I had met Anton from Float Culture a few nights before my first float. On talking to him about my writings on ‘the importance of feeling’ he asked that I take two floats and write a blog post from this perspective.
So what’s so special about ‘feeling’? It’s a different way of looking at self-awareness. By understanding how we feel on an intimate level we can understand the beliefs and thoughts that come to create our underlying feeling or vibration. This is an empowering practice because it allows us to recognise and heal old wounds and change the stories that no longer serve us.
Freeing ourselves from our self-imposed limitations can change the way we see the world and we can flow through life more easily.
We all have challenging times in our life, and yet many of us don’t take the time to be still and acknowledge how we feel. We don’t want to acknowledge our emotions because we think it makes us look weak, or maybe we are too busy so we don’t make time to be by ourselves.
By allowing ourselves to notice how we feel more deeply and without judgment we can accept it more easily and grow past it.
Many of the habits or behaviors we have taken on aren’t useful to us anymore, yet they still consume our energies and deprive us of our intuition. By freeing up this energetic bandwidth we are then open to the subtleties of our energy and feeling which guide us like a language telling us when something in our life needs attention, or when we need to make change.
To truly tap into this silent language within ourselves we need to take regular time away from the distractions and constant input of our lives for a moment.
Float appeared to offer the ideal solution, by creating an environment free of sound, smell, light or even weight, surely this is the best way to go deeper into ourselves.
I tried not to, but I did have expectations. I thought it was going to be easy and I was going to slip straight into a deeper state of consciousness.
The float tank was completely silent, the blue light in the pod turned to pitch black as I settled into (onto) a pool of salt water. I could feel the water moving against the edge of my body as I settled, and then felt nothing more than my own thoughts, and the sound of my breath.
I lay there assessing everything around me. My mind jumped around initially as I moved my arms to find a comfortable position. I wasn’t anywhere near the natural floater that I thought I was going to be, and I was becoming focused on the tension that I was feeling in my neck and lower back.
I wondered… “perhaps that I hadn’t been exercising much lately, or maybe I’m more stressed than I thought I was?”
Halfway through the session, I started to settle my thoughts and accept my aches. Moments came and went where I started to drift into deep relaxation. My thoughts, however, were not settled enough to hold it.
Two days later I took another float, this time doing a good session of Yoga followed by some strong Kava before the float. I thought these may just help to ease the body to give me more of a deeper state of relaxation.
I stepped into the tank and instantly felt comfortable. The water was soft, and my body eased into position without any resistance. This was a big difference from the first float. I was able to let go of everything and relax. With no distractions whatsoever I enjoyed watching where my thoughts went. They would drift off exploring my imagination before jumping back to my logical mind to try and make sense of everything again.
The mind likes to feel like it is in control, so exploring a deprivation tank for the first time wasn’t so much about reaching enlightenment or earth-shattering revelations. For me, it was about adapting to a new environment. My first float was spent looking at my body, wanting to relax, making sure that I was okay, and trying to find the best position for my arms. The second Float gave me an insight into the potential as a tool for self-exploration but for the meantime, it was just about accepting and being.
Leaving Float Culture I started to see how the effects extended well beyond the tank. I spent the following couple of days with more presence, taking notice of the things around me, the smells and the colours. It was as though depriving me of my senses had given me a new appreciation for the world around me.
I had also noticed an overall feeling of relaxation over the next few days and in particular less stress and anxiety. In general, it felt like there was a brief increase of wellbeing in the days that followed.
My first few floats were an experiential introduction to a new environment with the potential for reaching powerful states of consciousness and where great change can be made with regular practice. I can imagine this as an incredible tool for exercising our minds with tools such as visualisations, affirmations, seeding or problem solving as well as for general well being.
Floating will be different for everyone, and that’s exactly the point, your world is a reflection of what’s going on inside you, and your experience in the tank will allow you to see just that.
The idea of the float as a novelty may give you some good water cooler conversations or act as a good stress relief. I would expect though, with having spent the first two float acclimatising to a something very new, that the real rewards would come after continuous use and in conjunction with other mindful practices.
So back to our initial question… how do I feel?
Very interested! I feel that I have only scratched the surface of a very powerful practice and I look forward to my next float.
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