Water Water Everywhere
I find it ironic that as a fire sign (Aries) I am so drawn to the element of water. The only explanation I have for this is the fact that by the time I was born I was nearly three weeks past my original due date. I should have been a Pisces.
Water speaks to me in ways that I don’t fully understand. It calms me, it soothes me and is always a place of solace for me. I am happiest when I’m looking at water, listening to water or immersed in water.
I could easily spend an entire day staring at the ocean or a lake or a river. Hours pass and I am lost in a reverie of my thoughts. I make all of my decisions in consultation with water. When I’m not near it I listen to soundtracks of waves or forest streams or rain storms.
It is so much a part of who I am.
It is my muse.
Earlier this year I was introduced to the practice of floating and I can’t imagine my life without it now.
What do I mean by “float”?
In other words, I strip down to my birthday suit, hop into a dark tank and close the door, shutting the entire world out. I then float in 10 inches of water that is laden with 800lbs of epsom salts and magnesium for 75 minutes. Some people describe the environment as an adult-sized womb.
During that time I am distraction free. This is “me” time. No sights, no sounds. Just me floating in the water.
The sensation of floating allows me to almost detach my mind from my body. There aren’t any pressure points to feel. I am weightless in this environment.
It allows me to either practice mindfulness or meditate. My mind can be as free of thought as I want it to be or be focused on one thing if I want it to be.
Why do I do this?
The benefits are multifaceted:
- magnesium is known to regulate blood pressure and assist in detoxification
- floating reduces chronic pain and promotes relaxation
- it reduces depression and anxiety symptoms through increased production of dopamine and endorphins (the happy-making neurotransmitters!)
- a float session is roughly the equivalent of 4-6 hours of deep sleep
For me, it is part of my commitment to self-care, both mentally and physically.
What do I do in the tank?
Each float is different. It depends on the time of day I am floating, whether I’ve been working that day, if I am stressed out or if I am already calm. Sometimes I find the float invigorating and sometimes I find a deep sense of relaxation. Sometimes I float when I need to decompress and zone out for a while and sometimes I use it as a catalyst for my creativity. I use the time to brain storm or work through processes in my head. What is really fun is seeing what your body can do in the weightless environment. I can stretch in ways I am not able to when not floating and just having that suspended feeling without any effort is euphoric.
Where do I float?
I float at The Floatation Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lindsay and her team are some of the best I’ve ever encountered when it comes to their level of customer service and feeling like your business is appreciated. The setting is zen-like from the moment you walk through the door and after your float you are invited to hang out, have some tea or water and reflect on your float. There are three float tanks (two book on even hours and the third books on odd hours) and the best part is you can book online. If you’re lucky you can even sometimes snag same-day appointments if you are in need of a float ASAP.
Need a floating buddy? I’ll go with you!
I love it so much I have a monthly float membership. I have also introduced two people to floating already by going with them for their float (you each have your own private room with your own tank) but you float simultaneously. I’m always up for going with someone if they are hesitant.
But be warned – once you try it you’ll be hooked.
That post-float blissful glow is an amazing feeling.