A Rookie Foray into Floating
It’s not hard to talk me into anything spa-like. I’m in particular need of self-care because my life is too busy to make much time for it. Like most outdoorswomen, homeowners, and business owners (I bear all these titles), I’m well aware that I ought to make more time to sit still. Hell, I even have a daily calendar reminder to listen to my morning meditation podcast. But I silence the notification much of the time, racing to brew my first pot of coffee—and then (eek) a second pot.
I first heard of float pods a few years ago, and like all things self-care-related, I dug the idea in theory at least. It was a chance to unplug from electronic stimuli and float, perfectly warm and buoyant, while meditating and snoozing in quiet solitude. I read that the salts in the float tank are great for tense muscles and achy joints, and I wondered it if would also help my low back.
SYNC Float Spa
I mentioned my curiosity about it to a girlfriend during a coffee shop work session. I was seriously overworked and my body felt rickety. She said she felt the same, so why not book a session for the following day? We called SYNC and committed.
We arrived a few minutes early and admired SYNC’s squeaky-clean space. We were offered slippers and chose a flavor of loose-leaf tea to sip after our floats. We were escorted to each of our private rooms, where our floating pods, showers, towels, and earplugs awaited us. Justin, the co-founder on duty, patiently showed us how to adjust the lights and music inside the pods—and pointed out an intercom button we could use to communicate with him during our sessions if we had questions.
I was then left inside my little room, where soft spa music played and the clamshell-shaped float pod awaited me. “What will I think about for an hour?” I wondered. My life is never silent for sixty minutes.
I set my folded clothes on the chair and dipped a toe in. Warm. Pleasant. Good.
I stepped the rest of the way in and sat down in the body-temperature water. I shut the clamshell lid of the pod and was happy to note it didn’t feel claustrophobic … I was in a big soothing egg with lots of room to stretch out and bob around. Its interior lights were soft. Very good.
I elected to leave the blue-hued lights and spa music on. I laid back and giggled the words “space spa!” as I felt zero gravity for the first time in my life. I could spread out, wave my arms around, or spin onto my belly. My limbs and head just bobbed weightlessly.
Feeling more at ease, I closed my eyes and tried to do meditation-type things: listening to my breath, hearing my heartbeat, and maintaining a singular focus. I observed with interest how my limbs each assumed a different floating position depending on how tight their muscles were.
I only had to make a real effort at meditation for a few minutes before I slipped into a space halfway between lucid dreaming and deep sleep. My muscles were hungrily soaking up the mineral salts’ soothing effects. I felt a few vertebrae pop as if a chiropractor had adjusted them into place. My body and mind were letting go.
By letting go and succumbing to being both present and nowhere at all, with my mind doing its thing and my body doing its thing, I had the most relaxing hour of my adult life.
After an hour, a gentle jet of warm water within the tub lured me out of my dream state, giving me a subtle signal that it was time to think about rejoining the world.
I slowly opened my eyes, surprised by how quickly the time had passed. I eased my body out of its gravity-free escapade by standing up slowly. I stepped into a hot shower and rinsed the salt from my body, wrapping into an oversized towel and sitting for a few minutes before dressing. When I walked back into the lobby, I remembered my girlfriend—and my tea.
I sat down next to her. She smiled, nodded, and said, “We’re going to do this a lot.”
I felt clear-headed. The tension in my back and neck were gone. I sipped my tea. And said “Yep. We are going to do this a lot.”