A few weeks ago I was contacted by the owners of Zero Gravity Float Company. They are new to the Pittsburgh Float world and reached out to see if I would be interested in trying floating. I pretty quickly took them up on this offer. I’ve known the basics about floating for some time, but just never got around to it. I had heard by so many how floating can not only help reduce stress, but it can also help with recovery. Being a runner, I was definitely interested in both, but knew to really gain benefits on the recovery side, I would most likely have to go multiple time.
Last Thursday, Lauren and I headed to the South Hills to give floating a try. Once I set the date for our floats, I did some more research. I wanted to get an idea of what to expect during my floating session.
Let’s just say, what I had in my mind, was not what actually happened. I sort of thought there was just a big open “vat” that you float in. That certainly wasn’t the case. Floating occurs in a chamber. I almost second guessed the float immediately, as I can sometimes get claustrophobic. Zero Gravity has 2 different tanks. They both serve the same purpose, but just have a different make up. The Samadhi is the first tank actually ever made. It’s comprised of plastic panels versus the Escape Pod Explorer which is made of steel. As a floater, I don’t think it mattered which tank you float in, but I ended up floating in the Escape Pod while Lauren took to the Samadhi.
Lauren and I arrived about 10 minutes before the start of our float. Jeff, co-owner of Zero Gravity, met us and gave us a tour of both of the float rooms. In each room is the tank with filtration system and a shower. He also went over the process of how we should prepare for our float as well as what to do post float. Essentially, prior to your float, you will shower off to remove any dirt and oil from your body. You’ll put in some ear plugs (provided by Zero Gravity!) and enter the tank. Yes, you float naked! I actually had asked about this as I just didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if that was the thing to do or if I needed to float in a bathing suit. So, for your knowledge, go in naked.
At the beginning of your float, music will play for about 5 minutes. It’s relaxing music and just there to more set the tone of relaxation. Jeff mentioned after our floats that their system is set up that if you wanted to bring your own music, you can. After 5 minutes, the music goes off and you’re on your own with 800lbs of salt in less than a foot of water.
When I first got into the tank, I didn’t close the door. I was freaking out a little inside, but I told myself that it’s a door and if something happens, I can push it open. Finally about a minute into the float, I pulled the door closed. I immediately pushed it open so that I could test my theory. It worked and I shut it again and kept it shut for the rest of the float. Lauren mentioned to me she actually kept her door open for about 20 minutes into the float. The nice thing about these tanks is that you can choose your own path within your float.
So, here I was floating in 800 lbs of salt. I tried to tip over, but you literally can’t. The first 10 minutes or so of the float, I would sort of roll around side to side, but you just tip to your back. I played with different arm positions as well. I kept worrying that my head would go under, but here’s a secret: it doesn’t! You’re floating on top and you don’t have to worry about that. Finally I found a position that seemed comfortable and closed my eyes. Every once in awhile I would feel a foot or an elbow hit the side of the tank and you just gently push off to get back toward the middle of the tank.
I finally settled in and really started to relax. In the best way possible, this is an amazing way to lose an hour of your life. I lost my time to thoughts mostly, but there were points where I just laid there and did nothing and meditated. It was beyond glorious. All of a sudden, the music started playing again which meant my float had come to an end. I was shocked. I honestly did not think an hour had gone by!
After carefully getting out of the tank, I hit the shower to get the salt off. It had certainly caked on in some areas. It’s nice as Zero Gravity provides body wash and shampoo, q-tips and even a hair dryer for you in each room. I took about 10-15 minutes to get myself together before heading out to the waiting room. Jeff, Lauren and myself chatted a bit about the float. Both Lauren and myself were shocked first that you cannot sink, but I think even more impressed than shocked at just how relaxing the float was. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I felt and almost how light I felt. It sounds weird, but I really felt like everything had lifted off of my shoulder during that hour and I could almost breathe freely. I mentioned that I would have liked to see how it was with the music on. Just having a general back ground noise might help a little. Next time I float, I might have to test this theory out.
With that one 60-minute float, I am a believer at how amazing floating is. I could easily see this being something I do on a regular basis. If you’re from Pittsburgh, you’ll understand this.. this float was absolutely worth crossing two rivers and going through the tunnel. Jeff and his wife, Valerie, were so amazing to work with as well. They certainly did a ton of research in the world of floating before starting their business. One float will run you $60 at their location, but they also have package options . Their best package is 4 floats at $160. They even offer a veterans, active military and first responders discount of $20 off your $60 float session. If you don’t fall into that category though, Zero Gravity is offering my readers a $10 discount off your float with code PGHCITYGIRL. The code is good until 3/1/18, so you have plenty of time to take advantage of this code, but trust me when I say you won’t want to wait. Head over and get your first float session booked as soon as possible. You can thank me later!
Disclaimer: Zero Gravity Float Co. provided me floats for 2 in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.