WHOLISTIC WELLBEING | 03 FEB 2020
My Coastal Float Experience
As soon as you step in all your senses are filled with an ‘aahhhh’.
You walk slowly absorbing the smell of oils, tasting the tea you can see ready sitting along the back wall, taken in by pictures of the sea. Luxurious is the word that comes to mind. You are greeted at the counter by lovely staff eager for you to enjoy your experience.
If you have to wait, pour yourself a tea and sit in the lounge beckoning you and choose a card of intention. I am such a fan of these cards. Draw one and you are asked to contemplate a value and how this applies to you and your actions in the world. You won’t have to wait long but it is a lovely way to start sinking the body into relaxation.
You are walked into your private room and given instructions to get ready for your pod experience. In the pod you can close the lid or keep it open, you can choose your light colour, and before you enter the ladies will ask you what type of music you would like and how long. This is an all-inclusive experience from the start to end. I am claustrophobic but both times I have kept the lid down, both times were different experiences before, during and after.
The second time knowing what to expect, and knowing my body had been in overdrive, I slept in a state of consciousness with visuals I cannot recall. I was able to let everything go and was conscious of all my thoughts and reflections without attachment, slipping into deep relaxation. The pod allows your muscles to release tension. Afterwards, they felt floppy and I was acutely conscious of the requests I made on my body – what I was asking of it moment to moment. I was able to connect to layers within myself through the body’s muscle, skin (your biggest sense of perception) thoughts, feelings and habits of mind. I knew where my focus had been the month prior to my second float, and this was what I was able to see in my float- stress, busyness, the list of things I had to do (a never ending list!)….. normally my shoulders would tense, my jaw would grip, I would grip with my toes and feel the tension in my belly. But in the float I could interrupt the pattern to shift perspective.
This is the beauty of the Coastal Floats, you begin to immediately shift your perspective the moment you open the door.
BENEFITS OF FLOATING
I think of clients who come into session declaring they don’t do breathing. We laugh about this later… especially clients who end up in regular yoga classes and practising purposeful breathing daily. Floating is an hour of focusing on your breath. It is through single-pointed focus you can observe your mind more clearly. Like it’s rotating around a central point, the breath. With clarity you have discernment. Your physical and physiological body cannot respond how they would normally so you break the cycle of automatic wiring. We are made up of
many of these automatic pathways.
Take for example riding a bike or driving a car. At one point you were conscious of every minute detail involved and developed a body and mind link. Now you are barely conscious of the balance you had to learn or checklists you went through when learning. You can ride or drive for periods of time and realise you’ve been so caught up in mind you don’t consciously remember those last few kilometres or what you passed.
The mind is built by association and everything is linked. A float allows disruption of associations and capacity to stand from a different viewpoint as it requires a withdrawal from the senses. It works with the body to create an inner experience different from the routines and habits we engage in day to day. I have talked about my second float because it takes practice to relax and withdraw from the senses. At the end of the float both times (but less the second) I struggled to stay. Each time I would refocus on my breath pulling my thoughts away from creeping anxiety “it must be time, have they forgotten me?” “maybe music isn’t working (this plays to sound the end of your hour)?” Again I was able to see how much of a habit this was in me and used my breath to settle back inward. Sensory deprivation is not an easy experience for most people, as most people do not have daily practices or experiences of silence and turning the senses inward……. As one client told me there is no way she could do a float, holding up her phone and declaring she cannot survive without this. It does require practice.
A few of my friend’s partners have tried it after hearing their experience, and loved it. A float experience is definitely for all.
Floatation and sensory deprivation are well researched, it can help with:
- Sleep improvement
(https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/831/items/1.0098140) Most people report having a wonderful, or even the best, night sleep they’ve had in a long time after a float. And the great thing is these benefits can last for days after!
- Stress relief and treating stress-related illness (as it interrupts stress associations in the body and mind).
- Reduces anxiety (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27016217)
- Pain relief by evoking a relaxation response similar to mindfulness strategies used to reduce chronic pain and rewire the brain’s learnt
responses to pain.
- Magnesium. “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle
function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps adjust blood glucose levels. It aids in the production of energy and protein”
- The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are well documented and researched. Floating is another tool to build effects of letting go and
acceptance. Shifting of perspective is precipitated by awareness. We can truly let go and create change when we are completely aware of where we are and what is operating inside. This information can determine how we interpret the world and experience others. Everything is linked and we can work from different perspectives to create wellness and well-being.
You can clearly see a lot of thought and passion has inspired the complete individual experience you will have at Coastal Float. I will be going again and recommend trying (and so do family, friends and clients)..….guaranteed you will enjoy!
If you would like to see us in person in the Shoalhaven and Wollongong areas or have an online appointment from anywhere to discuss your stress and mindfulness then contact us today.