I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a yogi and I don’t meditate. I am a huge believer in goal setting but am working on setting my intentions more firmly (ironically, this is one of my New Year’s resolutions). So when a good friend of mine, Dai Manuel, first told me about Float House I was skeptical. Floating in a sensory deprivation tank for an hour and a half while synchronizing my mind and exploring my heightened senses was intimidating to say the least, especially for someone who is claustrophobic. What do you do with all that time? How do you know much time has gone by? Will I become Eleven from Stranger Things?
But after further conversation and a lot more research, I decided to suck it up and get over my mental block. I realized that whatever ambivalence or fear I was experiencing was vastly outweighed by the wide range of benefits, including, most importantly for me, Chronic Stressor Relief and Relaxation Response.
So after getting a very thorough walkthrough and introduction to the space, I hopped in the tank and set my intentions for the next 90 minutes: to not panic and instead enjoy the experience and the wide range of emotions I was inevitably going to feel.
So what’s my verdict?
The 90 minutes go by much faster than you think. For the first 30 minutes, I had music playing in the background to get me acclimatized to the space. The water was warm and my head was resting on a float, making it seem as if I was all tucked in bed. The moment the music stopped, I fell into the lull you feel when you’re just falling asleep – as you think about the world and have an almost out-of-body experience.
I must have fallen into a much deeper sleep because before I knew it the wake up music was playing and my time was up. Who knew an hour could go by that fast?
So would I recommend it? Heck, yes! It makes you feel so much more refreshed, rejuvenated and a LOT more relaxed. Ninety minutes may seem like a lot, but is actually the perfect amount of time. Honestly, this was one of my biggest pain points before I went in: “An hour and a half? What am I going to do with all that time?” But when you have no frame of reference of time, i.e. people walking by or a clock ticking, there’s no way to know how slow or fast time is going, making the experience go by much faster than you realize. Also, you’ll probably fall asleep – you’re so comfortable, how could you not?
But here’s what I’d do differently for next time: bring flip flops/shower shoes! You have to shower before and after getting into the tank, and if you’re a germaphobe you’ll definitely need something for your feet. Try to avoid getting the epsom salt-ladened water into your eyes – it BURNS. (My one and only panic attack in the tank was when it got into my eyes). Also, the next time I’d actually like to try and stay awake for more of it as I’d like to be more aware of my conscious thoughts and try to follow my thought process to see what type of mysteries and solutions I can uncover.