied by star-like dancing lights on the ceiling which served as a comfortable welcome when compared to the pitch black scene I was expecting. I stepped into the body temperature salt water, sat back, and giggled at the fact that for the first time in my life, I was floating on water.

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Float Room (Inside)

Now in a sensory deprivation chamber, when all manner of sight, touch, and sound are gone, you suddenly realize your thought process is as sporadic as a monkey on Prozac. I went from thinking about the Chelsea Vs. Liverpool game I was watching earlier, to how I had to change the headlight bulb on my car, to how the water might taste, to what I’d wear to work on Monday, and so on. I can imagine, this is probably one of the toughest hurdles faced by novice floaters as the goal is to clear your mind of thoughts to allow a deep, almost meditative form of relaxation. Luckily for me, I have experience, through other mediums of holistic health in maintaining focus on what I’m doing in the moment. Within about five minutes, the combination of the soft blue light in the water, calming music, and gentle sway, facilitated in easing my restless mind, which was moments prior, thinking about how good it would be to have Nandos for dinner.

In that time of solitude, I lost my sense of proprioception with respect to where my limbs met the water, time became irrelevant, and I was in a moment of pure Zen. Sadly, as soon as I became aware of this awesome feeling, the neutrons in my brain decided to light up like it was Canada Day — Yes I’m Canadian eh — and the Prozac infused monkey in my brain decided to hit all the buttons and levers in my head triggering a surge of thoughts to bubble inside me.

When my time was up, the lights and music gradually came back on which prompted me to hop out, take a post-float shower and enjoy some herbal tea in the lounge area. What was really cool about this is after coming out of a chamber deprived of my senses, I suddenly felt like Captain America; to some extent at least. For those of you Marvel fans out there, you’re likely familiar with the Super Soldier Serum which is what facilitated Steve Rogers’ transformation into Captain America, giving him superhuman strength, endurance, and senses. I was suddenly conscious of each and every muscle fiber at my disposal when making movements could hone in on each octave of sound around me, and was amassing the visual data of everything with sharpness.

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Lounge

All in all, my first floating experience was pretty awesome and would highly recommend people to check it out. If you’ve never floated before, give it a shot and share your experience with us! To those of you avid floaters, my goal next time is to keep the monkey in my brain under wraps for a little longer so I’d love to hear from you about your experiences and any tips you have to share.

Until next time folks!

-Salmaan

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