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Floating away in Ubud

I recently had the most interesting experience. A friend referred me to the Ubud Float Garden. I’ve been interested in floating for some time as sensory deprivation is supposed to excellent for overloaded senses, in particular those suffering from stress-related illness.

Arriving I was immediately greeted by Intan the manager there and her team. It was already pretty serendipitous – I’d mentioned to my colleague that morning how beautiful the bells were that the Balinese ring during their ceremonies and there was one on the table for sale. Which I purchased, knowing that it really connects with the crown chakra like I’ve never experienced before.

The lovely team at Ubud Float Garden were on hand for all my questions, a tour and for help with my photos! Love these women!

I signed a release form and then I was taken into the Light Therapy rooms for a free light treatment. You’re invited to lie down onto a lounging treatment chair, a cross between a chaise langue and a dentists chair, on a mat that is filled with amethysts for their healing and psychic promoting ability. Despite being on a bed of rocks I was comfortable. Then came some heavy-duty looking headphones, my eyes were closed and on with the show!

The Ajna light treatment reminded me of a Pink Floyd exhibition I’d been to back at the V&A in London, but in a good way. I was left with some intense visuals by the end, and I found the experience very stimulating. I’ve tried light therapy only once before – and by itself in one session I couldn’t tell you how it has an effect, but I’m sure over time and with repeated treatments I could see something. It was enjoyable though!

The light show…

Then came the float. I was nervous. Those of you who know me, I’m about to overshare – spare me the rolled eyes. Those of you who don’t know – I hear voices. It’s very rare that I truly experience the quiet and it’s always been a slight fear that under sensory deprivation I would completely lose it!

I’d chosen to float for 90 minutes. After a quick shower I undressed and entered the tank (nude – no clothes necessary) and started to accustom myself. The tank itself is pretty small, but for me I felt I had plenty of space. The water has a combination of different salts that permit you to float and also soak into the skin. And once the lights go out, it’s dark.

You’re given lovely branded Ubud Float earplugs, but they don’t block out all the noise. It took me a while to settled in there and at sometimes I felt peaceful, sometimes fidgety and sometimes a little anxiety. For me, I didn’t feel the effects of “sensory deprivation” so to speak, despite the body temperature water I was very aware I was in a box. But I think this, like many things comes with practice and repeated sessions.

It did give me a lot of space. I get overloaded easily. My switch to a simple life away from working in central London in retail was fuelled primarily by a need to slow down. I’m sensitive and I take in a lot of information – and I’m aware of that. So, for me floating was a fantastic way to hit reset and really take some rest. And, not to mention that my body felt like I’d been practicing only yin or restorative yoga for at least a week once I got out, everything was so soft I felt like a newborn. I left the float room to my own private garden, where I could sip on a coconut.

Floating is, in theory, supposed to help you let go of your analytical thinking mind and slip into something a little more creative. Whatever happened, the planning side of my brain had relaxed because I was able to spend a good twenty minutes creatively planning, including the content of this newsletter.

The reflexology walk in the gardens. Ouch!

Afterwards I had a little chocolate (Ubud raw, obviously) and an explore of the grounds and garden – I’m not sure if there’s a restaurant there yet but I think a small café, or some café eats there would make a great addition.

There’s also an amazing community space that’s bookable for events and a tonne of books. It would be easy to spend a day here with friends. Or alone. With books.

Chilled in the upstairs lounge. Posing in the upstairs lounge.

So, floating? Definitely something to try, and I hope I’ll go again.

If you’re in Ubud, or planning a trip please visit www.ubudfloatgarden.com to take the plunge! You can even have 20% off, if you use the coupon code ‘jazminali’.

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