Prior to my float, I was really only anxious about one thing. I didn’t think it would bother me to be confined to a space where I couldn’t see or hear anything. I was worried that I just wasn’t going to get out of the experience what I was seeking. I’ve wanted to float in a sensory deprivation tank for years now and I was a little scared that it may not be all I had built it up to be. But Allahu Akbar, it was.
There were a couple of things I had to decide before I got in the tank for my float: was I going to bring in a mini noodle for neck support and was I going wear earplugs. I opted for neither as a way of giving myself a baseline experience to compare with later floats.
I signed a form stating I would not use alcohol or drugs while floating. Had I not committed to said rule I allegedly could have supplemented the experience by vaporizing a little cannabis on my way to the float center. Which I certainly did not.
Prior to the float I expected to lie with my arms by my side with my palms up. I’ve just read in a book that apparently when we face our palms up it primes our brain to learn new things and come up with creative solutions to problems. It sounds like hookey shit… but apparently its science mother fucker (no citation needed). Anyways, I actually found it more comfortable with my arms above my head. When my hands were down by my side, I’d be touching both sides of the tank with my elbows. With my hands above my head I could keep from touching any side of the tank.
The first thing I noticed as I dipped myself into the salty water was a slight stinging sensation from my gooch. I’ve got a little bit of the ‘jock itch’, so I had prophesized some discomfort prior to my float. But I’m a man and a man can always meditate through his taint pain.
Once I got the rest of my body comfortable I relished in how the experience was playing out to be exactly what I had expected. I really couldn’t see anything. I really couldn’t hear anything. The water and the air really were the same temperature as my skin and I was simply weightless, floating in nothingness. Every once in a while the slight movements of my body would cause movement in the water that would push me up against the wall. This seemed like something I would get better at controlling over time.
It’s hard to say whether my estimations of time are accurate, but I felt like I spent the first 15-20 minutes of the float just watching my thoughts. Pointless little worries would bubble to the surface of my mind. I had asked the dude at the front desk to play a “relaxing soundscape” for the first 15 minutes and he claimed he would oblige; however, this sound scape was either too quite for me to hear, or the dude simply forgot to play it because I couldn’t hear shit. So this occupied my thoughts for a while. Or I would think of questions that I wished I had asked when I had the chance. What if I fell asleep and your music doesn’t wake me? What is the protocol then? I felt myself resisting little urges to open the door to check things like what time it was or if buddy from the front desk came back to tell me anything.
I was even struck with the fear that I could get locked inside. This wasn’t something I was expecting but the thought felt very logical at the time. I was out of my house and nothing is really safe once you leave your house. And there I was, out of my house, naked, in a tank. But after a few seconds I wagered with myself that even if I had been locked inside I might as well wait till the end of the session to find out. I would see myself as a pussy if I couldn’t make it through the hour without opening the door.
As for the next 45ish minutes I don’t have much to report back. I feel as though I just went into the void. When I have a really solid meditation sitting in a chair I will usually achieve a feeling of nothingness. It’s not the same feeling as sleep, but it’s not the same feeling as being completely awake. And I feel as though I spent the majority of my float in this place. When the music came on to signify my float was over, I honestly thought it was the sound scape I had asked for, signifying I was only a few minutes into my float. I practically jumped out of the tank to check my phone only to realize I had been in there for just over an hour. My first session was over.
Often after a meditation I can feel a little groggy, especially if I’m feeling sleep deprived. But the second I stepped out of the tank I felt alert and energized. I was definitely a little confused by my perception of time, but I felt no grogginess.
During my post-float shower I forgot to squirt my inner ear with the vinegar solution the float center provides. I regret doing so as I got a bit of swimmers ear a couple days after my float. Luckily it was only a minor irritation. I had expected the possibility of getting an ear infection and plan on wearing earplugs going forward to avoid the nuisance.
With my membership I receive one float per month and any additional float is $29. Prior to my first float I booked my next monthly float a little over a month later. But I can’t wait that long. I’m taking advantage of the discounted additional floats and have my next session booked for this Saturday night at 10:30pm. I’m very excited for this next session as it will be double the length of my first float. Late night sessions booked at 10:30 or 11pm offer a 2-hour float.
I’m pretty fuckin’ excited for round 2.
Visit float-toronto.com for your own experience 😀