Floatation tanks…float, isolation, sensory reduction or REST tanks…all the same thing – ever heard of them? Originally made known in the 1950’s to conduct sensory deprivation tests…these days they’re used more mainstream for meditation, stress relief, relaxation and improving physical, mental & emotional health and wellbeing.
“Sensory deprivation tank has been the most important tool I have ever used for developing my mind, for thinking, for evolving.” ~ Joe Rogan
When I arrived back in Australia last year I was super excited to find there were a few around the place…but I didn’t like the idea of having to travel through peak hour traffic to get to one. So it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago when the excitement got REAL…when Float Fremantle opened within walking distance of my house and workplace!! In the heart of Fremantle <3
So what exactly is a float tank? And why am I so excited?
Practically Float Fremantle is set up with 4 float pods, or tanks…they look a little like a space shuttle…and in many ways that’s exactly what they are..amazing little pods to transport you into another world…of peace, rest and expansion.
Filled with water heated to body temperature, and hundreds of kilograms of epsom salts to allow the body to float effortlessly. The pods have gentle lights that you operate from inside…and music that gently plays before fading out into silence and sweet sweet darkness (if you choose).
For me this is heaven…a place where all of the outer world stimulations gently fall away, and I can allow my body to rest – suspended perfectly – no effort required. Where all the outer world noise is dissolved into silence…and I’m left with just myself…and this is where it gets interesting. When I removed all the outer stimulation and stresses, I immediately saw how much of my tensions (mental & physical) came from within….a very similar experience to one I had in my first 5 day Hridaya silent meditation retreat. I got to sit with my mind and all of the millions of thoughts that rise and fall, and I got to really feel where my body & mind are creating noise…holding on unnecessarily – creating tension.
I first heard about floatation tanks from my meditation teacher who recommended them highly as a way to deepen our meditation practice. When I researched a little more I understood how the float tanks offer huge benefits for meditation & also just for all of us needing a little relaxation, recovery from our busy lives – including recovery post sports…and healing – so so so much healing possibility. High in magnesium the tanks offer so many physiological benefits, but if you subscribe to the point of view that tension in the body is a psycho-somatic reflection of tension in the mind…how can all parts of yourself not benefit from some time in an environment where the mind is not fed with external stimulation??
Stress is rampant these days, bombarded by sensory stimulation everywhere we turn – our nervous systems struggle to find the space to drop back into rest and digest and restoration (activating the vagus nerve & the parasympathetic nervous system). Yoga and meditation are the daily tools I use to help my nervous system cope with everything happening in both my inner & outer worlds…and now I’m super excited to add floating to my self care practices.
Floating at Float Fremantle wasn’t my first float…but it was my favourite, for many reasons (including the awesomeness of Sav & Ash guiding you through the float experience) but mostly the fact that I can make it a part of my regular self loving. In fact I was so excited about the prospect of regular floats…the first 25 minutes of my first float in Fremantle was full of a very active mind creating incredible ideas for meditation techniques and experiments…but even that faded out into stillness as the body dropped deeper and deeper into relaxation, tensions dissolving. Eventually my mind began to detach and I was left in this beautiful space of nothing to be done, nowhere to go, no-one to be…actually the same feeling I have when I practice a good session of yoga and then immediately sit in meditation – the body relaxed…and I’m left with just me and my Heart to explore no-thing.
And I know I’m not alone. We offer free meditation classes at Spanda Yoga School and other than watching the games of the monkey mind…the most common challenge people speak about is the discomfort of their physical body. Getting through the physical aches and pains can be really distracting to begin with… over time the mind eventually stops focussing on this, and the tensions do begin to dissolve but with floating these physical limitations are removed almost completely right from the beginning.
Its not that the tensions weren’t there – actually being in the tank showed me exactly where I was tense and tight…but because I was floating in the water with no pressure on my spine and neck..I had a chance to breathe into all of the tensions and really consciously release them. As the tensions dissolved my focus on my body softened and then I found myself unable to tell where my body finished and the water began..and this is where the magic is at..in floating, yoga, meditation….to feel this sense of absolute freedom within the body.
‘It’s so important. Everybody should do the tank. You will learn more about yourself than any other way.’ ~ Joe Rogan
So if you’re keen to know more, or more importantly to explore this freedom for yourself go and check out this beautiful oasis in the middle of Fremantle…clean, quiet and created by an amazing family who have worked together to open their doors so that people can walk in and float out.
They’re now open with a sweet intro price of $60 for a one hour float…and you just might see me there 😉 And don’t be shy, share your experiences…with floating or anything you do to calm the mind, relax the body and give your nervous system a little bit of love? I’d love to hear from you!
Happy floating loved ones! May we all know the joy of freedom within the body <3