Yesterday I has my first flotation therapy. Last night I had the best nights sleep I have had since I became a Mother.
For years I have pregnant Mummas coming to Yoga and telling me about their float experiences. They have raved about the Meditation, Enjoyed feeling weightless, Found relief from muscle aches, foot cramps and restless legs. I’ve hear that the magnesium is great for anxiety and sleep and after a few weeks of big emotions and hard decisions I decided it was time to treat myself.
I must disclose that I did not pay for my float. I walked into my local- Pinch Salt and Float- with so many questions that the lovely Leah asked me to strip off and try it for myself!
Is this safe for pregnant Mummas? Is there enough room for their bellies? Can they easily roll over? What if you feel claustrophobic? Will I be hot or cold? What are the benefits? How do you clean the water?
I was looking forward to the sensory deprivation and challenge of quieting my mind for an hour, so I chose the ‘Pod’. The ‘Pool’ would be ideal if you do not enjoy closed spaces or want a friend to join you.
I am assured that water is filtered 5 times between uses to extract every particle (mostly hair.. Ewww) and that there is so much salt in the water that microorganisms cannot survive. Excellent, sounds more hygienic than the local pools to me. I remember a friend waning me not to urinate in the water or the stinging would be incredible- she inferred this from an excruciating experience she had once in the dead sea with an equally high salt content.
I was shown in to my own little oasis, warm room with fluffy towels, float pod, calming music and a waterfall shower to clean myself before I got in. Leah talked me though the process and left me with her last words-
“You know you go in nude yeah?”
Was I feeling ready to be nude in this new experience? Nope. So, undies insitu, I showered and then climbed in to the pod. The water was perfectly skin temperature and I was shocked to feel my entire body weight lift and actually float on the water. I closed the lid and tried out a few lying positions. Shavasana was nice but my arms up above me was delish! There was enough room for me to starfish and JUST touch the ends… more roomy that I expected. I could also easily sit up and not hit my head.
While floating my boobs and belly were out above the water initially feeling a little chilly but within minutes the temperature of the air around me warmed up and there was no telling where I ended and the water began. Delightful. Don’t wee in the Dead Sea.
WAIT! The air is warm. I cant breathe warm air! A rush of panic of confinement hits. I sit up and open the roof a crack and with one deep breath I am ready to close it again to get that warm floating feeling back. Panic gone.
I truly enjoyed the weightless feeling. Once I was comfy I turned off the little light and mellowed to the relaxing quiet music that was playing- Bliss!
After 10 mins the music stopped and the sensory deprivation experience began.
Ahhh, its just me and my breath… Inhale for 4 Exhale for 6… Mmmmm… Wait, what is that??? I can hear my heartbeat and the soothing sound of water all around. Oh yes I know what this is!! THIS IS WHAT THE WOMB SOUNDS LIKE. An unexpected treat for this Midwife… Ohhh this would be nice for pregnant women…
DRIP!!! A cool drop of water hits my forhead (Oh Yes, Leah did give me a cloth to wipe the roof of my pod). The drip is a bell of mindfulness- calling me back to my body, breath and the exquisite floating experience…
I tried out rolling over- easy enough but think if you were in your third trimester the water would be too shallow to float on your front.
Back to floating, breathing, surrender. To me the time seemed just right when the music gently returned and it was time get out, shower and return to the world.
I packed my wet undies into my handbag and left with a feeling of spaciousness of mind I desperately needed. Salt floats might not be for everyone but I found it a nurturing experience and the incredible nights sleep afterwards was priceless.