One of the relaxation techniques I am a fan of is floating. This isn't your average float in the pool! But bear with me when I tell you it's in a dark tank, just bigger in length and width than a bathtub.
WHAT? I can hear you question the sanity of this. But let me explain further.
From the FAQs from my Float Center, this is what floating is:
"Floating, also known by the clinical name R.E.S.T. (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy/Treatment/Technique), is an experience of weightlessness that is acquired by lying quietly in a dark tank, suspended in a warm solution of Epsom salt. It’s about 10″ deep and so dense that you float effortlessly."
I've floated multiple times. The first time is usually the "buy in" visit, in my opinion. I know people who absolutely LOVE it immediately or don't. It's a little odd. You worry in this 90 minute session any number of things. What happens if I fall asleep? When will I know when my time is up? Why did I decide to do this? I'm naked in a salt water bath? Who's brilliant idea was this? You touch the sides in fear of the walls closing in on you… (Trust me, there is enough space top to bottom and side to side to fully stretch out!
Every float is a little different. Maybe it's my own comfort level on top of the known benefits of floating. Yesterday's float was like a giant warm hug. Only my face wasn't being smothered by the hug… does that make sense? The weightlessness of my legs made me forget that they were there. I was warm and relaxed…. safe.
In the 90 minutes that felt like only 10, I meditated. I slept (at least I'm pretty sure I did) and I gained clarity. In other sessions, I was in a very calm, serene mental state. Yesterday, probably because I went in excited and jolted from lots of great energy from the week, I came out excited, motivated… empowered even!
I even got the idea to blog about it after my meditation phase of the float (I always awaken 10 minutes before the gentle meditation comes back on). At one point during this time, I had that feeling like swimming in the community pool in the summer. My son and I always have a "floating contest". I almost always win, but he's great competition. Think about when you do float in the pool. That quiet moment with your ears under the water that you only hear minimal sounds, then you close your eyes and forget about everything around you. That's what floating in the tanks are like. And they have no distraction or children splashing you!
So if you're looking for something different to try, check out your local float center! If you're in the NoVa area like I am, check out my friends at OM Float and tell them Karen sent you!