Don’t you wish you could just float away from all the distractions and stresses in life? You can do just that at the beautiful Clear Float Spa in Mission. I’m always game to try out new experiences, but I have to admit that the idea of floating seemed a little out of my comfort zone.
Floating science has been around since the 1950’s but float spas have only recently hit the mainstream here in Calgary in the last couple of years. I decided to give it a go mainly as way to get relaxed before I left on vacation and to try to work out some aches and pains in my body. Floating is commonly associated with yoga and athletic lifestyles, but it can have a wide range of benefits from heightened senses, meditation, chronic stress relief, improved sleep, endorphins, introspection, anti-gravity benefits and more.
So what exactly is floating? Specialized pods are filled up with high-density salt waters that allow you to float. 1000 pounds of Epsom salts are used making it four times denser than the Dead Sea. So if you’re one of those people that swear they can’t float in a pool, you will have no problem in this setting.
Everyone’s float experience is a little different so here’s how mine went down.
First off, the pods are super fancy and beautiful – it’s like floating inside a giant bathtub. Each room is setup with its own shower (filled with Rocky Mountain Soap shower goodies) and pod so you have a private space to get ready, towel off and get changed. You close yourself into the pod which felt a bit odd to encapsulate myself off from the outside world.
Once inside, there are buttons that allow you to set the music and lights however you like. I of course, played with the buttons to see what would happen. The lights went completely out at one point and it totally freaked me out! I quickly turned the lights back on to the gentle blue glow but usually most people would set it to the pitch-black option. The idea is to give into to all sensory deprivation to really let your mind and body go.
I have to admit, it was really hard to “let go”. I tend to be a thinker when I’m lying in bed so it took a while for me to loosen up. I tried to focus only on my breathing which really helped. After a while it felt nice to not be doing anything except float! I felt like I was quite “aware” while in the pod, but at times my fingers or toes would bump into the side walls, thus jarring me out of my relaxed and mellow state. I was really getting into the whole experience and was nearly asleep/zoned out when the timer went off indicating the end of my hour-long float. It was amazing how quickly it went by!
The water in the pod is quite warm so you definitely won’t get chilled during the float. I did find it quite humid inside the pod so I had to crack it open to let in some air at one point. This is where it’s important to learn how to let go as my breathing got better as I settled in.
When I first got into the pod, my skin definitely had to get used to the salt water (word of warning for your lady bits too as it’s a little sensitive in the first few minutes lol). But the cool thing is that you are not pruny or wrinkly at all after an hour float. After the float make sure to rinse off before trying to touch any of your personal items or they will get covered in salt. I found myself pretty mellowed out afterwards so I didn’t even want to turn on a noisy hair dryer to do my hair. If you’re looking to go out right afterwards, you might want to keep it casual.
After the float, I was treated to a delish tea (from the Tea Factory neighbours down 4th Street) and chilled out in the post-float Zen Room before heading on my way.
Clear Float Spa recommends going floating three times in the first three weeks when you start. As it was my first time going, I ended up spending a lot of time trying to figure out how everything worked and what would happen. Now that I’m like a pro, I can see how my second and third trips would be much more successful since I know what to expect. It’s a nice alternative from the traditional massage and a completely unique spa experience.
Have more questions? Check out the FAQs on the Clear Float Spa website.