Today after work I had my first experience of sensory deprivation. I got this deal off of Groupon for it and was pleased to realize how close it is to my job!
I knew I’d be doing the Float Tank session and so made a point to (like usual) stop drinking coffee or tea after noon, and when I got my lunch I was able to rationalize a coconut based smoothie (both the meat and the water) and slurped that down knowing I’d be taking in the goodness from both the inside and the outside. I had a gluten-free veggie pita too which was yummy. Geoff and I have recently cut meat out of our diet and it definitely slims my local lunch options!
So anyway, I’d planned to work late since my appointment wasn’t until six but I worked later than I really meant to, I think I got there about five (instead of ten) minutes early. I walked into the place and there was a nice man working there who helped me get all ready and showed me around while I sipped the cup tea he gave me. I used the bathroom before going in and I’m glad I did because I noticed they had a hair dryer at this point! I’d noticed someone leaving there with wet hair when I’d been there to make my appointment so I was very pleased to make this little discovery.
When I went into the room that holds the float tank I disrobed, and took a shower. They have a nice single shower stall that is bigger than most with one of those cool shower heads that drips the water out like it is raining. They had organic/natural soap and shampoo on hand too which I also appreciated after a long day at work.
After my shower, I dried my face (he’d recommended this) and climbed into the tank. It wasn’t until I was in there and had floated for a moment that I remembered the ear plugs he’d told me to use, so I got back out, put those in, and then climbed back into the tank.
The tank is pretty big…though I did wonder if it would be long enough for my husband (who I’m sharing my groupon with so he can try!). I know they have different size tanks though so I figure one must be longer.
Anyway, so I climbed into the tank, which felt kind of slippery but not excessively so. I floated. It is definitely kind of trippy to be able to just float like that…I kind of felt like if I fully relaxed my head then my eyes might submerge, but they didn’t. I also noticed my arms, when next to me, naturally moved toward my body, as if I had my hands loosely on my hips, this was kind of distracting so I tried putting my arms up, which was great because I realized that if I wrapped some of my hair which was of course all spread out in the water) around my fingers, then the buoyancy of my arms kind of supported my head which helped me relax a little bit more.
I was saying some affirmations about love, spirit, stuff like that, and I remembered that the man there also recommended stretching, which was a GREAT idea considering I was so sore from the yoga class I took last Saturday. So I started doing sort of a floating version of side bends, in my yoga class we’d done a version of cat/cow that involved bringing the right shoulder toward the right hip to stretch the left side, so that kind of describes how I did that. Other than those things I focused on breathing. I also turned out the light, they have a button with which I could do that so I figured I might as well so I would stop looking around me thinking about how funny it was that I was floating in a box.
When the music started…I knew it was time to get out. I exited the tank and got back into the shower and washed off. When my hand brushed my nose I noticed it seemed to have salt crystals on the top of it, which I thought was funny. I felt relatively normal, in good spirits and relaxed. I was getting dressed and realized I did it in the wrong order which I also thought was funny, because I put on my shoes before my pants, so once I addressed that I headed to the bathroom, chatted for a minute and then dried my hair. It was a good one so this didn’t take long.
After I came out of the bathroom I was offered a water and I took that with me as I walked to Starbucks to get a Rooibos Tea to walk home with as it is still a little bit chilly outside even with my dry hair. I felt very present, and aware. For example when a man crossed the street toward me, and was talking on his phone, and walked by me without making eye contact I started thinking about how new cel phones are. We didn’t used to have the option of talking to someone who wasn’t there while we were walking. It made me wonder if that meant that it used to be considered more rude to walk by someone without saying hello than it is now. I made a mental note to let my kids know that people didn’t always talk on phones while they were walking and also to be more conscious of my surroundings next time I am out in public having a conversation with someone not there, and to tell them it used to be strange to walk around alone talking to someone somewhere far away, because they couldn’t hear you!
Soon I got to where I crossed the freeway and that was beautiful, I looked up toward the sky and noticed that I could very clearly see lots of stars. I never thought of the freeway as a place to go star gazing! I looked for my favorite constellation, the Big Dipper but I didn’t see it, one of them was bright enough that I think it was the North Star though.
Everyone was home once I got there which was a nice surprise and now here I am! I feel pretty relaxed still and will definitely float again…I’m curious to see how my experiences change because I was told that it takes a few sessions to really kick in, and while I’m not sure what that means, I imagine it means I’ll be able to more easily meditate and turn off all the thoughts in my mind which would be really really nice.
Alright, now it is time to finish my dinner and start packing…we should be in our new house in about 2 weeks and hopefully get most of our stuff there sooner. Let the purging of most and packing of the rest begin!!