Leo Cosendai: In-pod meditations, and my floating experience
We humans, are used to swimming in water and flying in the air. But for me, floating is like an incredible combination of the two!
I didn’t even leave London for the experience - It all happened in a float pod at Floatworks’ Vauxhall centre. So I wanted to share how I got the most out of floating with three simple mindfulness practices, below. But first, a bit of context:
The floating experience in general:
It is pitch black, silent, filled with body-temperature air, and water containing half a ton of Epsom Salts which makes you instantly float like a feather. My first 60 minutes of floating flew by. I remained awake, and experienced profound sensations that I know can lead people to experiencing the oneness that yogis, monks and other spiritual dwellers talk about. When my time was up, I slowly emerged feeling like a new-born baby. I showered and dried my hair whilst looking in a mirror that seemed to be showing me looking rejuvenated!
I got into floating as a long-time meditator, author and meditation teacher. I am always on the lookout for new experiences, and as a sea-baby, this seemed like a no-brainer to me! I think floating is great for anyone who feels the call to not only find some calm in their life, but also grow and open up mentally and spiritually.
It enables us to disconnect from the continual output of the world and connect with our input. In yoga, we call this Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses. You come out of your session with a greater ability to process your inner and outer environment at your own pace. Mindfulness helps a lot of people but I believe that experiences such as floating and sound meditation, for instance, are far superior in their impact on your subconscious mind.
Three meditations to experiment with during your float:
- A simple pranayama breath technique: breathe deeply in for 5 seconds and out for 10 seconds (through the nose) whilst listening to the sound of your breath both in your head and in your chest cavity. You may hear your heartbeat - that’s normal.
- A visualisation: breathe in through the nose, out through the throat, in through the heart centre, out through the belly button, in through the perineum in between the legs, then back out through the belly button, in through the heart centre, out through the throat, in through the nose (repeat this serpent-like pattern for as long as you wish)
- And… Nothing! do nothing, and just float!
Some experiences I have had in the pod at Floatworks in Vauxhall
- Feeling like my body was fizzing and blending in with the water
- A huge sense of effortless gratitude flushing through my mind and body
- Feeling like my body was slowly rotating like a clock
- A massive body twitch after a tough week with less than 5 hours of sleep per night
- An out of body experience during which I experienced myself in a location miles away
My top tips for having a great float
(also see Floatworks’ guide to floating)
- Don’t eat sugar beforehand
- Make sure you are hydrated but that you have also been to the toilet beforehand
- Switch your phone off, and make sure you don’t rush the process – including getting into the pod
- I like to have my arms above my head rather than alongside my body but you can experiment
- Don’t worry if you find your body moving because of the water currents, you’ll find yourself right in the centre comfortably
- Don’t rush out of the pod once you hear the music, you still have 5 minutes to integrate and breathe a little more deeply
- Once you’ve showered and dried your hair, have a cup of herbal tea and perhaps write down in a few words about what happened. It could be that you don’t feel like you meditated but had a breakthrough or wonderful idea for a new project!
I hope you enjoy your float at Vauxhall or Angel… Maybe see you there some time!
To find out more information about Leo Cosendai’s transformational work:
Try Leo’s meditation app: Third Ear
Go to one of Leo’s sound baths: Leo Cosendai
Follow Leo on Instagram: @leo.cosendai