josh

Journeying through inner realms. Building community through shared experiences with float tanks and sensory deprivation.

josh@yuefloat.com

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PUSHING PAST THE UNKNOWN: FIRST TIME FLOAT FEARS

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It’s not all that uncommon, in fact one could say it’s human nature, for us to be apprehensive and reserved about getting outside of our comfort zones. We like to stick to the things we excel at and we like to be in environments where we feel most confident, acclimated, and secure. Coupled with the fact that life as a human being is becoming more and more automated, stimulated, and complex it’s no wonder that we feel reluctant to spend time in unfamiliar surroundings. Often times however, we don’t experience growth, or break away from harmful thought patterns and habits until we make a change to the status quo. We seek external distractions from compounding internal struggle. That’s why instead of forcing yourself to sit and meditate for 10 minutes, it’s much easier to scroll through instagram or twitter or turn on the TV. It’s not even that we don’t want to take time for ourselves necessarily, rather the abundance of distractions that just happen to sneak up on us, and before we realise it, we’ve spent half an hour looking at cat videos instead of using our time more productively. Not that there’s anything wrong with watching cat videos, but the point is we often times lose sight of how we expend our valuable time and energy on things that may not be serving our higher purpose and potential. As someone who likes to avoid confrontation and conflict by seeking distraction, I’ve often been guilty of creating excuses for not pushing beyond the norm and putting off doing the necessary deep work required to propel myself forward and create progress for myself. We have a tendency to bury things deep down that we don’t want to confront for whatever the reason being.

One thing that I’ve found particularly eye opening about floating is that it is a wonderful method of breaking out of your regular way of thinking, and gaining new perspectives on how thought patterns and habits fit into different areas of your life. By allowing yourself to be completely relaxed, your mind remains calm. If we can develop a practice inside of the float tank and retain some of the insights gained to apply in our day to day lives, we can recondition ourselves to generate progress. It’s extremely common for people just finding out about flotation tanks to be intimidated or put off by what they’re presented with. Mostly, these are all anxieties that we fabricate in the depths of our minds, and believe it or not, what would initially seem like a daunting or grueling experience, turns out to be quite the opposite.

More often than not, claustrophobia tends to be the number one issue brought up with new floaters. Perhaps in some ways the term “float tank” puts a rather unpleasant image in peoples minds about what the design of the tank actually looks like. While these days there are many different makes and models of float tank, most people have this idea of a coffin-like space in which they will feel very confined or restricted in their movements. If you’ve seen the episode of The Simpsons where Homer and Lisa try floating, that probably wouldn’t have helped reassure you. But, one can take solace in the fact that the length of most pods tends to be somewhere between 7.5-8 feet by 4.5-5 feet wide; Plenty of room to move about freely and comfortably. The ceilings or lids will be high enough so that you can reach your arms straight out and still have plenty of space. Truth be told, it is more like being encapsulated in a small room than being stuck in a small space. In addition to this, you’ll never encounter a tank where you would be unable to open the lid/door or exit whenever you felt the need. It’s very important to keep in mind that you remain fully in control at all times. If at any point prior to your session you don’t feel like you know what you’re doing or are uncomfortable about any of the procedures, to let the staff know so they can do their best to make sure you’re fully comfortable.

Coming in at a close second, cleanliness and sanitary measures are also a major concern. Given the fact that you’re going to be floating in the salt solution for an hour, of course you’ll want to be of sound mind that the environment is completely clean. I’ve hear several times “it sounds interesting, but I’m not sure I want to be soaking in someone’s dirty bath water for an hour.” No doubt one would find it hard to relax if all they could think about during the duration of the float was “who was the person in here before me?” Rest assured, cleanness and sanitising measures are of paramount importance when it comes to operating a float centre. Health codes will differ ever so slightly depending on local regulations but there are few important things to keep in mind. First, the amount of epsom salt actually present in the float solution is of such a high concentration that it will be hard for anything to grow or bloom in the water to begin with. Hence how the Dead Sea got its name sake. However, beyond this, there are a multitude of other steps in the sanitising process. At yue float, this would include UV light sanitising and automatic hydrogen peroxide dosing in addition to the powerful micron filters that will filter out anything up to 1/100th the size of a human hair. Powerful stuff!

The last thing I’d like to touch on is the emphasis that you are fully in control of your experience in the pod. The fear of the unknown is often blown out of proportion because we allow our minds to run wild with the thoughts of worse case scenarios and the possibility that something could go horribly wrong. Aside from the fact that nobody has ever drowned in a float tank, this is meant to be an environment that is optimised for relaxation, introspection, and healing. It’s an amazing opportunity to take uninterrupted time for yourself to take a much deserved break from the taxing routines and habits we find ourselves in. So, get in, float, and tune out for an hour, what’ve you got to lose?


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