A quick and expensive form of relaxation, Chennai Floats offers floatation therapy in the heart of the city.

Chennais own Dead Sea I floated in this water pod and you can too
news Lifestyle Sunday, July 01, 2018 - 20:18

As I walk into the tall, white building in the heart of residential Abhiramapuram in Chennai, I try to calm myself with deep breaths. Doing my ‘research’ just hours before, mainly involving watching videos of these giant water coffins, I had driven myself into panic mode.

Soon after I enter the kitschy premises of Chennai Floats, I’m given a tour of the Dreampod, the floatation therapy chamber. The belly of the giant white machine is flush with 450 kg of epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) dissolved in 600 litres of water. Thankfully, the pod is big enough to quell my fears of being trapped in a closed space.

As the pod emits one colour after another in the middle of a softly lit room, I’m given my to-do list for the next hour or so. To begin with, I will have to shower, undress (almost fully) and enter the pod. With a bottle of fresh water in case of emergencies and lights inside that I don’t have to switch off, I’m all set. After a quick shower, I thoroughly wipe my face – the only part of my body the water will not touch. Even as I am posting Instagram updates from inside the airconditioned room, a gentle music comes on – my cue that the session is now afoot.

I enter the pod leaving the door open behind me (I’m only human). And that is something, I’m told, we’re allowed to do. Before going all in, I sit down first, flailing about in the water and feeling the heaviness of the water surround me. Confident in the vastness of the beast, I turn the inside light to a jade green, plug my ears and close the door, without shutting it all the way.

As a light-headedness lures me in, I lay down on my back, with my hands behind my head, like in a swimming pool. Soon enough, I’m drifting directionless inside the pod, feeling my body zone out. The water is set to mimic your body temperature so you no longer feel you are floating on something.

Wanting to experience the pod as it was meant to be, I finally turn off the lights and just float.

While drifting inside the pod does not guarantee yogic enlightenment, I do feel calmer, getting away from work on a weekday afternoon.  And, of course, given my impulsive human nature, I test the limits of the tank and am surprised to find that despite shaking a leg or moving an arm, I don’t drown (you can feel the floor of the pod with your elbow); it is a welcome stretch for sore muscles.

While it took me a while to find my balance, I did enjoy the experience, proceeding slowly as I did. With the thinly-padded neck rest constantly floating away from me, balancing my head with my hands was a constant reminder that I am not attaining nirvana.

However, once you’re out of the chamber (cue exit music), the tobacco-musk shampoo and jam-like conditioner placed in the bathroom are hardly enough to rinse away the thick sediments of salt from your hair. Not to forget, the towel you leave outside will be cold from all the air conditioning.

The pods have been imported from Canada and I’m told they are all the rage for those looking for an alternative spa experience in the city. While a 60-min float costs you Rs 2,995, a 90-min float is priced at Rs 3,995.

Would I have attempted this had I not been invited? Maybe not. But if you don’t mind coughing up the price, the experience is worth a shot.

Disclaimer: TNM was invited by Chennai Floats to review the floatation therapy. We do not have a business relationship with the establishment however.

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