Youíre in the Float Pool, What Next? Learn from BBmassageandfloat
Posted by emicorn on April 7th, 2019
When I talk to friends and family about floating, one of the biggest worries I’ve heard is not knowing what the experience of floating will be like. The first time floating can be a little daunting. There is no right or wrong way to float, but here are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of your first session.
Relax Your Muscles
Even though floating is effortless in the highly-saturated Epsom salt water, the body’s natural response is to tense up. While that response helps us float in a swimming pool or lake, it’s unnecessary when floating in the salt water.
For most people, tension is largely felt in the neck because the muscles are trying to keep your head out of the water. Move your head around and find a position that feels the most comfortable. I find that tilting my head back releases most of the tension from my neck.
If you’re having a hard time getting comfortable, we provide a neck rest that holds your head above the water, helping the rest of your body relax. If it doesn’t happen immediately, don’t worry, discomfort is perfectly normal. Over the length of your float, the magnesium in the water will absorb through your skin and begin to relax your muscles.
It can be hard for the body to fully relax during the first float. It’s a new environment with new sensations and our naturally curious brains want to explore. While relaxation is often the goal of floating, the first float is largely about gaining familiarity with the space.
How does the water feel on your skin?
Push yourself from one side of the pool to another, feel yourself move.
Notice all the sensations that come with moving your head around in the water, the movement of your hair.
Maybe even move your spine right and left to feel a stretch in the side body.
If you’re up for it, try pressing your arms into the water or flip onto your stomach to fully experience the buoyancy of your body in the salt water.
Our inner child is often silenced and discouraged from showing itself in our day-to-day life. Playing around with the water is a great way to connect with your youth and to release the expectations you have for your float.
One of the biggest hesitations people have about floating is being alone with your thoughts for an extended period of time. It can be really tricky, especially if you have what my mom calls “monkey-mind”. Funnily enough, meditating can be a great way to give your mind something to do during while you’re lying in the water. Float tank expert, author, and co-founder of Zen Float Co. explains some meditations that he recommends in his book, The Float Tank Cure:
Concentrated visual focus
“In standard meditation, this practice involves focusing on an item like a candle flame or a sacred object...But the truth is when you’re in the tank, even in the dark, your eyes perceive things. Perhaps it’s a small dot, circle, or flare in your blank vision. Try not to think about what these shapes look like but just watch them..”
Concentrated aural focus
“If you have audio in your tank, you can throw on a track of a gon or nature sounds. You can even make the sound yourself. Try speaking the “ohm” sound in a slow rhythm...The key is staying absolutely in the moment and bringing your mind back to the sound if it wanders--and it will. Don’t get frustrated when this happens. Just take a breath and bring it back. This is supposed to be a peaceful practice, remember?”
Chanting a mantra
“A mantra can be one word or a phrase of your choosing. I use the “ohm” sound, but you can pick anything short, simple, and meaningful to you. Recited it over and over and over as you float. I’ve found this practice leads to a thoughtlessness, effortless state that is proven to offer many benefits.”
“This simple technique is one of the first things I did in a float tank to help clear my mind of its chaos. I count backwards from one hundred to zero. If I lose track of my count, I start over. As I count, I watch my breath come in and out and time it with the counting. So I count ninety-nine, breath in and out, count ninety-eight then breathe in and out, count ninety-seven then breathe in and out. By the time I get to zero, which takes a while, my mind is in a different realm.”Also See: Salt Water, Float Tank, Count Ninety, Ohm Sound, Water, Floating, Float
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