My First Floating Experience | Float On Portland


This past Saturday Neil and I headed to Float On, a sensory deprivation float tank center here in SE Portland, for our very first floating experience. I’ll admit I was pretty excited but I also was feeling pretty anxious as well. The thought of closing myself in a tank, in the dark and just floating there really freaked me out however the benefits which include deep relaxation, stress & pain relief where pretty enticing. 


Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.32.28 PMOnce we arrived I tried to calm my nerves by reading the Beginners Guide to Floating over and over but after the fifth time I was just making myself more anxious. So I put it down, grabbed a cup of herbal tea (caffeine is not recommended 4-6 hours before floating) and just tried to relax until it was time to float.   
FloatOn-5Once it was time to float Neil and I were given a little tour of the float rooms. We had rooms 1 and 2– the ocean float rooms which are taller and have a light as well. Neil was lucky and got room #2 the room with the star lights on the ceiling of the tank (see photo below). 

Once we were walked through the steps of floating and I realized just how in control of the situation I was I began to feel less anxious. It also helped when I found out the float tank only contained around a foot of water. 

Now it’s time to actually float. I put in my ear plugs which transported me back to my childhood when I had tubes and had to wear ear plugs to swim. Anyways moving on. 

I showered (check out the lighted shower) and then it was time to hop into the tank. I chose to bring in the neck noodle just in case I wanted to use it to support my neck (and I did).


photo credit

I climbed into the tank, closed the door, took a deep breath and turned out the light. I instantly felt super relaxed just floating there. Neil and I both agreed that while floating we felt both heavy and weightless at the same time. Being in the dark wasn’t strange at all, I actually found it completely relaxing and it wasn’t until I started feeling a little stuffy that I really noticed that I was closed in; you really just lose all sense of space. When I started to feel a little stuffy I felt around, grabbed the handle and popped open the door just a crack to let in a whoosh of cool air.


photo credit

So what did I do while I floated? Nothing really. I just floated and I spent some time focusing on my breath. I actually thought that I would spend a lot of time thinking and brainstorming but instead my mind just calmed down and I really didn’t think about much at all. I just completely relaxed. I thought I might fall asleep as well but I didn’t, I just floated there with my eyes wide open until it was time to get out.

As I said above you lose all sense of space (unless you drift towards a wall and touch it) and you also lose all sense of time. I will admit I started to feel a little bit anxious towards the end because my life seems to revolve around the clock. I start my morning trying to help Neil get out of the house in time for work and then the day revolves around nap times and meal times so not knowing how much longer I had made me want to jump out and check my phone -and I almost did. It wasn’t because I wanted to be done but rather because I had no idea how much time had passed. In the end I didn’t jump out to check my phone because seconds later the music came on signaling that my float was over and it was time to get out, shower and be on my way. 


The above photo is a perfect image of blissed out Neil. Seriously we both left in a positive state of mind. We were relaxed and just felt absolutely amazing. 

Would I float again? YES! I would definitely float again and I think that the next time I will most likely be even more relaxed because all of those (silly) little anxieties I had won’t be there. I think knowing that I could get out of the tank whenever I felt the need (ie. just feeling uneasy, needing to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, ect.) really made me feel in control and okay to do the float. Once I actually started the float I was kicking myself for not trying it sooner, especially when I was pregnant. I mean seriously what could be better than essentially feeling weightless while pregnant. Plus I truly believe water is a magical thing that just makes life better.

After floating I was thinking about how often I turn to water for therapeutic reasons for myself. I take a shower when I am feeling anxious or frustrated or a bath when I am feeling sore or just need to relax. I give the kids a bath or we do some sort of water play when they are cranky. So really floating is just another level of these things and when I think about it that way it makes so much sense to me why people love to do it. 

Have you ever tried floating? Would you like to? 

*Disclaimer: Float On provided Neil and I with free floats. I was not required to write a positive review and I received no compensation for this post. 


  1. I’ve been so curious about this! I’m so glad you guys tried it out. I think I’d love it. I think my husband would hate it. lol. This is going on my to-do list!

    • Glad to hear I could provide a little relief! I didn’t realize how much control you have and I was actually more anxious about being enclosed but I ended up in a taller tank which didn’t make you feel so enclosed so that helped too.

  2. Oh my gosh! I went there for the first time about a month ago, since my father-in-law got me a gift certificate. I remember being pretty freaked out also, especially getting in and closing the door to the darkness that first time. But I did oddly get comfortable and relaxed. Unlike you though, my type-A always-need-to-be-doing-something personality didn’t quite turn off and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I was going to do after. Maybe that means I need to do it more often, ha! But definitely an interesting experience!

    • I think I lucked out and maybe because I was so overtired from being up all night with my 9 month old I was able to relax a bit more because I really thought I was just going to lay there with my mind racing. I know from others experiences that often it’s hard to turn everything off on the first try because it’s such a new thing. I keep getting told you need to try it a few times to really get the full experience.

  3. i’ve seen this spot and wondered! fascinating to hear your review! i get so anxious if i am alone in a dark room for a long period of time, so i wonder if it’d work for me!

    • You are very control of the situation and in rooms 1 & 2 you have a button to turn on a light (it’s a dim blue light in room 1 and a dim blue light with “star” lights above in room 2) so if you felt anxious you could always turn it on.

  4. I love love floating. Floating in the tank is the best way to relax, ground and pamper yourself. Since we moved to the Westside I try to get every two months to the float tank on NW 23rd.
    Glad you had the chance to float.

  5. What is this experience that I’ve never heard of?? CRAZY! Sounds like so much fun! I will have to look into doing this for my husband and I. I love that you ended up shutting down your mind for this. Sometimes its good to just space out. Cheers 🙂

  6. Maybe it’s just me, but I had a much different experience with my first float. I went about two weeks ago (not to Float On because I live in Hawaii, but moving to Portland soon) and I could never get comfortable. The biggest issue for me was my neck. My head was submerged to my cheek bones so I assume my head was floating but it just wasn’t comfortable. I tried the noodle but that kept my head way out of the water so I didn’t like that either. I ended up putting a hand behind my head for support but that wasn’t ideal either. So I just never could fully relax. Then to top it off, my neck and back were very sore for the next 2 or 3 days. I have read many great things about the float tanks, but my first experience was anything but great. So I’m not sure if I’ll try it again or not. As always, everyone is different so your mileage may vary 🙂

Leave a Reply