Culture & Lifestyle / Believe it! It Works! A Meditation Session In A Float Tank Is Just What You Need In Your Life Right Now

Believe it! It Works! A Meditation Session In A Float Tank Is Just What You Need In Your Life Right Now

Culture & Lifestyle Jan 09, 2019

Can you imagine peacefully floating in warm water as your stresses seem to drift away? If the thought of peacefully and privately freeing your mind (for an hour or so) appeals to you, you may want to try a float tank session; no swimming skills required! Trust us, a meditation session in a float tank is just what you need in your life right now! 


What is a float session?

Described by some as a form of therapy, a float session is designed to be a relaxing, detoxifying experience suited for anyone interested in creating an opportunity to cultivate a meditative state.

Generally a private experience, it involves immersing yourself in a large tank (or pod as some call it) full of warm water infused with pounds of Epsom salt (from 800-1000lbs) that permits you to stay a float with no effort. The fusion of water and salt in the tank, create a space of sensory deprivation.

Like many mindful, meditative practices, it’s a new trend built off an old concept; initially developed in the 1950’s by medical practitioner and neuroscientist John C. Lilly, new technology and research around it’s benefits have allowed companies to put a modern spin on it.

What are some of the benefits? 

In addition to creating the opportunity for experiencing the magical feeling of floating on water (like a mermaid-dream come true), a fair amount of research demonstrates consistent sessions have potential health benefits.

To start, the fusion of water, Epsom salt and the tank itself create a sensory deprivation experience which during a time when the average person experiences 11 million bits of stimuli per second (we only process 40 bit of that), gives our senses a much-needed break. Due to the tank shutting out factors from the outside environment, it creates a space for floaters to more easily free their mind and get into a deep meditation.

The magnesium from the salt can also help relax the muscles, support bone strength, balance blood sugar levels, reduce stress and feelings of depression. The weightlessness floaters experience while floating can also help with physical pain throughout the body. That being said, many floaters may fall asleep during the session and wake up to a relaxed state and a nap is usually an added benefit!


A Meditation Session In A Float Tank Is Just What You Need In Your Life Right Now
A Meditation Session In A Float Tank Is Just What You Need In Your Life Right Now: You control your experience; close the tank lid when you’re ready!  Photo Credit:


What can you expect when you try it?  

The experience of a float session generally involves getting into a private tank (normally in a private room) so floaters can be free of clothes (bathing suits can be worn if preferred).

The process involves submersing yourself in to the tank (or pod as some call-it), closing the lid and resting face-up in a star-fish position. That’s a common position but depending on the size of the tank, there’s flexibility to move around; some may prefer their arms by their head in a t-like position, others down by their sides, the only real requirement is to stay upwards to ensure breathe can easily flow.

Once you find a comfortable position, it can take a few moments for your body to stop gently swaying with the water but due to the high concentration of salt, it adjusts rapidly permitting your body begin floating effortlessly.

Generally, there is no lighting in a float tank and quiet is recommended however to cater to different needs, many tanks have options for light lighting and/or soft, meditative music. Floaters also control their experience; the lid can be closed when you feel comfortable and opened at any point throughout the session if needed.

Some facilities provide small inflatable pillows to rest the head-on and earplugs should be worn (to prevent salt getting into the ear as they are immersed). The day of a session, it’s important to drink a lot of water, try to avoid coffee (if possible) and eat about 90-minutes prior to a session. Showering after a session is a must to remove the Epsom salt from the body but the good news is the magnesium leaves the skin feeling soft and silky.


A Meditation Session In A Float Tank Is Just What You Need In Your Life Right Now
A Meditation Session In A Float Tank Is Just What You Need In Your Life Right Now: Showering to remove the Epsom salt is essential. Photo Credit:


Is it worth a try?

Yes! Like many of the mindful, meditation-based practices we recommend for overall mental well-being, you will only truly know if float session positively impacts your health by trying it (we suggest 2-3 times to start). Research does demonstrate it’s benefits but like everything, it’s a unique experience and important to approach a float without expectation and an open-mind.

For more information, check out various meditation and float centres near you, as well as this great guide,  Guide to Floating created by Float Toronto . 


Main Image Photo Credit: 

Rachna Sethi

Rachna Sethi


Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...


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