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Pina and I agreed as we left last night’s adventure that it was BY FAR the toughest yet.
We’ve braved the zip line, wavered across a rope bridge high above the trees, maneuvered through the waves on a surfboard, but nothing prepared us for floating.
I had heard about iFloat from a few others who extolled the relaxing and calming virtues of floating. Pina had heard as well and when she saw a Living Social voucher enticing us to float, she jumped on it.
“Floating?” I asked. “Can’t I do that for free in my bathtub?”
We were still trying to find a time to celebrate Pina’s birthday and she was game, so what the heck, I’m in.
We arrived at the floating destination and had an orientation with our Zen-like float master, David. Who knew there’d be floating ‘rules?’ Pina insists that the look on my face was priceless as David invited us to peer into the floating chamber. I was having some serious MRI flashbacks at this point.
Floating is done naked, in the dark, alone and in silence. For sixty minutes. You are suspended in a warm solution of Epsom salt, about 10″ deep, so dense that “you float effortlessly” according to David. He also instructed that we be very mindful of our necks as most people try to hold their heads up, like you would in an actual swimming pool, but it’s not necessary to do that while you’re floating. That was one of the real challenges, and a true lesson in letting go in the fullest sense.
But the biggest challenge was being still. At first I was acting like I really was in the MRI, attempting not to move a muscle. Hmm, how much time had elapsed, I began wondering. Maybe three minutes? Whew, only 57 to go.
Then as time went on, I realized that I could move, a little. No splashing mind you, but some micro-movements, wiggling fingers and toes, tilting the head from side to side. Hey, whatever you can do to pass the time. I tried meditating, practicing my yoga breathing, reviewing my to do list for the following day, planning a menu for our holiday get together…. you name it.
Eventually I did my best to relax and enjoy the experience and when the music began playing (the signal that your session has come to an end), I breathed a sigh of relief. Although I also half expected to hear David’s soothing voice through an intercom informing me I had just taken part in some kind of porn film.
But it came down to this. Stillness is a bitch. We just aren’t used to it (well at least I’m not). So is relinquishing control for many of us. When we consider how much control we have and need on a daily basis, to let it ALL go, is completely foreign. Comparing notes afterwards, Pina and I both wondered how it is that the world has become such a fast paced, chaotic, harried place, that there’s a need for such extreme measures to get us to slow down.
We remained relaxed through the rest of the evening which included sampling a Pickle Martini at the the Arts Festival in Westport (I’d be more likely to try floating before I sip another Pickle Martini) and sharing a scrumptious dinner at the new Spotted Horse
All in all a truly memorable adventure.
And for the record, I do plan to slip in to my bath tub sometime over the weekend.