Before Elevation I hadn’t come across a floatation tank before. The idea of a sensory deprivation tank experience wasn’t at all daunting for me and I was excited to see what would happen. I have been practising mediation for a little while, so this made me confident that I wouldn’t have any trouble settling in. I liked the fact that it was going to be just me alone in there with my thoughts. I was curious to see where my mind would go when the body is put into such a deep state of relaxation.
I was super excited and a little bit nervous before I went in. When I closed the lid and turned off the light it was amazing how quickly I forgot about the outside world. Focusing on my breathing I found that my body seemed to drift up and down in the water to the rhythm of my inhales and exhales. Then suddenly I’d be thinking about what I was having for dinner. I tried to remind myself to be present. In the complete darkness it was really surreal to open my eyes. I was forced to accept that sight is one of the senses we rely on so heavily. There was nothing for me to settle my focus on and so I couldn’t distract myself from my thoughts. I seemed to zone in and out of this sleepy consciousness. The time dragged on and a feeling of guilt emerged. A part of me felt there were other things I needed to be doing that were more important. People were waiting for me and as soon as I stepped out it would be back to GO, GO, GO. Turns out when I woke up the next morning I was still feeling spaced out. The whole day went by really slowly as I was definitely more mindful.
I was exhausted. I had barely gotten any sleep over the weekend and felt mentally, physically and emotionally drained. I knew as soon as I got in the floatation tank I would fall asleep so I didn’t resist it. I woke up at the end to the gentle sound of music and felt completely refreshed. With no outside stimuli the body and mind shut off so effortlessly. Once outside the sensory deprivation tank I did some light stretches to rouse myself out of my dreary state. And afterwards I found myself feeling quite open, to conversation and to connection. I slept really well that night.
I had sore muscles that caused me discomfort every time I moved. Having heard about the benefits magnesium has to reduce lactic acid I figured it’d be a nice way to aid muscle recovery. I eased myself into the tank and instead of staying perfectly still I slowly rotated each limb, contracting each muscle and stretching them out as far as I could in each direction. I decided to use the head rest to assist my neck tension, but found that it was lifting the top half of my body out of the water. My spine therefore felt like it was not in a neutral position. Without the head rest I counterbalanced the floating sensation by pushing my head back into the water. This helped immensely. As my shoulders were quite tight I played around with the positioning of my arms to find what was the most comfortable. Naturally I lie with my arms outstretched and my palms facing up (classic Savasana pose), so I bent my arms and put my arms up like a cactus, then I tried putting them behind my head which really allowed my shoulders to open up. While actively engaging my muscles in movement I was also able to stay present in my body. Any thoughts I did have I observed and then let go of. When I got out of the tank my body had lost its stiffness and I was moving more freely. My mind was also much clearer, so much so that the following day I was feeling super mellow. Everything felt light and I couldn’t help but smile all day.
By this time I had accustomed myself to the physical and mental benefits on spend time floating. I saw it as a space to not only relieve any aches or tiredness, but to just escape the outside world. It is an extreme way to get a big hit of ‘me time’. For me, I really need to force myself to slow down sometimes. I get so caught up in jam-packing my days full of fun that each moment seems to be rushing by. It was much easier to relax my body and mind into a meditative state when I knew what I was doing. After getting some advice on arm positions I found that crossed over in front of the chest also works really well. My mind floated away with my body and any problems I had disappeared. The time seemed to go much faster as well. Afterwards, I felt recharged and blissful.
After an action-packed weekend of acrobatics and yoga and good conversation and barely any sleep, a float was exactly what I needed. I felt immediately comfortable when I got in there. I laid there reflecting over the last few days and replaying each moment in my head. I could visualise each face so vividly and hear the laughter ringing through my ears. I reflected on all the new skills I had learnt and the growth I had done. I found that I was blissfully unaware of time. I was transported back to the weekend within my own mind and I was very content being there. There was a feeling of time being infinite, but that’s no cause for complaint in my eyes.