Some people might need a few times in a float room until they can completely relax and let go. This is quite common if people have a lot going on, are very stressed and just cannot switch off, and it’s completely normal.
While I personally loved the float experience from the beginning, I too have struggled sometimes with getting my mind to shut off. While this usually doesn’t bother me as I just go with the flow to use the time for processing stuff that I have on my mind and I generally emerge from my float with a lot more clarity regardless, there are a few techniques that help me kick start my meditative state while in the room. If you have fear about floating, these might help you relax and settle into the experience.
Here are a few ideas you might want to try during your next float:
Focus on your breath
- This simple technique is one of the easiest things you can do in a float room to help clear your mind of its chaos. Focus your attention on your breath and if you like, watch the simple movement of air coming in and out of your body. Pay attention to how it feels when the air touches your nostrils as you inhale, feel your chest and then your belly rise and expand. And as you exhale, watch your breath moving out, your belly flattening, chest decompressing and the air traveling back out of your nose. To stay focused, you can also count your breaths backwards, for example from one hundred to zero. If I lose track of my count, I start over. As I count, I watch my breath come in and out and time it with the counting. So I count ninety-nine, breath in and out, count ninety-eight then breathe in and out, count ninety-seven then breathe in and out. By the time I get to zero, which takes a while, my mind is in a different realm.
Concentrated visual focus
- In standard meditation, this practice involves focusing on an item like a candle flame or a sacred object. Of course, in a pitch black float room, that’s hard to do. But the truth is when you’re in the pod, even in the dark, your eyes perceive things or you might have noticed that you see colours or shapes with your eyes closed. Perhaps it’s a small dot, circle, or flare in your blank vision. Try not to think about what these shapes look like but just watch them. This method helps me to calm my thoughts and focus on being present.
Concentrated aural focus
- You can also use the concentrated focus method on a sound. You are welcome to bring in your own mp3/ipod which we can throw on for you. For example, a gong sound or nature sounds would be ideal. You can even make the sound yourself. Try speaking the “ohm” sound in a slow rhythm. Focus on the sound, and it will help you enter a meditative state. The key is staying absolutely in the moment and bringing your mind back to the sound if it wanders—and it will. Don’t get frustrated when this happens. Just take a breath and bring it back. This is supposed to be a peaceful practice, remember.
Chanting a mantra
- A mantra can be one word or a phrase of your choosing, such as the “ohm” sound mentioned above, but you can pick anything short, simple, and meaningful to you which has a positive note. Recite it over and over and over as you float. I’ve found this practice leads to a thoughtless, effortless state that is proven to offer many benefits. For example, I often focus on an affirmation to help me visualise what I’m currently wanting to achieve or attract into my life. The float room provides a unique environment allowing you to completely focus all your energy on your desired goals in life so that you can stay motivated and manifest them with ease.
From your first few times in a float room, you’ll realize the possibilities of introspection and self-improvement the experience makes available to you. You’ll see the benefit of finding peace and practicing peace. You’ll discover that same peace stays with the you once you leave the room and starts to affect how you perceive and interact with the world around you.
The upside is that while floating you may not be able to turn your mind off right away, you do not and cannot stop the physical benefits. You will absorb the minerals whilst you float, you will take pressure off your body and you will be noticeably physically less tense when you hop out. Just like anything calming your mind takes practice.
Written by: Cayla Zahn