We humans are used to swimming in water and flying in the air, but I have experienced a combination of the two; indeed, I got to “swim in the air and fly on the surface of water”, and that without any physical effort or fuel. In fact, I didn’t even leave London – I stayed in a futuristic car-looking pod in Vauxhall. And just like many things in life, the key to my experience is what happens on the inside of that pod.
It is pitch black, silent, and filled with warm (body temperature) air and water filled with epsom salts. A ton of epsom salts in fact, which make me instantly float like a 2-gram feather.
Needless to say my first 60 minutes of floating fly by, but I fortunately do not fall asleep. I remain conscious and experience profound sensations that I know can lead people to realise the oneness of all that yogis, monks and other spiritual dwellers talk of. I imagine it is partially caused by a phenomena called ‘sensory deprivation’ which is caused by the absence of light and sound as well as the body temperature water and air, which makes you lose the sense of boundary between what is believed to be you and what isn’t.
The last 5 minutes which are gently signalled to you by the mean of recorded sounds, give you the time to start integrating your experience. There’s also a chill-out
When my time is up, I slowly emerge out of the pod like a new-born baby and proceed to have a second shower (you have one before entering the pod – it’s in your own room) to wash off the salts.
I dry my hair upstairs whilst looking at the mirror that seems to be saying I look rejuvenated. I agree.
How I got into it?
As a long-time meditator, author and meditation teacher myself, I am always on the look out for new experiences…and this seemed like a no-brainer to me as I am sea baby!
Who is it for?
Anyone who feels the inner call to not only find some calm in their life, but also grow and open up mentally and spiritually.
It is without doubt going to help a lot of men who can sometimes feel excluded or not in their shoes at trendy yoga and fitness classes. All in all, it’s for everyone – even those who can’t swim!
How does floating have a positive impact on our mind & body?
It enables you to disconnect from the continual output of the world and connect with your own input. In yoga we call this Pratyahara which means withdrawal of the senses. You come out of your session with a greater ability to process your inner and outer environment at your own pace.
The magnesium and other minerals contained in the water are extremely healthy for your nervous system.
Why would you want to try this and do it on a regular basis?
Just like learning the piano, 21st century tools like perspective, self awareness, empathy, and lateral thinking come with practice.
Mindfulness helps a lot of people but I firmly believe that experiences such as floating and sound meditation for instance are far superior in their impact on your subconscious mind.
What can you experience during a float?
-A Loss of physical boundaries: a pleasant variety of sensations that make you wonder where your body starts and ends
-A Feeling of fizzing like an effervescent vitamin c tablet
-A sudden sensation that your body is not really requiring any breath
-REM sleep which is associated with the theta brainwave state
-Delta (deep) sleep if you are very tired
Some experiences I have had in the pod at Floatworks in Vauxhall…
Feeling like my body was fizzing and blending in with the water
A huge sense of effortless gratitude flushing through my mind AND body
Feeling like my body was slowly rotating like a clock
MASSIVE body twitch after a tough week with less than 5 hours of sleep/night
Out of body experience where I somehow managed to navigate my awareness to a location that was miles away
My top tips to have a great float…
- Don’t eat sugar, overeat, overdrink or shave beforehand
- Make sure you are hydrated but that you have also been to the loo
- Switch your phone off, make sure you don’t rush the process (taking your clothes off mindfully is part of the process)
- Put your earplugs in deep before taking your shower
- Don’t rush into the pod so as to not disturb the water
- If you are scared of the dark, you can keep the lights on
- I like to have my arms above my head rather than alongside my body but you can experiment… another option is to have your hands on your belly
- Don’t worry if you find your body moving because of the water currents, you can always give the walls a little nudge with your toes, but in the end you’ll end up comfortably right in the centre
- Allow your neck to relax and let your head fall back into the water. I like to feel the water a couple of inches away from my eyes
- Don’t rush out of the pod once you hear the music, you still have 5 minutes to integrate and breathe a little more deeply
- Have a shower to wash off the salts, get your hair dry and have a cup of herbal tea and perhaps write down in a few words what happened. Indeed, it could be that you don’t feel like you meditated but had a major breakthrough or a wonderful idea for your new project!
3 meditations you can experiment with during your float:
–a simple pranayama breath technique: breathe deeply in for 5 seconds and out for 10 seconds (through the nose) whilst listening to the sound of your breath both in your head and in your chest cavity. You may hear your hear beat – that’s normal
–a visualisation: breathe in through the nose, breathe out through the throat, in through the heart centre, out through the belly button, in through the perineum in between the legs, then back out through the belly button, in through the heart centre, out through the throat and in through the nose (repeat this serpent-like pattern for as long as you wish)
–nothing: do nothing and just float..
I hope you enjoy your float be it at Vauxhall or Angel! See you around:)
To find out more information about Leo Cosendai’s transformational work:
Try his meditation app: Third Ear (link to www.thirdear.com)
Go to one of his sound baths: Leo Cosendai (link to www.leocosendai.com)
Follow Leo on instagram: @leo.cosendai