Inside the tank

By Angela Marsh

Even though I’m a bit scared of the dark, I’ve always wanted to try a sensory deprivation tank. So, I was all in when I heard about OmFLOAT. I was both nervous and excited as my appointment drew near.

The owners were there to greet me and reassure me. They gave me a quick tour of the facility and an orientation with the tank. They told me exactly what to expect and gave me some tips to help me relax.

After a quick shower to rinse off, I steadied the last few nerves and stepped into the tank. I left the door open for a moment so I could ease into the darkness. The gentle music faded out and I was left alone with my thoughts. No outside stimuli. No barking dogs, no phone beeping. Nothing but me. My body felt heavy and weightless at the same time. I could hear my breathing and the water around me. I could see the darkness.

Since the tank is an ideal meditation environment, I used this opportunity to take my 10- to 20-minute daily practice to another level. It was easy to go deep. As I floated in and out of consciousness, I got a bit restless until I realized that I didn’t have to lie still. I can move in the water — swirling my hair from side to side, changing positions, and doing yoga poses. The saltwater must make you more flexible because I was doing poses I can’t normally do on dry land.

I settled back down eventually and had a moment of gratitude. Because this extrovert had enough quiet time, I started to say out loud the things I am grateful for. By the time I finished my list, the bells chimed to let me know it was time to come out. I rinsed off with a warm shower and made my way out to another room.

I sat with Turner, the center’s therapy dog, on a bean bag chair for a bit. It took a few minutes to come back to reality. My mind was calm and relaxed for the rest of the day. And my body felt lighter. And then I went back for another float a few days later.