You wouldn’t expect to go to the gym once and leave with a 6 pack (unless you purchased some cold ones on your way home). Likewise, you wouldn’t take one guitar lesson and expect to play with the likes of Hendrix. When people float once, and say it’s not for them, it sounds just as crazy to me as expecting to take on the triple black diamond the first time you strap on a pair of skis.
Floating is a practice, just like any other, and it gets better the more frequently you do it. Most avid floaters don’t recount their first float as their best. Unless you’ve visited outer space recently, the float tank is an entirely new and foreign environment. It takes a few kicks at the salt bucket for your body to acknowledge that you are safe, comfortable, and able to fully relax.
Almost every float centre offers an intro 3 float pack because it can take that many, or sometimes more floats to really get the hang of it, and experience the benefits it has to offer. With one float, you haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what is possible because you’re still focused on not getting salt in your eyes. #practicesafesalt
When people come out of their second float they often report ‘that was better than the first’ even if they had a stellar first float, the second is much more enjoyable because you already know what to expect, and what to do. By the third float you’ve likely set an intention or goal and are really starting to hit your stride. The more people float the more they enjoy it, the more benefits they receive, and the longer the effects last.
I have come to terms with the fact that floating is not for everyone. Other than water and air, I don’t think there is anything that will fit absolutely everyone’s lives. I encourage you to not only try floating once, but at least 3 times before you decide if floating is a practice you can get behind. Be observant about what you experience. Pay attention to how you feel for 8, 12, 24 hours after your float; the real benefits often continue for long after you’ve left your private sea. Were your senses heightened? Were you slower to judgement, or able to see a situation from a different perspective? Do your muscles and joints feel more freedom? Did you sleep better? Any observation you notice post float is valuable data. Some of them might not be at all related to the float tank, but that’s when you come back, try it again and see if the results can be replicated.
I’m also a pretty big yoga junkie (shout out to Get Bent!) and I think everyone agrees that yoga is very much an ongoing practice. My favorite part about yoga is being able to gauge my improvement over time. The tank is the same way. I’ve spent hundreds of hours in the tank and yet I know my float journey is just getting started. I have so much more to learn, so much more to grow and the float tank will always be a part of that journey.
The downside to things that are a practice, is that not every time will be your best. Some days are better than others, and some experiences more valuable. Also common in any practice, is a point at which you feel you’ve hit a plateau. When those times come, it would be easy to give up and move on to something else, but the real magic comes when you stick with it and go even when you don’t feel like it. I’ve had a few times in my float practice when I’ve felt stuck. When I find myself in a phase of so-so floats, I push myself to float more often, or incorporate different mediation techniques to break through whatever the resistance is that’s holding me back. When I do find that break through, it feels like I’ve ‘Leveled up’. It feels like I’ve truly earned the new knowledge or perspective and I have a deeper appreciation for it than I would have without working through the baggage.
My floats continue to improve. My relationships grow stronger and my ability to handle and manage stress has considerably improved. I am a better person inside and out and I can’t wait to see what the tank has in store for me next month, next year, or in my next lifetime.
I want everyone to live life to the fullest, experience unprecedented joy, the most boisterous laughter, and unfathomable happiness. I truly believe incorporating a float practice into your life will bring you each of those things and more! (there goes my passion oozing out again…)
and all it takes is practice!