Remembering that from which we came.
I had another virgin experience today; my third in two weeks. Starting last week with my marathon swim, followed by indoor bouldering, I was gifted a floatation session (also known as ‘sensory deprivation therapy) today at the Float Tank centre in my city.
I’ve been fasting intermittently again this week after a heavy weekend of teaching at a beautiful retreat in Wales, UK, so my body was feeling lighter already and my energy levels were good. Stepping into this clinical space, I felt kind of reassured by the minimal decor, the spartan lines of the place, and the clean and hygienic feel of it all. The space allowed me to feel unimpeded by busy mind chatter, and were it different, I may otherwise have been overly engaged in the surroundings rather than the process. As it was, I was ushered straight into the room with my float pod (pictured above), a shower, a clean white towel, and little else beyond some super strength ear plugs and a band-aid in case the salt water was likely to sting on any recent cuts or grazes. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything quite like it!
At first it felt uncomfortable as my body tried to find its way into trusting the process of being fully supported in a weightless, warm environment. My head felt too heavy, my neck was tight and my legs felt awkward but I told myself ‘just breathe Steph’ and all began to gradually settle down.
The intro music faded, the lights went out, and my body began to really relax. I could quite literally feel the muscles and ligaments unwinding as I dropped into the stillness. Floating effortlessly, my mind (which I had thought would get super busy) just began to switch off too. I focussed on my breathing and some powerful techniques I’ve learned from The Alchemy Of Breath which really began to amplify the experience, so much so that a deep memory began to surface; one I had long since buried. It wasn’t unpleasant though which was the strange thing, because the moment itself most definitely was! What happened though was that this memory just appeared and became present in my body rather than my mind, and in allowing it to be there, my body simply adjusted itself as the image faded and I felt my thighs return to a new place, a place I felt was how they once may have held themselves before I began building up life experiences, a place of being in their naturalness rather than their tension.
I was also super aware through my session of what I can only imagine was a womb like feeling of peace, a sub-conscious memory of this ‘feeling’ of stillness and holding, support and being-ness from which I came into physical being, and it is the essence of this ‘energy’ to which I will return. I came out of there a blissed out bubble of love, soft acceptance and re-aligned perspective.
Chatting to the young man who had been in the next pod along (you do get separate rooms), he told me he comes every month now to re-set. Apparently top athletes use them regularly for muscle recovery and for setting strong intentional focus. I am a convert! I will be going again without doubt – highly recommended.
*massive gratitude to the gorgeous women who gifted me this amazing experience. You know who you are xox
P.S., Below is some of the amazing stuff it is supposed to do for you – go make your own mind up is always my advice….
- Promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation
- Eliminates fatigue and jet lag
- Improves sleep
- Alleviates stress (mental and physical)
- Energises, rejuvenates and revitalises
- Increases motivation, diminishes depression, anxiety and fear
- Facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
Mental benefits of floatation
- Stimulates left/right brain synchronisation
- Shifts brain waves from beta to lower frequency alpha, theta and even delta
- Creates mental clarity, alertness
- Increases creativity, problem solving
- Heightens visualisation
- Deepens meditation
- Expands awareness, intensifies acuteness of all the senses, accelerates learning
- Enhances hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis
Physical benefits of floatation
- Decreases the production of cortisol, ACTH, lactic acid and adrenaline
- Increases production of endorphins
- Speeds up rehabilitation and recovery
- Relieves pain (arthritis, migraines, injuries and so on)
- Boosts immune function
- Improves circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients
- Reduces blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption
- Improves athletic performance
- Helps prevent sports injuries, speeds healing process
http://www.floatlevel.co.uk to find out more