Is floating the new meditation?

What is floating? Our fitness and wellness expert, Ben Lucas headed to Forever Floating in Sydney's Paddington to find out.

Float Tank, floating, Ben Lucas

Picture yourself naked, in a silent, pitch black, water filled box. Sound relaxing? Well, if you said no you may be surprised.

Float tanks are one of the latest health trends to sweep the globe, with fans spanning from the NBA’s best player Steph Curry to actor Jim Carey and even supermodel Elle Macpherson.

So what is floating?

Float tanks, also known as sensory deprivation tanks, offer the perfect environment to relax and restore your mind and body. The tanks are built to block out external stimulation, so your brain doesn’t have to process the thousands of thoughts that normally come at it every second.

Floating neutralises gravity so your body can completely relax and recover.  Your Joints and nervous system are relieved of the pressure of gravity. In turn, your body can channel this extra energy towards recovery.

The water is heated to the temperature of your skin and contains 40% epsom salt, which makes you float effortlessly. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is also scientifically proven to be beneficial for your hair and skin, whilst also helping with muscle wellness, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. It has even been suggested that floatation therapy can improve or eliminate tendonitis, depression, addiction, arthritis, inflammation, fibromyalgia and much more!

With this in mind, I had to try it out for myself.

I headed to Forever Floating in Sydney’s Paddington to see what all the hype was about. I wore my speedos just incase, but I was informed that I wouldn’t be needing them.

First of all the tank is much bigger then I expected, I thought it would be like a coffin, but this is far from the case. The water is actually quite warm and you do actually float, which takes some getting used to. In the dark silence of the tank I could hear my own heartbeat, my own breath. I thought to myself, the next 75 minutes are going to be interesting. I closed my eyes and tried to relax and meditate. I was surprised to find that I started to enjoy being alone with my thoughts with no chance of interruption. I jumped out to check my watch…22 minutes down. Back in a go.

Post-float my sore and tired body felt so much better, my busy mind felt relaxed and that night I sleep like a baby. In fact, the amount of ideas and revelations that came to mind, made with wish I had a notebook in the tank.

At times it can be challenging for me to relax and unplug, but in the float tank I really had no choice but to unwind.

I’m now hooked and have booked myself in for a weekly session.