Today I had my first experience of using a flotation tank. I have been really fortunate that a new venue has opened in Manchester. The venue Float Level seems to be a very professional set up with a number of float rooms. So when I booked in for my float tank experience I was really looking forward to it.
I have to admit I was also a little nervous. Despite having been meditating for a number of years, I did not know how I would react to being in the dark with no sensory input. Chris at Float Level was very reassuring and went through all of the safety procedures of using the pod. He also explained a little about how to get the most out of the experience.
After a quick pre float shower it was time to jump in. The water in the pod is nice and warm and as per Chris’s advice I turned the light off in the pod. So it was completely dark. This was helpful as I didn’t need to worry about keeping my eyes fully closed and could just let my eyes and face relax.
The first thing I noticed was a feeling of floating upwards. Mentally I knew I wasn’t moving anywhere, but my body felt like it was being pushed upwards. It was a strange but enjoyable sensation.
The next thing I was aware of was the tension in my muscles. It was kind of like when you lie on your back in the swimming baths. You stiffen your muscles to keep yourself level. With a ton of epsom salts in the water there was actually no need to do this. So I allowed myself to relax. It was interesting because I felt this tension a few more times. Each time I allowed myself to relax, it took a little less effort. Until I felt totally relaxed. My face, my eyes and my whole body felt totally relaxed.
After this I just listened to the sound of my breathing as I do when I meditate. I then felt a wave of warmth wash over my body. This seemed to continue for a while. After this I continued my meditation practice. I have to be honest at this point I’m not sure whether I fell asleep or I got caught up in the meditation. But the time seemed to pass really quickly.
Either way when my time was over in the tank I really did feel a lot better. I had really sore muscles from rolling during the week, but this soreness was barely there when I got out of the tank. Another interesting side effect was the feeling of lightness. As I moved around my arms and legs felt really light. This sensation made me smile.
After the float there is a small area where you can kind of gather yourself together, before you hit reality. Chris came down and had a chat about the experience. He explained that each time you do it, it becomes easier to relax and get your mind in the right place. That’s why you sound not leave it too long between floats so your mind remembers the process.
I cannot speak highly enough of the venue. Really clean (very important to me!!) a great and professional set up and very welcoming. I am really looking forward to my next float in a few weeks.
The overall initial experience can be looked at two ways. From a purely physical point, as it relieved all my Old Munki aches and pains that had built up over rolling. From a psychological perspective I was able to let my mind totally relax which is something I can’t do normally. With the pressures of day to day work swirling around in my brain, being able to get stress free was great.
There is also supposed to be a spiritual kind of side to it too which will be interesting if I get there.