Three Meditation Techniques To Practice While Floating
Float therapy is often used as a method of physical relief, but it is also known for its ability to enhance mental clarity.1 The float tank is an ideal environment in which floaters can calm their minds and reach a place of positivity and relaxation. Due to minimal distraction, meditation can be intensified in the float tank. Though you don’t have to do anything special to access the profound benefits of floating, here are a three float tank meditation techniques that can enhance your experience.
FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH
The most simple and widely-used method of meditation is breath awareness, which can help your mind from wandering by focusing your attention on breathing. Breathing exercises can help minimize the body’s reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones, including cortisol. 2
Try practicing breath awareness in the float tank by taking slow, deep breaths through the nose and completely fill your lungs with air. Hold your breath for a few second before slowly exhaling all the air out of your lungs. Try to focus on the feeling of the breath entering and leaving your body, or try making a mental count of each breath. Repeat as many times as you’d like.3
Once you have had experience with breath awareness, explore the practice of body awareness to promote muscle relaxation while floating. Researchers found that integrative body-mind training can actually result in brain changes that may protect against mental illness and promote overall health.4
Start by taking a deep breath, then direct your attention to a specific area of the body, such as your feet. Concentrate on the body part and allow tension to release as you exhale. Perform this exercise with various parts of the body where tension is commonly stored, including your shoulders, neck, hips and jaw.
RELIEVE STRESS THROUGH VISUALIZATION
The last method of meditation, visualization, is best practiced alongside both breath and body awareness. While performing either of the other exercises, add a visual component, such as light, to help focus your attention. While you inhale, imagine a light permeating your entire body. If you are experiencing any problems or negative thoughts in your life, exhale out the negativity in the form of a dark cloud or smoke. Visualization meditation can help get rid of the problems or thoughts that can hold you back from a more positive outcome.5
PRACTICE A FLOAT TANK MEDITATION TECHNIQUE WITH US
Escape the stresses of your daily life and try one of the meditation techniques mentioned above with us at Tank Action Spa – in one of our float tanks, located in Ottawa
1- Brown, R., & Gerbarg, P. (2012). The healing power of the breath: Simple techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, enhance concentration, and balance your emotions. Shambhala Publications.
2-Paul, G., Elam, B., & Verhulst, S. J. (2007). A longitudinal study of students’ perceptions of using deep breathing meditation to reduce testing stresses. Teaching and learning in medicine, 19(3), 287-292.
3- Arch, J. J., & Craske, M. G. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness: Emotion regulation following a focused breathing induction. Behaviour research and therapy, 44(12), 1849-1858.
4- Engel, L., & Andersen, L. B. (2000). Effects of body–mind training and relaxation stretching on persons with chronic toxic encephalopathy. Patient Education and Counseling, 39(2-3), 155-161
5- Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., Bell, I., & Schwartz, G. E. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction. Annals of behavioral medicine, 33(1), 11-21.