I will admit that when I was presented with the option to experience floating, I was skeptical and even a bit nervous. They wanted me to lay where? For how long?? I watched the video on Nalu Float’s website, and while it did answer some questions, it also made me wonder if I could embrace the experience. A woman in the video talked about “centering her chakras.” I wasn’t really even sure what a chakra WAS, let alone whether or not I needed them centered!
I have never been drawn to alternative medicine practices, and I haven’t been back to a yoga class for years because the meditation wind down at the end makes me anxious. As a busy working Mom, I never could relax enough to benefit from meditation. The most relaxation I get is occasionally reading Facebook on my phone for 5 minutes while I’m in the bathroom. Other than that, I am constantly on the go and struggle with finding ways to take care of myself. There is always another e-mail to answer or another project to start. What wasn’t obvious to me at the start was that these things make me a great candidate for floating.
I was nervous when I opened the door to Nalu Float and entered what looked like a very cozy living room. Jon, the owner, greeted me at the door and asked if I was ready to float. I was, but did have a few questions, which he expertly answered throughout my brief orientation.
Nalu Float is located in northeast Rochester in a welcoming home that has been adapted for the business. It is exceptionally clean and organized for any need you may have while there to float. Ear plugs, hair ties, towels, bathrobe, shampoo, soap, conditioner and even slippers are all available for your use.
What is floating?
Floating involves laying in a tank that is filled with water and Epsom salt that provides buoyancy greater than even the Dead Sea. The tank is about 8 feet long, 4 feet tall and just short of 4 feet wide. You climb inside and lay on your back. It has a hatch-like door, which most people close, but could be left open if that is preferred. The entire experience is adaptable to whatever needs you have. If you’re claustrophobic, you can leave the lights on and the door open. I chose to close the door, but I did use a very small underwater light the first time I floated. I eventually figured out that the experience was so much better with the lights off, but I wasn’t sure what to expect for my first time. It was nice that I could ease myself into the experience.
The first thing you do is take a short shower to wash off all of your excess body oils, lotion, or hair product. The tank is cleaned regularly, and the water is set at a temperature where bacteria will not grow. To preserve the salt levels, it is best to clean off before entering the tank. After the shower you can throw on your bathrobe and venture into the tank room. Everything is closed off from the rest of the home, so you will never see (nor be seen by) anyone else. From that point you climb into the tank and get your float on.
What exactly do you DO in there?
After entering the tank, it took me a little while to settle in and get used to the idea of lying in the water. Floating takes zero effort. I spent a little time centering myself and finding a comfortable position for my arms and hands. Once I was comfortable, I worked on my breathing – something that doesn’t come easily for me. I have an easily distracted mind, and it was hyper-alert. I always seem to pull out the breathing techniques I learned when I was pregnant in these situations; they’re super helpful. A steady pace of deep breathing with my eyes closed did the trick, and soon I was very relaxed. My mind kept trying to wander, but when I would go back to breathing, I could get it back under control.
I visited Nalu Float three times to get the full floating experience. During my second float, I found that I was far more comfortable, knowing what to expect. My mind was so open and clear that I was able to devote time to thinking of some creative ideas for various things in my life. Because there wasn’t anything to distract me in my thinking, I could focus more than I normally was able to. It was great! I switched off between long stretches of breathing to relax and working out new ideas. It was relaxing and productive at the same time.
My experience the second and third time was so different. I found myself hoping the end of my float time wasn’t approaching, because I wasn’t ready to get out! Ninety minutes flew by, and when I left the tank, I was feeling amazing. Even the following day, I was feeling significantly more relaxed than is normal for me.
Would I do it again?
I would! Unlike other meditation-type experiences, floating enabled me to truly relax and shut out distractions. Through this experience, I have found that I am able to meditate in the right atmosphere. Floating allowed me to let go of daily distractions and concentrate on myself – something many of us don’t do enough. If you’re looking for a way to totally let go and yes, center your chakras, Nalu Float is place to do it.