Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Thoughts, Thoughts, Thoughts
This question is a re-occurring one, people may wonder whether there is a correct way to float. An endless stream of questions may come up. Am I meant to be still, quiet, and practice deep meditation in order to achieve an out of body experience? Is it ok to stretch and move around? Why is the theme tune to Game of Thrones playing in my head? I feel hungry, perhaps I should have had something a bit more substantial a few hours ago. These are but a few of the questions or thoughts that can come up for new floaters and seasoned floaters alike. Yes, that’s right! Even regular floaters want to explore the many layers to floatation therapy; some of whom want to achieve a zen-like state every time. However, much like life itself, where would the sense of adventure be if this was the case? After some time would it feel safe and predictable? Perhaps this is a great thing especially if you require familiarity and routine in your life. For some of our clients, floating once or twice a month offers much needed solitude and rest. This can be exactly what the mind and body crave; to allow oneself to go with whatever presents itself in their float is highly significant. It can aid in recovery, peace of mind or even thought-provoking ideas. The key point is your float is unique and experimental; experiencing floats rather than viewing it as a practice may help shift client expectation.
If we reflect on that thought of allowing oneself to surrender to the water and to let thoughts no matter how mundane or trivial appear then we get closer to accepting our floats for what they are. It’s perfectly ok to think of the length of time, what you did in the day, wondering if the kids are ok, what you might make for dinner etc… These are normal thoughts which can pop into a floater’s mind and sometimes the pod can be the perfect place to process information, reflect on your day or ponder tasks that lay ahead. In our experience and those of our clients, there is no right way to float. No guide, manual or induction can fully prepare you for what the float pod has to offer. Of course, there are tips and advice on what you can do to ease into your floats. Some of these tips include breathing and visualization techniques, music selection, meditation, or even perceiving the pod as a device for problem-solving. The pod has also been known as ‘the thinking pod,’ we enjoy this expression as clients are often surprised by how much clarity is experienced post-float. This is an interesting source of feed-back considering how some clients think they need ‘escapism’ or ‘peace and quiet.’ The experience of floating is exactly what it intends to be. Your body can be free from gravity’s hold which in turn helps the mind explore, descend into silence or start thinking in new and creative ways. It is quite a privilege to be able to dive into your subconscious with no restraints and with a sense of limitless freedom.
As we delve a bit deeper, we can discuss movement in the pod. For some combining floating and yoga stretches is ideal. Stretching in the water can bring immense relief especially for athletes pre & post training and pregnant women. For athletes looking to relieve body tension, ease injury or relax (pre & post) race this can be the perfect combination. Pregnant women are free to explore the neck pillow, float halo and noodle to support a position they float best in. This can maximize their comfort level during the second and third trimester easing aches and pains. Everyone is welcome to use the props provided in the room; we found pregnant women and chronic pain sufferers were more likely to use these props. The overall response to being able to use these float props were positive due to the sense of comfort and support experienced. It is important to move if it feels natural to you.
Mindfulness during floatation therapy is a form of deep meditation for many of our clients. Appreciating the moment and becoming aware of yourself may take time to discover but it can be an enriching experience if it does happen. Practicing mindfulness in the pod may help you listen to what your body is trying to tell you. It may be telling you to slow down and remind you to take note of your surroundings and relax. This is where you move your attention slowly through different parts of your body, starting from the top of your head moving all the way down to the end of your toes. You can focus on feelings of warmth, tension, tingling or relaxation of different parts of your body. Expecting too much from yourself will not help those who are hoping to explore mindfulness; the less pressure you place on yourself the easier it will be to get into ‘the flow state.’
Setting an intention
We have built a good rapport with our clients over the years, and we always appreciate time spent talking and swapping stories within our quiet room. The quality time spent with our clients is invaluable as we learn so much about different kinds of float experiences. This has led us to reflect on intention of float which is about having a purpose, idea or goal in mind to help you achieve what you want from your floats. For instance, if you wanted to let go of negative thoughts then practising positive affirmations may be a way forward. Or if you want to release stress and tension then visualising a body scan technique could pave the way to an ache-free day. What better way to prepare yourself by setting an intention to float; especially if you are a solution-focused individual.
I wanted to write this blog especially for those new to floating, although, experienced floaters may have pondered such a question too. The question may come up due to clients having expectations of floatation therapy modifying behaviour, offering life-changing solutions or entering a meditative state which can last for days. Many of these accounts have been known to be true as floatation therapy is an incredibly powerful tool that can enhance your senses and have a profound lasting impact. As with anything in life if you try too hard, over-think an experience, fight your natural instincts, or enter with a closed mindset then are you hindering what could be a deeply immersive float? Shouldn’t the question really be; are you ready to embrace floatation? Are you willing to open your mind, heart and senses to the wonders of floatation therapy? At Floating Point Float Centre, we aim to understand our clients’ needs and value their experiences to the point where a hub of its own has formed. New and regular clients share, discuss and recognise a growing community of floaters developing a passion and commitment towards floatation therapy. So, the next time you find yourself wondering; is there a right way to float? Remember this answer, every float is different, each float gives your body and mind what it needs. Whether its rest, reflection, problem-solving abilities or mindless drivel. The chances are you need to offload and what better place to do this then in the safety and warmth of a float pod.
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