When I first went to float, I was anxious.
Of course I was – of all the things I can do well, anxiety is right up there. But why was I anxious? I was concerned about privacy for one, mainly because I was a teenager in the 80s and could recall the horrors of the communal changing room in Chelsea Girl (young people: google it).
I was also worried about not being able to relax, as this is the whole point of using a floatation pod. Would the experience be so alien to me that I would find it impossible to relax – after all, I would be without clothes and I like to spend as little time as possible without clothes.
The very short walk to the pods is in itself a corridor to serenity – (literally as well as one of the rooms is called that) – beautiful art work lines the walls and the lighting is ambient and calming.
On entering the very private room, I had a gorgeous pink light to keep me company. I showered, still slightly panicky because – well, that’s what I’m like.
My first thought on entering the pod was whether or not to fully close it. Being an introvert, I like an enclosed space so I did. I then fiddled around with the lighting inside the pod, trying all the variations. Then, I turned the light off.
What was it like?
The most unbelievably relaxing, spiritual experience you can have, in my opinion.
In floating, I could not feel my body, supported as it was by the salt water. Believe me, in your most relaxing experiences, you will always be aware of your body, but here I was, feeling like mine had disappeared. This isn’t as frightening as it sounds – in fact, it’s not frightening at all. It’s enlightening. Being alone with only your mind. Having no stimulation to your senses means I was stripped of all physical sense of myself. It’s like spending an hour with just your soul.
If you’ve never floated before, try and imagine what that’s like and I’ll wager you can’t. You will always be aware of your body. If you aren’t aware of your body you are asleep so you therefore aren’t aware of your mind either. In floating it was me and my soul and I’d never experienced anything like it in my life.
I have floated since then of course, how could I not after such an experience. Subsequent floats are different – they are all different. It was still me and my soul but this time, we went places.
On one occasion, I went back to my childhood holidays with my cousins but rather than it feeling like a memory, it felt like I was there. The feelings I had had at the time, were there in the pod with me. This was time-travelling to earlier, more innocent times but this time, I could appreciate them for being fleeting – I could savour them.
You may be reading this thinking I’m off my head on acid or something. I appreciate it sounds a bit off the wall. But this is my reality of floating. It is, quite simply, pure bliss.