Vancouver Survival Guide - Episode 1: Community Building: How Man Talks is Challenging Men to Man-Up and Build a Mentorship Community

Vancouver Survival Guide - Episode 1: Community Building: How Man Talks is Challenging Men to Man-Up and Build a Mentorship Community
In a recent episode of the Real Vancouver podcast, hosts Andy and Mike Zaremba started off their "Vancouver Survival Guide" with a bang. They sat down with Connor Beaton, founder of Man Talks, to discuss how local businesses and entrepreneurs could be leveraged to make their communities a better place. Beaton talked at length about the origins of Man Talks and how personal and professional development for men should always be a priority.

Ever Gone On A Float Date Before?

Going on a Float Date is probably one of the best dating forms I've ever done! Here's why I love them so much!

You learn a lot about someone quickly!

The post-float chill out period, typically done within the walls of a float centre's lounge, sipping tea and soaking in the ambiance, is a time when someone could quite possible be their most authentic self. When someone is truly relaxed they're less guarded and they're more likely to express how they truly feel.


Enhanced Communication

With the massively grounding and potent purging of stress that a 90-minute float can provide, it leaves the floater in a state that is less reactive, more present and likely basking with inner clarity simply by turning down the entire volume of life for a while. This is when one can speak and listen from an open and honest place, being truly comfortable in one's skin and letting one's inner light shine.  


More sensual!

The float brings one out of their heads and into their body.  In the absence of external stimuli the floater experiences what's left; oneself. Their thoughts (which hopefully calms down with some breathing exercises, see below), their emotions, and the physical sensations of the body. It's amazing even during the stillness of a float how vibrant and visceral the sensations of the body actually feel.  
We become hyper-sensitive physically in a good way.  In the extreme reduction of external stimuli our sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, & skin) become hyper-sensitive which is a beautiful thing to experience for most afterwards.  Colours are sharper, more vivid and brighter, sounds and smells are more rich and full, and food explodes with flavours! We are snapped out of our chronic numbed autonomy caused by hustle and bustle of our routines and are reborn into the majestic physical realm that we so fortunately get to dwell in.

Nothing is better for a deep connection than 2 people cuddling who are this "in touch" with their bodies and out of their heads.


It breaks up the date!

If you're on an early-going date with someone, the float allows for a nice reprieve from the date.  It literally breaks it up.  You meet early, go for a short walk before your float, go to the centre, each have the individual float experience, calm down, reflect on oneself a little bit, reconnect with what is true for you and then re-connect with your date in the lounge afterwards. For some the early dates can be stressful as people may find it tough to let themselves be fully exposed right from day 1, so having a break within the date is not a bad thing for both people in my opinion. Plus it gives you both something to talk about and share.

So go for it!  Ask that special someone if they want to go on a float date! It's adventurous, relaxing and sets you both up for a greater connection. And if they say "no, thanks" you can always float with your Mom or Dad, they'll love you for it!
Thanks for reading.



Breathing Tips for in a Float:

- for the first minute or two take deeper than normal breaths, in the nose and out the mouth.
- eventually allow the breath to normalize and do not attempt to control it.
- continue to breathe in and out of the nose. Breathing in the mouth can induce anxiety.
- try to match the depth, rate, and intensity of each inhale to each exhale.
- with each exhale perhaps state an internal mantra of "relax" or "let go".
- always breathe into the lower abdomen (diaphragm) and not in to the upper chest, belly breathing induces greater calmness, while chest breathing can increase anxiety.

5 Reasons to Actively Practice Stress Management

5 Reasons to Actively Practice Stress Management

As our stress levels increase or as we are chronically in a stressful (fight-or-flight) state our mind's ability to be easily triggered and reactive increases. We may say and think things that we normally wouldn't say or think if we were in a calmer state.  Actively practicing stress management can allow us to be a "better" version of ourselves when dealing with others.

Sensory Deprivation Boosts Musicians’ Skill Level

by Tom Jacobs

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Everybody knows the standard answer. But newly published research suggests that, after you’ve labored all day in the practice room, you might want to spend an hour in a flotation tank.

Oshin Vartanian of the University of Toronto and Peter Suedfeld of the University of British Columbia report floating in an Epsom salt solution one hour per week for four weeks boosted the technical ability of a group of college music students. This suggests such periods of minimal sensory stimulation can improve performers’ perceptual-motor coordination.

Don’t start filling up the bathtub, however: This experiment, described in the journal Music and Medicine, featured a level of sensory deprivation achievable only in a specially designed tank. The device was invented in the 1950s by neuroscientist John Lilly; in the years since, its use has been linked to improved sports performance and heightened levels of creativity.

But would it work for budding be-boppers? To answer that question, the researchers conducted an experiment using 13 students enrolled in an intermediate-level jazz improvisation course at Vancouver Community College.


Eight of the students — six men and two women — engaged in flotation sessions for four consecutive weeks. They spent an hour each week in a fiberglass shell, floating in a solution of Epsom salts and skin-temperature water. They were in the dark, and outside sounds were muffled.

All the participants — including the other five musicians who comprise the comparison group — made two five-minute-long recordings in which they freely improvised. The first took place one week before the flotation sessions began; the second, one week after the sessions concluded. Each session was rated by the instructor (who was unaware which students were undergoing the treatments) on five dimensions: improvisation, creativity, expressiveness, technical ability and overall quality.

The researchers found “a significant difference between the treatment and comparison groups on technical ability, but not on any other dimension,” the researchers write. Thanks to this enhanced skill level, those who had floated “had significantly higher grades in the jazz improvisation class than the comparison group.”

Vartanian and Suedfeld concede this was a small sample. But they note that, based on their initial recordings, the instructor rated the treatment and comparison groups essentially equal on all five dimensions. Since “The two groups can be considered equivalent in terms of motivation and baseline ability,” the difference in their ability was very likely the result of the flotation sessions.


So why didn’t the treatment group’s creativity scores also rise? The researchers suspect this reflects the one-week lag time between the final flotation session and the second recording.

That was purposeful on their part: They wanted to gauge long-lasting rather than immediate effects. (Previous research found increased creativity in university students after floating sessions measured their abilities immediately after they left the tank and dried off.)

Of course, for a musician, technical expertise can inspire increased creativity, as it gives one the confidence to take risks. So perhaps this boost in skill will lead to higher levels of originality in the long run.

In any event, the results suggest this technique holds considerable promise for musicians in general and jazz artists in particular. As Vartanian and Suedfeld note, flotation isolation “has been shown to induce a state of relaxed alertness, concentration and reduced stress.”

Which is exactly where you want to be when the bandleader gives his cue.

My Life-Changing Experience In A Sensory Deprivation Tank

My Life-Changing Experience In A Sensory Deprivation Tank

You float in complete darkness and silence for 1-2 hours. It’s the most relaxing experience I’ve ever had, but what blows my mind is that relaxation is not limited to your time in the pod. It follows you home.

Floating in a sensory deprivation tank is quite the experience mentally and physically

Floating in a sensory deprivation tank is quite the experience mentally and physically

The isolation tank isn't a new thing and has been around since the 1950s which has given it plenty of time for experiments and research.

Floating has been shown in various studies to provide benefits of wellbeing, induce profound relaxation, stress reduction, and pain reduction to name a few.