Several years ago, I had my first experience with a float tank at Float Now Saskatoon. If you aren’t familiar, floating is a sensory deprivation experience where you lay naked in a tank in skin-temperature Epsom-salt-saturated water and float in the dark. The purpose is to relax both your body and mind and reach a meditative mental state.
When I first shared about the experience (which I highly recommend anyone to try), a common response from people was they were worried about claustrophobia. Many felt nervous about climbing into the float pod or tank and closing the door and lying there in the pitch dark.
But good news! Float Now Saskatoon has recently installed an open float room. You get the same experience but without the intimidation of being in a small space.
Thanks to Float Now, I was able to try the open float tank out first-hand.
*This post was created in partnership with Float Now. But as always, all views, thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Why is Floating Good For You?
The research behind floating in a sensory deprivation tank suggests this form of alternative medicine can help relieve stress, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and lower your blood pressure. While the Epsom salts have anti-inflammatory benefits, float therapy’s “gravity-free” type experience helps your muscles relax.
Above all else, it’s also just a really cool experience to have.
Getting Prepared to Float
If it’s your first time floating, staff will walk you through how it all works. But as a quick run down to prep you:
There’s a private shower inside the float room with shampoo and body wash. Like at a swimming pool, you shower before stepping into the float tank. A lukewarm shower is best to match the skin temperature water in the float tank.
They provide earplugs to keep water out, a makeup remover wipe, and vitamin E to put on any open cuts so the saltwater doesn’t sting. (It’s best not to shave right before a float). There’s also a foam head pillow for support. While my photos show me in a bathing suit, it’s recommended to float completely naked for the full experience.
In addition to regular lighting, there are relaxing blue lights that set a calming vibe. There’s a light switch on the side of the float tank so you can turn the lights on or off from inside the tank. When the 90 minutes are up, gentle music comes on over the speakers to let you know.
What’s a Floating Experience Like?
Immediately, I noticed the weightlessness due to the 1000 pounds of Epsom salt keeping me buoyant – it’s a similar experience to floating in the Dead Sea or in the waters out at Manitou Lake. The process of floating is relaxing because my body doesn’t need to do anything to be there – no need to support or hold up any part of it. It’s hard to tell where the water touches my skin as it’s neither hot nor cold.
With the lights out, everything is pitch black and it doesn’t matter if my eyes are open or closed. But it does take some time for my mind to quieten. I think through a lot of things but try to pull back to being focused on the moment.
Eventually, time seems to distort and I’m uncertain if I’ve dozed off or zoned out into a meditative state (I’m still fairly new to all of this). In less time than I expect, soft tribal music comes on over the speakers and my 90 minutes are up.
What if I Can’t Turn My Mind Off?
My mind is always going – whether it’s thinking through my schedule, planning new content or running ideas over in my head, I have a hard time “turning things off” in my brain. I also find it stressful when someone tells me to stop thinking – I immediately start overthinking.
Once inside the float tank, it can take between 20 and 45 minutes to calm your mind. Christian Zrymiak, co-owner of Float Now assures me this is totally normal. (It’s also why a float is 90 minutes and not 60 minutes.)
“The more consistent you are with floating and the act of mindfulness, the quicker you’ll be able to reach a meditative state of relaxation,” he explains. “But don’t worry too much about that during your first few float sessions. This isn’t an active relaxation process.”
In my case, trying to relax isn’t relaxing – it’s usually frustrating. The trick is simply taking time and slowing yourself down (something we very rarely do these days).
Christian says a helpful tip is to focus on your breathing. “It’s also okay if you feel a little bored in the tank,” he assures me. “It’s normal to feel bored when relaxing. In fact, it doesn’t mean it’s not working, it likely means it’s doing exactly what it should be.”
In today’s world, where we’re always stimulated (and overstimulated) thanks to smartphones, advertisements and neverending content – sensory deprivation is an excellent way to counteract it all and take time for yourself.
Float Now Discount Promo Code
The team at Float Now Saskatoon has offered me a code for your first float.
When booking online, use LOSTGIRL20 to save 20% off! Happy floating!