Birthday Floatin’

When I first heard of the sensory deprivation float a few years ago, I didn’t really get it.  You float in the water with no sound, light, or gravity…  It sounded kind of dark and scary.


Since then I’ve been trying different meditation and relaxation techniques to manage stress.  A couple of months ago, I came across a coupon for Urban Float in Seattle.  I decided to have my first float on my birthday!  As one of my friends put it, I was going to “spend my birthday in a fake womb.”

それからストレスを減らすために色んな瞑想や、リラクゼーションの方法を試してきました。数ヶ月前にたまたまシアトルにあるUrban Floatという、アイソレーション・タンクを営むサロンのクーポンを入手し、誕生日に自分へのご褒美として試すことにしました!ある友人には「誕生日を、ニセの胎内で過ごすんだね。」とコメントされてしまいました、、、

I made my appointment for the 50-mins float session.   When I checked in, the nice woman there gave me a quick tour of the room & the pod.  It was comforting to know that there is an emergency button inside of the pod…


At this facility, you have an option of floating in a pod that looks kind of like a giant, sci-fi kidney bean (pictured below).  The water is kept at body temperature, and it is a highly saturated epsom salt and water, so your body floats even though the water is less than knee deep.  Once you’re in, you can close the top all the way, or leave it cracked, depending on your comfort level.  You wear ear plugs so the water won’t get in your ears.  This also helps shut out any noise while you float.


space-age pod for floatation

After showering, I wasted no time getting my floatin’ on.  I got in the pod, closed the top all the way and lied down in the water.  It was a strange feeling to just “float.”  Normally, when I’m in the pool or the ocean, I’m trying to swim or move about in the water.  But here, you just lie still.



It took me a few minutes to relax my head.  I’m so used to laying on something solid, something to support my head, so letting my neck to relax in the water was hard.  I was afraid my face is going to be under the water.


I was eventually able to let the water support my head, and my eyes, nose and mouth stayed above water.  They play a soothing music for the first and last 5 minutes of your session.


I tried not to move my body once I got the hang of floating.  For some reason I was drifting inside of the pod.Eventually, I stopped drifting.  But whenever I focused on not moving my legs or arms, it started twitching!  Because you don’t have other sensations, I became very sensitive to every little move I made in the water.  I felt the water around me rippling with the subtlest of moves.


I thought I read on their website that the light inside of the pod would automatically turn off with the music, so I just floated there for several minutes.  I opened my eyes to see if the light had turned off, but it was on…  Actually, it stayed on for the entire time.  I could’ve turned it off manually, but at that point, I didn’t feel like getting up to push the button, so I let it go.  I could also hear sounds from outside as the facility is right by a busy street.


I went in and out of sleep while floating.  Had mini dreams.  Then the music came on to let me know that my time was ending.  It went by too quickly!


I got out of the pod, showered, and got dressed.  I felt super relaxed and a little groggy afterwards.  I drank lots of water and cooled off before heading out to the busy outside world!


My very first floating experience didn’t exactly knock my socks off, but it really helped me feel relaxed and detoxed.  I would be very curious to see how I would feel if I had an actual “sensory deprivation” experience, you know, without any light or sounds.  I’m sure it affects different people differently.  If you ever wonder what it’s like, try it and see how you feel!


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