Last night, I had the chance to try something really amazing: a sensory deprivation tank at Urban Escape.
The float tank is an enclosed pool of water, loaded with enough Epsom salt to keep you floating no matter which position you choose, just like the Dead Sea. When the lid of the tank is closed, it’s pitch black inside. Your ears lie just below the surface of the water, with the option to listen to music. I opted to listen to the ocean with whale sounds, which sounds cheesy, but really made for a serene experience. The tank water is kept at human body temperature, so it feels like you’re floating in nothing at all. All of this combines to leave your senses completely quiet. There’s nothing but your mind and the vague sensation of breathing.
I’ve wanted to try this from the first time I ever heard that such a thing existed. Some people who use the tanks experience hallucinations that come from deep inside their subconscious. I didn’t experience anything like that, but it was surely one of the most relaxing and wonderful things I’ve ever done.
At first, it was really hard to relax. The sensation of floating was a little overwhelming. I could feel my body but also not feel my body at the same time. My arms were trouble. I couldn’t figure out what to do with them, but after some trial and error, I ended up spending most of the session with my arms drifting somewhere above my head.
Once I got comfortable, all I could feel was a huge smile across my face. It felt like being at home in your own skin, which I know, makes very little sense.
As I floated there, I found my brain was incredibly chatty at first. A monologue was just running through my mind. The chatter was mostly about the experience and about what I hoped to achieve there. This happens sometimes when I meditate. I usually follow the advice of my Calm meditation coach: acknowledge the thought and then let it go. This was so easy to do in the tank. It was like I was just quietly listening to myself, like listening to the radio. It didn’t bother me. And then eventually, I had less and less to say.
After what felt like only 45 minutes, the lights in the tank came on to signal that my float was over. I couldn’t believe that 90 minutes had actually passed. I didn’t fall asleep at any point in the tank – the time just slipped past me.
I’ve already purchased more float time and I can’t wait to experience this again. If you’re interested in trying it out, there is a Groupon deal running right now.