Bouncing off the walls: Finding your groove in the first few floats
Updated: Jul 19
“The sensory deprivation chamber is the most important tool I’ve ever used for developing my mind, for thinking, for evolving”
– Joe Rogan
The tank holds great potential for every human being because we each hold great potential within ourselves! The float tank isn’t anything overly special. It’s a tub with a shit ton of Epsom salts in it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no compare to adding Epsom salts to your bath at home, but the idea is so simple, and yet so profound. When you really think about it, the only thing special inside of a float tank is YOU!
Most avid floaters don’t recount their first float as their best float. This could be for many reasons, such as expectations, nerves and the energy brought into, or surrounding the float. One of the best things about floating is that it is entirely subjective. You, and only you, know how you experienced your float and it’s often hard to put your experience into words. I doubt it’s possible for two people to experience the same float, and even if they did I bet they would describe it differently.
First time floaters often base their expectations on what other people have told them, which can sometimes be disappointing when they realize the tank is a whole lot of nothingness. I had heard Joe Rogan recount his tales of the tank and half expected my first time to be a psychedelic, time and space altering experience – it wasn’t. Luckily I knew that Joe Rogan had a long and explorative relationship with floating and I wasn’t at all deterred by not reaching altered states of consciousness. I knew I had to earn it.
Not to say that first time floaters are likely to have a bad float, I’ve never had a truly bad float, but floating is a practice just like anything else and it gets better the more you do it! This is why we suggest not just floating once, but a minimum of three times before you know if this is something you could get used to. Ideally those first three floats would be scheduled close together.
The first float is all about discovering and feeling safe in this new environment. I encourage people to play with buttons, bounce off walls, whatever makes you feel more comfortable in your new surroundings. The more comfortable you feel, the deeper your body and mind will relax. With your second float you already know what you are getting yourself into, and it’s easier to hit that deep state of relaxation. By your third float you’ve really started to get the hang of things and can start experimenting with different meditative techniques and real find your groove!
From my personal practice I can tell you that no two floats are exactly the same. I've logged hundreds of float hours, but some days my mind is on overdrive and I can’t calm down. When this happens I reflect on my day and often realize I had coffee or there was something internal that resisted the calm. I learn from these floats and now try to plan my day around my float so that I’m giving myself every opportunity to learn something new. I know that I’ve only scratched the surface and have so much more to learn about myself. I have no doubt that I will be a floater for the rest of my life!
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