Floating for Meditation
Upon arrival for your first appointment at Float Well, you will be asked what your float goals are. By a landslide, stress relief and relaxation tops the list; not surprisingly though, meditation is the second most common response. Terms like mindfulness and meditation have recently become trendy buzzwords and we are realising more and more how unsustainable our busy schedules and demanding to-do lists are. We are seeking ways to slow down, unplug and reconnect with ourselves. And floating is fast becoming a go-to method to access this.
Meditation has been around for centuries and in many different forms. It’s something that you may have dabbled with here and there or maybe you have a committed and established practice. The beauty of meditation is that it can be done anywhere, by anyone and has guidelines but no firm rules. The idea is to become an observer of your inner landscape instead of an active participant in it. We are bombarded by sensory input, noise, mental clutter and obligations on a daily basis that can feel overwhelming at times. Constant stimulation and stress can contribute to a deterioration of both your physical and mental wellbeing, so it makes sense that meditation is becoming more mainstream – we are looking for more accessible and effective ways to cope.
What makes meditation a tad tricky is that its benefits are not often tangible nor immediate. In a world of quick-fixes and instant gratification, the impact of meditation is cumulative and often subtle. Most importantly, meditation is a practice – there is no end goal of enlightenment in which you can take a step back and bask in all its glory. It’s something that needs tending to in the long term to actually manifest into significant change. Like gardening, you need to pull out the weeds (or mental clutter) on an ongoing basis for its effects to linger.
This is where the float tank comes in. Floating was originally invented in the 1950s by John C Lilly who was interested in exploring the depths of consciousness through sensory withdrawal. Since its resurgence in the last decade, floatation therapy has become more of a holistic wellness tool but still holds true to its origin: What happens to the mind when you remove your sense of sight, touch and sound? How can we learn to become more comfortable with our own thoughts? What is the potential of our consciousness when we drop into a deep state of both physical and mental relaxation?
As you lie still in the float tank fully supported by the water below you, your body’s parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, triggering a deep sense of rest. Your heart rate and blood pressure lower, your breath get deep and slow and if you give yourself permission to let go, your brain can enter the theta brainwave state, lingering between wakefulness and sleep. It’s this mind state that experienced meditators strive to grasp, which is associated with deep relaxation, visualisation and creativity; however, sitting or laying on the floor for prolonged periods of time can cause stress on the body, which can in turn become a distraction. The art of meditation would encourage you to become aware of these physical distractions and let them go, but we know that this can be tricky for the best of us. In the float tank, your body is so comfortable that it is significantly easier to drop into a meditative state with little effort. In fact, the more effort you put into relaxing, the less likely you will get there.
If you struggle with racing thoughts and a busy mind, spending an hour in silence in the float tank can appear confronting. This is why we offer a range of customisable features so that your float experience is fine tuned to your needs. You can manually control the lights inside the float tank, so feel free to leave them on or float in complete darkness. You can also decide on your music setup: first 10 minutes and last 5 minutes, music the whole way through or complete silence. We have a range of different styles of music to listen to, including guided meditations/visualisations if you prefer to have something a bit more structured to help you focus. All our standard float sessions are 60 minutes long but you can extend your float to 90 minutes for an additional $20 or even book back-to-back appointments and float for up to 3 hours! We’ve even written a blog article outlining different relaxation techniques that you can try in the tank to enhance your float.
Floating can be a transformative, profound experience if you can master the art of letting go. Give yourself permission to relax completely and observe the depths of your consciousness in the safe, secluded cocoon of the float tank.
“Meditation is very important. It has a very high objective – to take us away from this world of suffering into the world of happiness, joy and Bliss. It is a method, a discipline, that we have to follow very discreetly and if we follow it properly we will find that meditation helps us to discover ourselves, what we really are. As we get deeper into meditation we come nearer to the Source of our Being.” -Swami Nirliptananda
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