A few weeks ago, I visited Transitions Float Spa for my first ever float. I’ve heard great things about floating before, and with my yoga & meditation background I figured this would be right up my alley.
Before I get into my experience at Transitions, some of you might be wondering – what the hell is floating? It’s quite simple, really! You step into a large, lightless, soundless, enclosed tub that filled with skin temperature water and 1000 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt – saltier than even the Dead Sea. No matter your body composition, you float to the top without any effort. You then get to float in silence, stillness, and darkness for 60 minutes. Some people call the pods sensory deprivation tanks, others call them float pods, but really they are referring to the same thing.
There are many benefits of float therapy, and more and more research is emerging to scientifically prove its health benefits. Since it’s me, let’s get into the yoga and Ayurvedic related benefits!
- The ultimate Vata-pacifying practice. High vata can mean high stress, fatigue, a super busy mind, neurological problems, dryness, and anxiety. Vata people can be easily overstimulated, and in general don’t spend enough time in stillness and/or silence. Floating is the perfect opportunity for deep relaxation and allow the body’s natural healing mechanisms to take the wheel. Floating tanks take so many of the “distracting” variables away from your meditation practice to allow you to quiet your mind and focus inward. Darkness, silence, and salty warmth are fantastic antidotes to high Vata, which is the first & fastest dosha to go out of balance.
- Pratyahara made easier. The 5thof the eight limbs of yoga is called pratyahara, or sense withdrawal. Pratyahara refers to the practice of quieting all of your senses so that you may focus inward to connect to your awareness, your little “s” self, and your big “S” Self. During the practice pratyahara, not only are you taking your senses of taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch out of the equation, but you are also ceasing to seek out sensory experiences. Pratyahara can be deeply relaxing, meditative, and restorative for mind, body, and spirit, but this practice can be quite challenging and intimidating for some people. Floating provides the perfect conditions to engage in pratyahara, thereby deepening your yoga and meditation practices.
The benefits don’t stop there. Here are some of the empirically-proven ways that float therapy can improve your health and wellbeing:
- Reduce & eliminate persistent headaches and migraines.
- Reduce & eliminate insomnia.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Manage stress.
- Improve muscle recovery.
- Enhance creativity.
- Reduce & eliminate chronic pain.
- Treat anxiety & depression.
- Boost immune function.
- Improve concentration & focus.
- Enhance energy levels.
As for Transitions specifically, husband & wife team and co-owners Dan & Rochelle Jenkins have created a beautiful, tranquil space. Right by the Whole Foods in Short Pump, Transitions features one float pod and one larger float cabin, along with an infrared sauna. The sitting room is bright and relaxing, with accents of reclaimed wood and tons of natural light. Rochelle led me back to the cabin room and explained the whole process and made me feel welcome and at ease. The room outside the cabin itself has ample space to hang up your belongings, and of course features a shower. Before floating, you have to rinse yourself off to get as much dirt and oils off as possible in order to keep the water clean (the water is filtered by UV and ozone filters between floats and is replenished as necessary).
I got down to my birthday suit, took my pre-float shower, and was ready to hop in the float cabin. I stepped into the 10-ish inches of water, and laid back to start my float, marked by a lady’s voice who tells you when your float begins and when it ends. I turned off both the light and the music, and just watched my breath as it did its own thing. Of course my mind would wander occasionally, but I was able to bring it back to the present moment with ease - moreso than during my traditional meditation practice. I was able to feel as I let go of tension in my body. It was super interesting to notice that I hold the most tension in my face, so for several minutes I focused on relaxing through my jaw, forehead, and cheeks. After a little while, it was almost impossible to distinguish where my body ended and the water began. A few times, I would have small twitches in my legs but it wasn’t anything that was disruptive. You lose track of time, but in the best way possible. By the time the lady comes back on to tell you that your float is over, I felt like it had been no time at all. I could have easily stayed in there all day. I got out and took a leisurely post-float shower, since of course I had Epsom salt all over my hair and body. Then I made my way back out to the lobby.
before & after
The best description I have for how I felt after floating is: drunk without any of the negative side effects. I felt very calm and relaxed, but also clear-headed and aware. In yogic terms, the experience was sattvic. If you’ve ever had a long, very deep tissue massage, the sensation is similar. I drove home in no particular rush and enjoyed the rest of the evening calm & cool as a cucumber and in less joint pain than I typically have given my joint hypermobility disorder. I slept wonderfully and woke up feeling refreshed.
As if there weren’t enough reasons to be excited about floating at Transitions, you can add three more things to that list: Bright Body’s very own hair cleanser, conditioner, and body wash! In their showers, Transitions will be stocking our newly formulated universal hair cleanser & conditioner (for all hair textures & types), and our body wash in their showers. You’ll also be able to buy our body wash & original, hair type-specific cleansers & conditioners in their lobby. Our partnership with Transitions gives you the perfect opportunity to take care of yourself with some deep relaxation while giving our products a try after your float and/or infrared sauna session! It will be a few weeks before you’ll find our products in Transition’s showers and lobby, but I promise you will see a social media post as soon as it happens. Plus, in just a short time you’ll be able to buy our new body wash online and at our pop-up markets!
If you’re interested in trying out floating (and another one of my favorite self-care indulgences, the infrared sauna), Transitions is offering Bright Body customers a DEEP, exclusive discount!
Try a 30-minute infrared sauna session + 60-minute float for $50 (regular $90) with code: BRIGHTBODY.
Send me a note to let me know how it goes!
Until next time,