Sensory Deprivation Tank

No, that is not some trippy, poor-lighting bathtub imitation of a space ship. Laugh now, but thank me later. This may just become your ultimate scapegoat. There are various names associated to this; float tank, Joe Rogan calls it an isolation tank, and Tim Ferris calls it a sensory deprivation tank. Call it what you want, it’s not about what you call it, but what it can do for you. But for all intents and purposes, I will keep it simple and call it a float tank.

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We all know that meditation is extremely important to our life, right? Often times when people think about meditation, we all get it wrong. People assume that meditation is a form of a fancy yoga position while chanting “OHM” or we picture some guru-like levitating mid-air. But meditation comes in all ways and forms, and everyone has their own ways of doing it.

What you need to know are the 5 basic facts;

1. meditation is essential to our well-being.

2. meditation can improve our daily productivity and quality of life, when done right.

3. meditation is not measured by quantity or quality, it can be done in any way for as long as you want it to be.

4. meditation is a blank state of mind, and there are many ways to accomplish this.

5. meditation does take time to master.

So before I get into my own personal experience of the float tank, let me break it down to you. All it is, is just you in your birthday suit, in a light & sound proof room, with a tub filled with water and epsom salt. The only thing that is unique to this experience is the epsom salt, a natural remedy for so many ailments, but also the key ingredient to keeping your body afloat in such shallow waters.

A general consensus is that, this float tank experience is probably the easiest and quickest way to guiding you to the near meditated state. And why I say ‘near’ is because even with all the sensory deprivation ingredients, we still have a hard time getting it right on the first time.

First of all, the first experience will be the most difficult one, you are putting your body, mind, senses into a black hole and expected to do, nothing???!?? The mere thought is petrifying enough and when you are literally experiencing it, it is truly a feeling like no other.

My initial thought was my fear of the dark and confined space, but that all seemed to quickly evaporate into nothing eventually.

Your mind starts to wander from A to Z and everything in between, even after telling yourself to stop thinking and that you are supposed to clearing your mind. It is honestly so much easier to say than do (like anything). And to my previous point of my fear of the dark and space eventually evaporating is because of all these thoughts clouding your mind. But you soon realize that your body is floating, and consciously you are well aware of what you are doing (that you are stark naked floating in this space), but if you have been still all this time, at one point you do start to wonder if this is what it would feel like floating in outer-space. Or if this is what it feels like when our body and mind is asleep. Do I sound crazy yet?

When you do get used to it, I have heard some people fall asleep.

It definitely is not for everyone, but if you are curious to experience it, I do recommend it. Especially in this day and age when trying to get absolute peace and quiet is impossible, so I cannot even begin to grasp the thought of clearing our mind, especially when we have trained our minds to always focus on something, with the exception of when you are sleeping. But have you ever focused on something so hard right before you sleep, that you actually dream about it? Our mind and bodies are the most powerful things, and we never truly give it a rest. If you are able to clear your mind during this experience, I applaud you eternal peace on earth. But if you are able to master meditation without any aid, I am giving you the cut-eye and jealous of your lifetime accomplishment to eternal bliss.

If you never thought to meditating, may I suggest that you try incorporating it to your daily routine. I often recommend this to my Clients in my Professional job, which is providing Strategies on Executive career and succession planning and leadership training. But regardless of what you are doing with your life, meditation is as necessary as breathing and thinking. To my point above on the 5 facts of meditation, it is neither qualitative or quantitative, meaning, you don’t need to register to some fancy class nor is it about how long you can clear your mind. If you are able to do so for even 5 minutes, that is 5 minutes well invested to your life.

We are always on the go, even when we stop to smell the roses. We never fully realize just how challenging it is to not do or think anything for a moment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not religious or pulling a scientology a la Tom Cruise, I am factual and a realist at heart. So if you don’t like the word meditate because it comes off Buddhist, don’t call it that. Call it what you want. But the reality is, we all need a moment of clarity.

I personally enjoyed reading a book ‘Radical Acceptance’ by Tara Brach (@TaraBrach) a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and one of the leading teachers of Buddhist thinking and meditation in the Western world. For those who know my fondness for Stoic philosophy, I think her work is a wonderful compliment to Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and other favorites.

A quote which I thought to be helpful, “Meditation is evolution’s strategy to bring out our full potential.” – Tara Brach

If you are interested in learning more, check out the podcast of Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss’ interview below.

This is my own personal quote/mantra I have abided by, mainly because I like to keep things simple and at minimal.

“Simplicity is the most intricate form of complexity.”

And if you think about every simple aspects of your life and just how difficult it was to attain it, I am sure you can appreciate what I am trying to say.

What are your ways of meditating? What are some of your life quotes you live by? Have any of you tried the float tank, and if you have, what was your experience like? Share your thoughts on the comment below!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. for those of you inquiring about such locations; I have a few favourites from the 3 major cities I frequent.

Singapore: Palm Avenue Float Club link to their site click [here]*

New York City: Aspire Centre link to their site click [here]*

Toronto: Float Toronto link to their site click [here]*

* I am in no way affiliated or sponsored by any of these places, but have had pleasant experiences as a paying customer.

Yvette xo

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  • Olivia DW.

    good timing for this! & I couldn’t agree more about meditation. Its hard to accomplish but truly rewarding. I have always been curious about those tanks so your experience helps my bias lol

    just curious, how do you know when to wake up? and how long are you required to be in there for?

    • haha thanks @Olivia DW.:disqus time-wise, most places typically have 60, 90, 120 minutes depending on how long you would like it for. when you are inside the tank, there is a light button and a panic button (in case for an emergency) and towards the end of it, there is soft music starts to play. I can it alien/outerspace music because it what it sounds like. hope that helps! x

      • Olivia DW.

        awesome! thanks for the quick response! I will definitely have to check it out.

  • JustCassy

    I really enjoyed this post! I will definitely look up Tara Brach and the book but I like her quote “Meditation is evolution’s strategy to bring out our full potential.”

    Interesting to say the least. Thanks for sharing this experience. It is definitely something worth to research on.

    • thanks! and I agree, her work and ideology is quite interesting. Let me know what you think!

  • This is why I’m forever loyal as a reader to you, you speak of interesting and relevant things we need in our lives @msyolee:disqus not to bring any debates to discussion but do you really think this isolation tank is helpful in achieving meditative state? You even mentioned that your mind wandered a bit… did you ever get your mind to be clear or was it difficult to do? I tried meditating through yin yoga but that was a complete bust because i found myself thinking more than ever! Total fail on my part.

    • agreed @disqus_cHvvVRlGNT:disqus that its not always about the latest trend that every other blogger boasts about. its quite refreshing.

      • I know what you mean @lafashcurator:disqus lol we are on the same wave length ;-)

    • Thank You @disqus_cHvvVRlGNT:disqus appreciate it. I do think it is the quickest way to help someone get to the closest state of meditation. Mind wandering becomes almost out of one’s control, regardless of how one chooses to meditate. Personally this experience was difficult for me to get my mind to clear. I do believe I had a moment of it, but because of the black and stillness, I am not sure just how long that ‘moment’ was in reality. It’s a really weird feeling and experience.

  • fancydaint

    I think this is quite brilliant really. The topics you choose to cover are very interesting and this was one thing I have been wanting to try. And now more than ever. I noticed you mentioned you have a fear for darkness, but didn’t this worry you at all? How were you able to get over it?

    • Thanks @violamotarnault:disqus I appreciate your feedback. I do have a fear for darkness, especially when it’s pitch dark. But as I mentioned, those fears are quickly to deter once you immerse yourself into it. There are other thoughts to cross your mind that those fears do become after thoughts. Not sure how else to explain it, but this could be different for different individuals, so take my personal experience with a grain of salt.

  • it’s so interesting! never really heard of it until now. I thought Joe Rogan was the obnoxious dude from UFC?? neways, definitely something I will be checking out. Is it costly? I’m likely to entertain if it’s a couple of hundred dollars, but if its a price of a Chanel handbag, I’ll just treat myself to the bag thankyouverymuch.

    • lol yes @lafashcurator:disqus it is that Joe Rogan, trust me I wasn’t aware until recently either. You have the right idea in terms of pricing, typically most places charge a couple of hundred dollars but some places also provide package deals so that you can try it a couple of times. I think it definitely takes more than a one time experience.

  • sophiestyle

    I have tried the tank and am a living soul who swears by this! I go once a month for 2 hours and it’s been almost one year. It’s my one “go to” place, I call it my sanctuary. The podcast you shared is actually really really interesting, and I never would have thought to try these other things. I thought the whole main purpose was to clear your mind, and to not exert your brain and mind to be doing other things? But learning a new language is a fascinating concept!

    • Yeah, I think Tim Ferriss just likes to optimize his experience while in the tank. Though I agree with you that the purpose is to clear your thoughts not bog it down with more stuff. I think once you reach that ultimate state then it’s worthwhile experimenting. But if you haven’t achieved full clarity, it might be even harder to train your brain let alone your mind.

  • just-passing-through

    Shared this with some of my colleagues around the office, coincidentally our Benefits and Rewards team was actually looking into a partnership with one of the local facilities so that we can provide this to the employees! What are the chances that I read this on my favorite style Blogger’s site! This just really validates that we need to somehow incorporate meditation to our lives. I will definitely be checking out Tara Brach. You have got style, beauty and brains girl! All the power to ya! xo

    • Thanks for dropping by, that’s actually a really great incentive for employees. So long as you educate people on the importance of it so that they have an appreciation for it, otherwise it won’t get much buy-in or support as a gym membership or massages.

  • dothedewS

    great read! this is so interesting and I will definitely be looking into it! I enjoy meditating doing yoga. But I also love just listening to my podcasts or music and just clearing my thoughts that way, although, I’m not sure just how much of my thoughts I am clearing my head with this method lol

    • I enjoy yoga but found it challenging to meditate, as my mind was busy focusing on holding the poses to the next. Even during savasana I found my mind wandering lol

      • dothedewS

        Yea, savasana doesn’t really cut it for me as well. Most of the time I find myself thinking of what to have for dinner or planning out my next day! lmao

  • enlightened-soul

    Great post! In the hyper connected world we live in today, everyone deserves some downtime. I believe Tara Brach also said something along the lines of, “meditation is to the mind what exercise is to our body”.

    • Exactly that. you reminded me of something she also said about if one is ever feeling anxious, angry, a sense of shame, whatever it is, breathe in and agree to touch or feel it, and breathing out, offer space and care to whatever’s there. If there’s blocking to touching it, emphasize the in-breath and stay embodied. Even a simple breathing technic can help one become so much more in tune with our mind and emotions, and this simple way can also be a beginning to meditation.

      • enlightened-soul

        Deep…

  • sgstyling

    wah this is v interesting! I never heard of it but will be looking into this in sg now! happy weekend la! x

    • ohhh let me know what you think @sgstyling:disqus

  • haha thanks! let me know how yours went @laurengoodman:disqus always interested to know other’s experience.