I’ve jumped out of a plane and done yoga with a goat. Naturally my next “trending” experience should be floating in a salt tank. Enter Floatopia – a newly opened Float Spa & Salt Cave located in Dix Hills, NY.
I didn’t understand – it was the Dead Sea but in a little tank on Long Island? Say what? I needed to test this out immediately.
As I entered Floatopia and looked around I instantly felt at ease. The colors, patterns, and textures all had a calming effect. As my tour continued, the soothing effect carried throughout with the Kombucha tap, the beautiful salt cave (halotherapy), the post-salt lounge, and the four floatation therapy rooms.
While I didn’t have time during this visit to enjoy the 45 minute salt cave session (providing the same benefits of 3-5 days at the beach!) I had to take a peek. I’ve seen salt caves before but never one like this one. It was stunning – with salt brick walls (complete with salt grout) and beautiful salt stalactites covering the ceiling.
Set on a timer, my 90 minute sensory deprivation float tank session was about to begin so I had to stop snooping and go to my room. My preparations began. Each floatation therapy room has a shower (including toiletries), a fluffy towel, the softest robe I’ve ever felt, and a private tank.
Unlike other float spas the tank isn’t a pod but a full tub with enough space to stretch out your arms and legs. The tub is filled with 10″ of water and saturated with 1200 pounds of USP Grade Epsom salt. Inside the tank is a foam neck support (if needed), the light control, and an emergency call button (just in case).
To prepare for your float you stick in the provided ear plugs, shower off, and enter the tank. The light in the room goes off and it’s just you and the tank. You can pick a colored light for the water or choose to immerse yourself in total darkness. I chose darkness – to get the full sensory deprivation experience.
In total darkness, hearing nothing, seeing nothing, you get the immediate strange sensation that you’re in utero or floating in space. I couldn’t tell if my eyes were open or closed or if I was moving or still. It was INSANE (in a good way). It was complete sensory deprivation.
Photo Credit: @ainturavg_joe
After a while I got bored floating so I started flinging myself from side to side like a cosmic boomerang. I did some floor yoga moves, put my feet flat with knees up and swooshed around, catapulted myself from side to side, and swished in circles. It was really fun. I have to admit, as a mother of three I was thinking maybe this is what my active babies were doing when they were actually in utero for nine months. It kind of explained all the kicking and flipping that I felt when I was pregnant!
At some point my body found stillness again. Now, if you’re a yogi you’ll know what I mean when I talk about shavasana. Well – enter the most INTENSE shavasana I’ve ever felt. This stillness was so wild (without even the slightest hint of hyperbole) that I had to move my finger every few minutes to make sure I was still awake, or alive, or I don’t even know… But just, WOW.
After what felt like a hundred years – but again, in a good way – the room lights slowly came on indicating it was time to come back to Earth. I sadly showered off, put on the amazing robe, and stumbled out of the room (cross eyed) into the lounge.
Basically, if you had a she-shed you’d want it to look like this lounge. Think salt lamps, white orchids, grey couches, and fluffy pillows with an array of complimentary water and interestingly flavored teas. I didn’t want to leave… so I stared into space for a while and then chatted with a fellow floater about our mutual outer body experiences.
Since visiting, I’ve been reflecting on the right words to explain this experience and then watched Floatopia’s video. Happily, it seems other people shared my sensation of leaving the tank with an incredible sense of peace and a bizarre inability to speak or think coherently (phew, I’m not alone!).
As amazing as my experience was, the story behind Floatopia is even cooler and more rooted in medical benefits. Think of it as a love letter from the owner to his wife, who – after suffering from years of chronic Lyme disease pain – found floating helped. Naturally, as any good husband would do, James created this gorgeous haven for her (and others) to enjoy promoting health, comfort, and relief from her symptoms.
For me, the experience was completely existential but it a real way, not an ironic-I’m-trying-to-sound-deep way. All I can say is: just go. Try it once. Go on a day when you can spend a few hours relaxing, sitting in the salt, and drinking tea. Think of it as a full spa day and give yourself hours to enjoy it. Give yourself the day to escape the chaos of your life, because I promise you – you’ll come out feeling like you’re shooting through the air on Falcor’s back.