Floating is as much of an art form as it is a science. It can take some practice to avoid the common pitfalls in a Sensory Deprivation Tank that can take away from your experience (if you let them)! Master these seven tricks and you’ll be on your way to floating bliss in no time!
One of the most important realizations I’ve had in a float tank is, that floating is ALL about the individual! We’ve all heard the phrase,“Only boring people get bored,” this is most definitely true about our time spent in the void. The float tank is an inanimate object; the pitch-black environment doesn’t care how hard my workweek was. The 900 lbs. of Epsom salts is completely indifferent to what my significant other/boss/friend/co-worker said or didn’t say. And when I close the hatch, the tank isn’t smirking about how it’s captured another self-proclaimed claustrophobic person. After facilitating over 26,000 floats, I can safely say most people who thought they would be claustrophobic, actually have no problem being inside a float tank.
My floats tend to be very visual in nature. Sometimes I am overcome with waves of emotions, other times I am able to enter into a lucid dreamstate and explore the vastness of my mindscape and sometimes my mind just rants, raves and yells at itself.
I've been obsessed with sensory deprivation tanks for about a decade now. Throughout my time in university, I was lucky enough to have amazing professors who allowed me to research them as my theses, which greatly added to my theoretical knowledge of floating.
Until Float House Vancouver opened, I was only able to float sporadically, once or twice a year and more often than not, I would enhance this experience with psychedelic substances, going for extended lengths of time, inducing intense and personalized Sacred Ecstatic Experiences full of religious imagery. Now that I float on a more regular basis, I have learned how to include it as a constant practice and have seen how it has changed many aspects of my life.
Many people will have to manage the time it takes to read this post.
In our fast-paced world of ready meals, quick check-out, express bus, train, lanes, drop-off, pick-up windows, high-speed, 30 minute workouts, news highlights, 140 character attention span - everything is about now. Faster, easier, cram it all into the day.
I've been an advocate for being presently aware and in the moment for many years now. This practice, I am learning, is never ending and should be the only thing to practice for life. There is no limit to being consciously aware or present. It doesn't matter what your background, religion, race or gender is, it is something we humans all share and possess. Once one has an experience whilst being consciously present, it is amazing. Food becomes sensational, nothingness is entertaining and glorious, silence is a deep sense of peace, colours and lights glow and any touch is smooth, soft, warm and magnificent. The present moment. Not yesterday or tomorrow. Being consciously present, when focusing on something simple and letting go of thoughts and attachments, becomes the experience.
The main thing I noticed after floating the first few times was my deeper connection to self and how it related to other people.
Floating has been a pinnacle turning point for me and multiple friends of mine. It has been a part of my life for approximately a year and learning about myself and the way I can incorporate my body and mind into what I do creatively, has been such a rewarding experience. Being creative is in my nature, and not producing something new simply makes me itch. Over the course of the past year I have been able to find better and more effective ways of deliberately opening up, accessing, and emphasizing that creative part of my brain. For those creative types out there, the hope of this piece is to inspire you to utilize floating as an amazing tool to access your creative endeavours. This is opposite to the relaxation concept of an isolation tank. Instead of winding down and relaxing, we are in fact winding up!
Here are five steps that have helped me access the most colourful parts of my brain, whilst in the isolation tank.
When the first humans began to explore the dark crevices of the world, they were the first of us to experience a situation where they could deprive their senses from their harsh daily lives and slip into a mystical experience and reflect inward. Deep within those caverns, animal cults and secret societies emerged, as more complex and abstract ideas were experienced through ecstatic visions (Hayden, 2003). However, our ancestors did not then realize that those visions came from deep within themselves and one of the world's most complicated information processing machines, the human nervous system. We now do know these things and because of this we have developed the psychological and cognitive sciences in order to measure and analyze how we interact with the world around, and inside us, as objectively as possible.