What It’s Like to Actually Float
Remember when you were a kid, lying on the grass and staring up at the clouds, wondering what it would feel like to lie down and float in one of those fluffy nebulae? Well, floating in a sensory deprivation tank filled with 1000 lbs of Epsom salt in the water feels kinda like that, I imagine, only wetter! I had the privilege of floating for the first time at the chic Riviera Spa, located on Travis St. in the Knox/Henderson area of Dallas. Everything about my experience at Riviera Spa was the epitome of relaxation, from waiting in the dimly lit relaxation room, to the actual flotation experience, and then the extreme state of zen and tranquility that I felt afterwards. And I’ve heard that it only gets better every time you float!
Before my first float, the spa concierge did an excellent job of explaining the nature (and the do’s and don’ts) of my flotation experience. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous beforehand, but only because I didn’t know what to expect! The steps you need to take in preparing for your float once you arrive are explained in my YouTube video at the 22 second mark. Once inside the flotation tank, I was surprised by a few things: 1) The water really is heated to the perfect temperature, your body temperature! It was both cool and refreshing and warm and relaxing at the same time but not like a lukewarm bath that gets colder with each passing minute. It stayed the perfect temperature for the entire hour! 2) I floated instantly! I was never one of those kids (or adults) that could float easily in swim class. In fact, I usually sank to the bottom of the pool pretty fast. However, after I stepped into the tank, sat down, and leaned backwards, I immediately started floating. It was pretty cool to be that buoyant! 3) The water felt very silky. I was expecting something like salt water in the ocean, but this felt different. For a moment, I actually confused myself with being a mermaid! I couldn’t stop touching my hair under the water, because it legit felt like mermaid hair. Sounds silly, but wouldn’t we all like to be a mermaid (or merman), if only for an hour??
I decided to go for the full sensory deprivation experience (so as to reap the maximum benefits afterwards): door closed, lights off, sans swimsuit! However, if any of these things bother you, you can definitely alter your experience to your preference. If you worry about feeling claustrophobic, you can leave the door to the tank open, since you are in a private room with an exterior door that you lock yourself. If you are afraid of the dark, you can leave the soft light on inside of the tank. If nudity scars you for life, you can wear a swimsuit in the tank. However, Riviera Spa does offer a “heads up” about wearing your swimsuit in the tank that you can read about here in their recommendations section.
I had read online that for first-time floaters, it might take some time to relax fully and give into the weightlessness. This was true in my case. I think in part it has to do with the fact that I like to be in control of situations, and I’m always going, going, going. The concept of time did seem to melt away inside of the flotation tank, but if I were to guess, I’d say it took me about 30 minutes to turn off my mind, stop playing with my mermaid hair, and just give into total relaxation. But when the relaxing music started playing to tell me my full hour was up, I didn’t want to get out of the tank…I wish I had booked a 2 hour session! Next time, I’m hoping to fall asleep. Zzzzzzzzzzz 🙂
The moment I stepped out of the tank and into the shower to wash all the salt water off, I felt a deep sense of relaxation that I’m not quite sure I’ve ever felt before. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never experienced it before, but time seemed to move more slowly afterwards, I wasn’t worrying about the emails that were waiting for me when I got home, and life just seemed brighter! Colors were more vibrant, everything I touched felt more real, and the natural light outside seemed to radiate with a heavenly glow. And this is not just me being a verbose and flowery writer…I imagine this is similar to what it feels like to be high! So kiddos, put down your marijuana sticks and go floating instead!
Float Tank FAQ’s
Before my first float, allllll sorts of questions were running through my mind, such as, “Will I drown if I fall asleep?” and “Should I wear a swimsuit or not?” Riviera Spa did a great job of easing my mind and answering my plethora of questions before my float.
Click here to read the Floating FAQ’s answered by Riviera Spa.
There are soooooo many benefits to floating frequently, but the ones that piqued my interest include improved sleep, decreased anxiety and stress, detoxification of skin, and an overall sense of deep relaxation. Who doesn’t want to feel relaxed?? Lord knows, after quitting my 11 year teaching career to be a full-time blogger, I was past due for some major relaxation!
To read more about the many benefits of flotation, click here.
Riviera Spa Location
Riviera Spa @ Travis Walk
4514 Travis Street Suite 105
Dallas, TX 75205
Riviera Spa is located in the Travis Walk Plaza. Underground parking is free and the garage entrance is located off of Travis Street under the restaurant, Fernando’s Mexican Cuisine.
Get Your Float On
So I bet you’re just dying to try floating now, huh? 😉 Use my coupon code, Wander50, for your first 60 minute float at a discounted price of $50.
Have you ever floated before? Let me know what you thought of your flotation experience in the comments below! 🙂
P.S. This post is in partnership with Riviera Spa. However, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own. For collaborations or press inquiries, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s make some magic together!