Why Floating is the New Yoga

by Naomi Clark on June 9, 2015

floating 1 I was intrigued to be invited by Float Spa, Brighton’s only float tank spa & newest Yoga Studio to come on down – ‘Would I like to try Floating?’ Hell, yeah!
I was a little concerned about claustrophobia. And drowning. However Float Spa’s founder Camille explained that you can lift the lid anytime & with 1000 lbs of Epsom salts in each tank, there is no way even I would be able to sink…so I was casually looking forward to a bit of a chillaxed bobbing about in some salty water…
Epsom salts for Hot Bikram yogis are  a wise idea and for most of us, ultimately inevitable. Most people are Magnesium deprived which manifests as joint pain, fatigue, even sore boobs! But for those who spend hours in the hot room stretching and sweating it’s even more imperative that we replenish the minerals we lose – and absorbing massive amounts of magnesium is an UBER relaxant so I expected to feel a little drowsy after floating.
So, the day of the (non) Eclipse, after Yoga in Hove, I moseyed on down to the gorgeous white space that is Float Spa. Owner Camille has paid superb attention to detail; it’s an immaculately clean light space, with slippers, fluffy white towels, Faith In Nature Shower gel and hairdryers on hand.
And Vaseline.
I vaguely wondered what exactly I was supposed to do with the individual hotel room style single-use sachet of Vaseline but remembered only too late Camille’s advice to cover any open wounds with it. I had neglected to cover the cut on my butt (don’t ask) which briefly stung like a hotdog on acid when I sank myself into the glorious i-Sopod of ultra-violet lit salt water. But despite the initial discomfort of butt-cut, I had completely underestimated how utterly fantastic this method is – Floating is The Future.
floating 2In yoga, massage, bodywork, meditation, there is a common theme – to FEEL and observe all of the senses completely to then ALLOW ourselves to relinquish attachment to those sensations, right? I remember when I lived in CA watching Watsu (Aqua Therapy) in progress and feeling the significance and power of water to heal. The pod was inviting and larger than I had imagined at 8ft 6 x 5.6, although reminiscent of the kinda 1978 one-man egg-shaped spaceship Mork was sent in to meet Mindy…
I did feel somewhat vulnerable stepping in, naked except for earplugs, behind a locked door and did wonder if I died now by drowning in a flotation tank what The Argus might make of it as a front page one-liner… but cradled sensually by lapping water heated to body temperature one is TOTALLY supported and floating gently, bouncing off the edges like an alien embryo. Bathed in the violet healing light of the Crown Chakra – Sahasrara, calmed by soothing tunes, the experience is mindfully designed to lull the float practitioner into ultimate bliss aka ‘Pratyahara’ – yogic withdrawal of the senses.
When my time was up the music gently restarted & I was surprised to find the purple light was still on (Duh -I was supposed to have turned that off) and the hour had quickly passed. Already?!
Processed with MoldivLike meditation, there had come a point where my mind had stopped analyzing the experience and sensations and had switched itself off. But unlike yoga or meditation practice, I hadn’t found myself drawn out of, or into, the experience due to the usual leg falling asleep or effort of balancing in a posture – it was as if I had actually ceased to exist. I guess on some level my body remembered what it was like before I was born – the sensory deprivation had led me into an unexpectedly profound nothingness that is hard to describe and needs to be experienced. I was not awake, I was not asleep. How healing is empty space & how elusive is emptiness? I tried that night in my bed to recreate the feeling, but there is always a point of reference somewhere, the pressure of the limb against the sheets, a clock ticking, the feeling of the body expanding on the breath. The pod of nothingness is truly magical and uniquely combines the best bits of many practices simultaneously.
As I got out the i-Sopod dutifully started to clean itself and back at Reception I enjoyed a beautifully presented complimentary refreshing homemade Melon Sorbet, made a mental note to read ‘The Book of Floating’ by pioneer Michael Hutchison and questioned  –
A) How to get one of those pods into my bathroom ASAP?
B) How much it would cost to purchase 1000 lbs of Epsom Salts from Amazon on a bi-weekly basis?
C) Why doesn’t every hotel, hospital, school have one of these for treating every physical and emotional ailment?
D) How cool it would be to practice Yoga Nidra in the Pod!
I was truly surprised at what an amazingly mind-blowingly simple but healing experience floating is.
Frankly, I need this in my life on a regular basis!
Special Offer, Triple Float Experience £135 www.thefloatspa.co.uk
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