Have you ever heard of a float spa or zero gravity float? Being from a somewhat small town, I hadn’t until I moved to Austin. According to Liquid Floats, the float center at which I recently booked my first-ever floating appointment: “Floating effortlessly places us in an environment where most external stimulus is cut off including gravity, something we rarely escape. A float pod is a dark, soundproof tank inside which you float in 10 inches of (epsom) salt water heated to skin temperature. The lack of gravity and the restricting of your senses is what allows floating to place you in a state of pure relaxation for both body and mind. This can lead to a multitude of benefits, from helping with depression, anxiety, athletic recovery, sleep, and so much more.”
I didn’t go into my first float with any crazy expectations. I just wanted to relax a little. (Lately I’ve been finding myself quite literally stuck to my phone for most of my waking hours.) And relax I did, right off the bat, thanks to the inviting waiting room I walked into upon arrival, replete with hot tea and ambient music.
The pod itself looked like something from a ’60s science fiction movie: It is big and white with a latch cover that is raised and lowered when entering. The pod was situated in a chic, low lit room along a shower and towels, shampoo, soap and other float necessities like ear plugs and Vaseline (for any open cuts).
After showering with soap and shampoo as instructed, I turned down the lights, stepped into the pod and closed the cover over me. Interior buttons gave the option of leaving the trance-y music and neon blue and green lights on; I left said music on as I sat back into the water and felt no gravity for the first time in my life. I’ve watched my fair share of travel documentaries, and this instantly reminded me of all the visitors I’ve seen in the Dead Sea. Or it was like I was some sort of science experiment in a lab… Still debating which comparison is most accurate here.
Contrary to what some might think, I didn’t panic when I lost the feel of gravity, and I quite liked the temperature of the pod. I didn’t feel completely deprived of my senses, but things were definitely not “normal”. I began to try and slow my mind by doing breathing exercises; in for five seconds and out for five seconds. I concentrated on trying to clear my thoughts and let myself enjoy this hour of floating. At some point, I dozed off for a few minutes. Moments later, a slight bubbling from a jet in the side of the pod signaled it was time for me to exit.
I showered off all the salt and left my room. For the next hour or so, I felt very calm, sleepy and pretty blissed out. I’ve read that you get “better” at it after doing it a couple times, so I’d absolutely be down to try floating again soon. I was very impressed with Liquid Float’s cleanliness, hospitality and accommodations. I’d give my first float experience, and Liquid Floats, a 5 out of 5.
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