This marks the third article in our "To Float Or Not To Float" series. If you don't know what "floating" is back up a step and start at PART 1.
Today's blog is an account of my first ever float. Everyone keeps asking me what you are supposed to do? Feel? Not feel? The answer is "there's no right way to float"... irritating right? The goal is to relax and simply breathe. The experts say it takes at LEAST 3 floats to get comfortable with fully relaxing ones body and mind. I'd agree with this. If you've only gone once, you are doing yourself a disservice. Go again!
Nonetheless my first ever float was interesting and you've been asking so I thought I'd share...
I found myself drawn to float after I had been to a birth as a Doula earlier the week. I needed time to myself to process... to grieve what was maybe not the parent's preferred outcome... to be alone.
With purple dye in my hair I felt like I maybe shouldn’t leave it behind it the float pod, so I opted to wear a swim cap. It felt like putting on said cap took FOREVER. (If my hair was just my regular au natural this is a step I would have skipped). After a quick shower I got into the pod. The water was warm, and almost slippery, and I closed the lid immediately. (You can choose to leave it open, close it part way or altogether, it’s totally up to you). The room lights turned off quickly leaving me in the calming blue light of the pod. The sensation of floating was weird! It’s like not really lying on top of the water, but in the top few inches. Like the most comfortable bed in the world, but not being on the bed, but in it. How’s that for a weird description! I found the pod quite roomy and could sit up completely with my head nowhere near the lid. Lying down I could completely starfish and touch the walls. (I’m 5’4”). I quickly began playing with the lights and music. On? Off? Different colors? Less music? No music? I found it all very distracting. You could define my first bit of time as… “On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off.” My ADHD brain couldn’t handle the options and I eventually settled on everything OFF. Once in the dark I slowly began a disorienting drifting “ping pong” across the pod. Wall. Wall. Wall. I knew I couldn’t fully rotate in the pod but it kind of felt like I was. I found the walls crunchy with salt residue and spent some time scratching it off in a distracted manner. Then I realized the cuts on my knuckles were indeed burning and had to turn on the light, open the pod and apply the Vaseline… immediate burning relief. My swim cap had also been obnoxiously and loudly bubbling away so I grabbed the floating pillow at that time. Back I went into the darkness. The whole “lay there and be still and silent” took a LONG TIME to find. I eventually did settle, with the pillow and my arms above my head. My mind raced with thoughts… “was I doing it right? Is there a right?” I turned to my trusted Hypnobabies training to soothe myself. I found myself on the boat that transports me to my “special place” my secret island beach that my subconscious created to help me in my hypnosis practice during my pregnancy with little baby F. It’s my sacred place where I first met my daughter, when I had thought stubbornly she was a boy, and knew that in fact she was a blonde curly haired daughter long before any ultrasound could determine a gender. Anyhow that’s where I headed, and suddenly I was gone. Detached from my physical body, yet clearly still present. My thoughts took on the sudden fuzziness of a dream like trance and I don’t really remember anything.
Suddenly the lights and music jerked me from the zone and my time was up. 90 Minutes had flown by!! I was instantly disappointed. I didn’t want to leave the pod and was extremely calm and collected. I methodically got out and proceeded to shower and dress. I left the float pod high on life, like I had taken a strange calming drug that also offered great clarity. I eventually wandered out of the float center and was almost hit by a vehicle crossing the road. (Apparently they were in a big rush and I clearly was not). I sat in the van for a solid half an hour in silence, people watching, sipping my water, not really inclined to go anywhere or do anything. I did eventually leave. I drove home in silence which is a rarity for me. I slept great. My body which suffers from chronic neck and back pain felt better for days! I hadn't known what to expect. I left with a whole new appreciation of what my mind was capable of... Just like that I was hooked on floating.
I'm interested to know how your first float went? Was it what you expected?
~ Doula In The Wild
Want to know more? Check out our whole series...
By: Doula Sonja
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