I was hurtling through space
I had my first Float Manila experience one Sunday afternoon. Freshly showered, completely naked and moldable ear plugs (which they provided) in place, I got into the pod, pulling the lid until it closed.
Ben was right. It was surprisingly spacious. Comfortable.
The pod’s red light glowed and I played with the switch, changing its colors, until finally deciding on darkness.
I stretched, floating in 10 inches of salt water effortlessly. That’s what happens when over a ton of magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) is dissolved in 200 gallons of filtered water. “You can’t sink even if you wanted to, even if you tried,” Jeng had said.
But I noticed that I was still trying to hold my head up, that I wasn’t fully relaxed yet.
“Just surrender and see what the pod can do for you,” Jeng had said, and I willed myself to listen.
“Ideally the water, your skin, the air are in equilibrium so that once you don’t move, the boundaries sort of dissolves and your body along with it,” Ben had said.
I stopped moving, wanting to free my mind, but soon felt an itch on my cheek that I wanted to scratch. Touching my dry face with my wet hand was a big mistake. I ended up with salt water up my nose. It stung, bringing tears to my eyes. I had to push open the lid so I could spray my face with the salt-free water Jeng had thoughtfully left by the pod, drying my face with a fresh towel once again.
Then I floated again, this time determined not to touch my face. I forced myself to stop thinking of the things I needed to do. I drank in the silence. My mind wandered. I saw geometric shapes in front of me. I floated and floated away. I was no longer in a pod in someone’s home, I was hurtling through space.
When the music started playing (the signal that tells you you have five minutes left to float), I found myself thinking, “No, not yet, please.” After getting settled, the 90 minutes had flown by. I wanted more time in the pod.
When I got out, I told Ben and Jeng I wasn’t sure if I had fallen asleep during my float, something they are used to hearing. “It’s pretty common because you get to this deep place where it’s almost like a lucid dream where you have some awareness but you’re also gone,” said Ben.
I found the experience incredibly soothing. I spent the rest of the day really relaxed. And that night, I had the best sleep I’d had in a long, long time. —PAM PASTOR
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