“The monkey mind is strong in this one but the moments of peace and space were blissful and filled with light and laughter, thankyou.”
– Dale, A Happy Freedom Floater.
Float Therapy is an awesome practice to assist in physical recovery, as well as alleviate stress. Whilst floating your worries away, your stress hormones lower, and your whole nervous system starts to feel relaxed. For those that have a busy lifestyle, an hour can seem like a long time to lay still, we often get new clients asking “How on earth am I going to last an hour doing nothing but floating!?” Shout out to all of you monkey minds (we all got a bit of monkey mind within) ALOT of all of the good stuff happens for your mind and body in that hour.
Float Therapy is often called the training wheels for meditation. The coolest thing about float therapy is that one hour in the float tank can take you to a deep state of meditation and relaxation, fast! It is pretty rare to be in an environment where all external sensory input is removed, so your brain can go into a completely relaxed state. Meditation is such a powerful tool to reduce stress, improve concentration levels, increase your focus and memory retention, increase self awareness, and give your brain all of those energised, feel good hormones.
We want you to make the most of your float session, so here’s a few meditation tips to enhance your floating experience the next time you’re floating:
There is so much we can do with your breath. You’ll soon discover in the pod that all you can hear is the sound of your breath’s inhalation and exhalation reverberating through the silent sanctuary. The breath is a great focal point to begin with in meditation. Firstly pay attention to where it is originating from in your body. Are you breathing from your chest, or your throat? A lot of us aren’t even aware that we aren’t breathing to our fullest potential. If we take deep inhalations it can be of great benefit for our whole body and mind. It can start a detoxification system within your body, and lower stress levels and blood pressure. Did you know that breathing into your stomach area works with the parasympathetic nervous system, taking you out of a “fight or flight” state? If your mind is in a more relaxed state it can conserve energy which is primarily used to be in a constant stress response, instead allowing the body to go into a homeostasis state where it can put your nervous and digestive systems through a healing process, as well as increasing your natural painkiller and happy feel good hormones, decreasing your stress hormones. Try guiding your breath to your stomach area. Place your hand on your stomach and feel your abdomen moving in and out as you take a deep inhalation focusing attention on breathing into this area. Try doing 6-8 rounds of this process, doing 3-4 breath counts each time. After a couple rounds you will start to feel relaxed, yet invigorated all at the same time as oxygen travels to the cells within your body.
The zero gravity environment of the float pod can bring awareness to areas you are holding tension within your body. We don’t often allow ourselves to slow down and consciously scan our body to observe where are stiff or holding pain and discomfort. As you lay weightless in the pod focus on where you are holding tension in your body, is it in your neck or your lower back? Have you noticed as you are floating that there is a twinge in your right knee? We have a local chiropractor that sends his patients in after their appointment for what he calls “your second adjustment session”. As you float you fast realise where you hold tension in your joints and muscles. For the first few minutes of your float try doing a few stretches, twisting your body from side to side, reaching your arms up over you behind your back, grab your knee and pull each one up towards your chest. Lay back and focus on where you are holding tension in your body. Breathe into that area and visualise the pain and tension releasing, dissipating into nothing. If you feel pain in different areas in your body, why not try start at your head and scan from top to toe your complaint areas, complete this process for each twinge and tension.
Observe Your Thoughts Coming And Going:
One thing you have to remember particularly in your first float is that the monkey mind may be strong within. Within this current digital paradigm we are accustomed to constant sensory input, our mind grabbing onto every shiny object that passes it by. Don’t be disheartened after your first float experience if you feel that you couldn’t shut your thought processes down. Be kind on yo self! It takes a little bit of training to allow the mind to go to a state of stillness, and what perfect environment than the float tank to be a zen master of the monkey mind! Try giving yourself an allocated time of that first 10 minutes whilst the sound effects are playing throughout the pod to have a brainstorm. Allow yourself to process the day, problem solve, let your mind go wherever it needs to wander. After this point, if you notice thoughts coming in and out, your to-do list for the day, that argument you had with your partner last night, what you’re going to make for dinner that night, observe that thought, acknowledge it and then come back to your breathing as a focal point. Even try counting forwards and backwards from 1-20. After some point your mind will let go of all distractions, and go into a relaxed state. And if you find you’re still having thoughts pop in and out, it’s totally okay! You’re a meditator in training, not a monk! Meditation is like strengthening and training a muscle, after some time with practice it becomes easier to drop into, hence why the quiet environment of the pod is a perfect place to start!
These are some simple yet powerful tools to enhance your meditation practice within the pod. When you’re next in for a float ask one of our staff what technique they find effective? There is no set path to follow with meditation and we all have a bit of medi wisdom to share! You’re always welcome to use our chill out space if it is free before your float to do a mini meditation session to prepare your for your float. After your float enjoy a tea on our lounge, or pop into the studio space, roll out a mat and explore your meditation further. Every Tuesday from 6.45-8pm Jas has a mindfulness meditation class, let her know you want to enhance your floating experience and she will give you medi tips for the tank!
We look forward to seeing you at the centre soon! You can BOOK via (07) 5535 7778.