“A mini blog series of Float Valley Ambassador, Kat’s top 5 favourite benefits of floating”
WHY I FLOAT: Part 1: Meditation
It was about 2 years ago I went for my very first float. At the time I only knew a few people who heard about floating, let alone actually having tried it out. But the more I read about floating and sensory deprivation the more I was drawn to it and all of its benefits. At the time I was wrapping up my yoga teacher training and was looking to deepen my meditation practice. After what felt like endless amounts of research I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it out.
As the buoyant water allowed me to effortlessly float I wasn’t preoccupied with finding a comfortable position to make sure my legs didn’t fall asleep,wondering where to place my hands etc. I felt my body begin to completely relax. I wasn’t distracted by the sound notifications of my phone, my eyes weren’t darting around the room, and my attention was drawn to the sound of my own breath as I started to focus on my meditation.
Two large components of meditation include relaxation and attention. Relaxing the body to release any tension and relaxing the mind in order to be at ease in the present moment — ultimately turning your attention to the here and now. With 800 lbs of epsom salts this dense water solution supports your body allowing you to float effortlessly creating an ‘anti-gravity’ like experience. The temperature of the water matches the temperature of your skin and you begin to lose the sense of where your skin ends and your body begins. All of this in combination with being deprived of my other senses allowed me to be present in the moment, the here and the now. I began to drift into what felt like a theta brain wave state… although it all seemed a bit hazy I was present in that very moment. I was not worrying about what I had done before my float or where I was going after. I was just, there.
I found the lack of sensory stimuli prevented my busy mind from being distracted by endless environmental factors. Ultimately I’d like to be able to meditate whenever and wherever — without the help of a float tank, however, for the time being I appreciate how floating has been helping facilitate my meditation learning process.
As the faint music slowly brought me out of my theta state, I realized how rested and relaxed my mind and body felt. Maybe it was half an hour, or maybe it was only three minutes of meditation, either way my mind was no longer racing. I was calm and in the moment. My body felt relaxed and relieved from the pain and muscle soreness from my intense work outs that week leading up to my float. I took my time exiting the tank, showered and got dressed. As I put on my jacket I felt the weight of something in my pocket. I reached into my pocket, pulled out my phone, and took a look at my screen. Between emails, messages and social media I had about 6 new notification. So I smiled and thought to myself… “yup, this is why I float. I float to meditate and unplug”