To some the above image looks reminiscent of a soviet torture pod. To others, a blissful option for switching off that one struggles to find elsewhere in life’s busy-ness.
I had returned to the ever fantastic Koan Float in Amsterdam for my third float tank session of 2016, this time, booking myself in for a 90 minute mega sesh.
I arrived at the centre donning the optics of the X-Men’s Cyclops, so saturated with the Dam’s delights I was really not quite sure how to operate the door to get in. My always so very polite receptionist gently smiled, asking ever so softly “Have you been to the shentre before?” as to not disturb a lady also sat in the waiting area, reading her paper. I replied to her compassionate ask with a subtle, eyes-closed nod, partly to maintain the atmosphere and partly because I had temporarily lost my ability to speak.
Sitting in the waiting area, avoiding eye contact with the lady to my right, I start to anticipate what this 90 minute float will have in store for my inner cerebral explorer. What questions do I have? What answers am I looking for within, to help see out 2016 with a guiding hand? Will I be able to operate the next two doors to get in to the bloody thing?
All the while I was preparing, I started to hear noises from within the waiting room. I looked up and strangely it was still just myself and the lady reading her paper. Back to my inner thoughts and it happened again. This time, gurgles, a little cough followed by a squeak. I looked behind me and realised the sound effects are not coming from outside because the wall is thick brick framed with a triple-glazed window.
“How fucking astral am I?!” I started to question my sanity. The sound effects continued for another minute or so, revealing their origin just before I was about to press my ejector seat and have a meltdown in the bathroom.
Turns out, our lady reading her paper had a little mini baby strapped to her chest, obscured by a copy of the Dutch News! I refrained from bursting out laughing at my borderline-schizophrenic episode, looking at the floor and shaking my head at the chances of smuggling a baby in plain sight and it being enough to nearly, very nearly, send me crazy.
Now that I had been suitably calibrated, albeit in a humourously Amsterdam-like fashion, I was ready to enter my private pod room and get bouyant.
Reflecting back, I would say that 60 minute floats are the perfect choice to have a rewarding and regenerative floating experience. I fell asleep three times in the first half of this session, then had a fantastic second half of blissful inner inquiry floating through hyper(thetical) space.
Next block of floats that I go for in 2017, I will be writing down any revelations immediately after. Similar to dream journaling; if you wait too long after your dream is over to write it down, you forget its contents and perceived meaning.
The decompression effect, which I have mentioned before, is now a personal fact, seeing as I felt it again this time round. I left the centre feeling like I could handle another couple days of walking around the city, my spine especially loving the new found space between my vertebrae. Floating, so far, has been the only way I have been able to replicate this incredible feeling of rejuvination. I love it.
More to come this year!
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