Gift vouchers open up worlds of experiences, don’t they? I had never even heard of “floating” or “floatation” until I was given a voucher for it, and it’s unlikely I would have heard about it for a long time if I hadn’t been.
Floatation is where you lie in a shallow Epsom-salt solution bath that is heated to body temperature. The intention is to experience complete sensory deprivation for an hour and therefore release stress and heal your body in a completely new way.
My booking was at Float Culture, located at 12 Water Street, Grafton. They have several themed rooms such as a Lake Room, Forest Room, and Ocean Room; however I was immediately drawn to the Cosmic Room because space and astronomy are totally my jam.
I was taken to the Cosmic Room and reminded of the video tutorial I watched in the foyer whilst drinking herbal tea (yum!); remove makeup, shower with shampoo and body wash, hop in that floatation pod for an hour and finally shower once more with conditioner.
The Cosmic Room didn’t have an actual pod, but instead a door into a bath-sized room which serves the same purpose except with a lower risk of getting claustrophobic. I lay in the bath (or on it, since the whole idea is to float in the Epsom-salt solution), started my session and turned the light off. It starts with soothing music for ten minutes, followed by forty-five minutes of silence, and then another five minutes of music to indicate the end of your session.
I spent about half of the time with the dimmed blue light off, and half of it with it on. I’m not claustrophobic, but I’m also not totally zen and so lying in a pitch-black bath with my own imagination (which is wildly creative) was too much for me. The receptionist informed me that even if I didn’t clear my mind during floatation, it would still be beneficial (oh, thank God, because I knew successfully clearing my mind was never going to happen) due to the peacefulness of the bath and the magnesium in the water.
It was pleasant. I lay there for an hour in a bath that perfectly matched my own body temperature. It matched it so perfectly that my body was almost numb. I was thankful she told me not to worry if the light was on or off, that I wasn’t restricted to the pod for the session and I could leave the bath if I wanted (though I didn’t), and that I shouldn’t worry about trying to clear my mind. As long as I was comfortable, it would benefit me in some way.
And so I literally lay there for an hour thinking about anything and everything, stretching my limbs and moving like I was in a mini wave pool, and instead of trying to meditate, simply enjoyed it for what it was to me personally – a long, relaxing bath that was consistently the perfect temperature.
They say people experience a range of emotions in the floatation pods from euphoria to boredom, but more often than not, people simply feel relaxed. That was me. Also, I hear that the more you do floatation, the bigger the benefits. I think everybody should try it once (provided they are comfortable with the dark and enclosed spaces). It’s soothing, it lets you be sincerely alone for a short while, it’s beneficial for muscles and migraines, and it’s one of those experiences that I’m sure will be really different for each person. What will yours be like?