When Spring arrives on the East End it’s like seeing a long-lost friend you’re dying to hang out with again. Everything feels fresh and the possibilities are endless. It’s the perfect time to try something new.
Floating has been around since the 1950’s, but I’d never given it much thought until I read about a new business that opened in Water Mill called Hamptons Float. Many people swear by the physical and mental rejuvenation benefits floating provides, so I decided to give it a try.
When I walked in I was greeted by co-owner Victor, a gentle man who became a float devotee due to constant joint inflammation. He showed me around, explaining the Hamptons Float philosophy: “It should be the same feeling as when you’re swinging in a hammock between two coconut trees- pure relaxation”. The facility itself is not unlike other spas – serene, spartan, white. Where it differs is in the rooms themselves. In order to achieve total silence, each of the four float rooms is actually a room within a room so there are two doors. The outer ones were originally used in recording studios and are soundproof to ensure nothing interrupts the experience.
Inside each room is a tank, changing area, a robe, earplugs and a lovely shower which you must use before entering. The tank itself is 8’ long by 4 ½’ wide and shallow- only 11” deep. And it packs enough Epsom salt to make Dumbo buoyant- 1200 pounds to be exact. (This makes everything very slippery so exercise caution when in getting in and out.) I took my shower, climbed into the tank, turned off the lights and wondered if I was actually going to be able get into the mental state required to stay there for 90 minutes. New age-y music ushers in the beginning of your float, then fades away to total silence and pitch black……
At this point you should know I have never successfully meditated. When I’ve tried, the thoughts in my head always go something like this “Ok…meditate….meditate now…..you’re not meditating….stop telling me to meditate when I’m trying to meditate….YOU ARE TOTALLY WRECKING THIS!!”. Needless to say, perfect enlightenment still eludes me. I tried to relax, hopeful the exercising I did prior had exhausted my body. But the mind is a funny thing and does what it likes. In the beginning my thoughts raced from the practical (“Don’t forget to mail payment to accountant this week..”) to the frivolous (“I wonder how long it’s going to take Jon Snow to figure out he slept with AUNT Daenerys. You know nothing, Jon Snow….”). My mind eventually calmed down and I settled into total silence, perfect weightlessness and faded away. When the session was finished, the music began and lights came up to usher me out of my dream-like state. I was genuinely surprised at how quickly the time had passed. After one final shower it was time to come back to the real world.
Did I enjoy it? Since I had no expectations going in I’d say yes- it was definitely a worthwhile experience. My muscles loosened up and the mental acuity Victor promised was apparent as I drove home. Hard to explain, but I did feel sharp as a tack and extremely clear-headed. Sleep that night was also phenomenal and I woke earlier than usual the next morning.
Will I do it again? Yes. I never truly went over the edge as you do when you fall into a deep sleep, but I was close enough that I’d like to try. Plus, the medicinal benefits are supposed to be cumulative. And with both the final season of Game of Thrones and The Masters right around the corner, I may need to take up permanent residence there.
Hamptons Float, 760 Montauk Highway, Water Mill www.hamptonsfloat.com