Zen Float

Kelli Hastings

Yoga Lawyer

Lee interviews Kelli Hastings who owns Total Zen Float to discuss the healing benefits that can be achieved using Float pods. Kelli Hastings is the owner of Total Zen Float in Orlando FL and is also known as the The Yoga Lawyer.

 Hi Everybody. Lee here with seasons ebb and flow channel. And today I am going to be interviewing Kelly. And Kelly owns a studio that has these float pods. And I got the opportunity to experience floating for the first time. And so I wanted to interview her and learn a little bit more about because it was such an unusual experience for me and relaxing and really different ways than anything I’ve done before. And so I thought most people probably don’t know about floating pods and what they are, and so I wanted to share some great information about them. So but I’m going to introduce let Kelly introduce herself and tell us a little bit about how you even found float. 

 So, yeah, Hi, I’m Kelly Hastings, also known as the yoga Lawyer. So I am a yoga attorney and I own total Zen float, which is the sensory deprivation float and the yoga studio in Central Florida. And I bought it in 2018 from the prior owners. I had been floating there for years. I started floating there back in 2014 and to younger guys on the way, just one of them ended up in the other one in law school, and it was it needed some work, like one of the tank rooms, needed some repairs, and they were just kind of like, let it go. And one thing led to another, one thing led to another. Never thought I would own a float and yoga studio, but then I did. And it’s it’s pretty sweet. I mean, it started because I just love floating and I thought maybe I could just get one of their tanks, like, I don’t have anywhere to put it. But then, you know, there was a lot of people I felt like it still needed this resource at this places. And then it’s almost got like its own energy and desires. Like it didn’t it wasn’t ready to leave. So I ended up stepping in and like I said, I’ve owned it about four years now and I really I use it. I try to go at least once a week and float like a talk a little bit more about that.

Yeah. So when my experience was finding that getting to float in water like I love water, I love going in my pool, I love taking baths. So for me, water is definitely like very seething and calming. And this was so different because you don’t have to make any effort to float.

How is the what is it about the water? Like what’s in there that lets you I mean, I’m assuming it’s salt, but like, yeah.

It’s super buoyant. They said it’s like the Dead Sea, it’s Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate, which is really good for your skin. But also the benefits have been known for probably thousands of years about what it can do for, you know, your muscles and your joints and helping the body. So yeah, it’s filled with each pod is filled with about 200 gallons of water and £1,000 of Epsom salts with a half a ton of super thick like this. Yes, you can almost feel it on the skin. Notice like when you touch the salt.

 Oh, yeah. It’s ever feels like a little bit of a slickness.

So because of that you’re super buoyant so it requires no effort to float. We get some people who say, I can’t swim, I can’t float. And I’m like, You will float in here. It’s impossible not to float. And then they say they go and try to float in a pool or the ocean. And now they can because they discovered that buoyancy.

And that feeling of letting yourself relax in water completely without feeling like you have to do anything to stay.

So, and I mean, I sometimes put Epsom salts in my back so you get the benefit of the Epsom.

Salt that on steroids like take it to a thousand like Epsom salt baths. Accelerated.

So I have a video I think I took just of the room. So maybe I’ll integrate this that entered into this video somehow, because I think it’s hard for people to visualize, like, what this must be like. But I’ll explain. It’s like almost imagine one of those pods that people.

Call Rivers back to. Imagine.

I’ve gotten used to him doing that. It’s like if somebody walks by or whatever. Okay, imagine one of those on a like sun sauna that people use to go tan. But instead of just the tan machine, it’s water that’s only like this deep or so. And it’s like warm and and it has a lid that you close. So you’re in like, this pod and you can turn on a light in there and you can turn on music. It’s all inside the pod. You have options and you just lie optimally in the dark. And they call it depth sap, like sensory deprivation. And what are what are some of the benefits of sensory deprivation?

So, I mean, sensory deprivation in that first of all, it’s dark and you do have a light option, like you said. So, you know, the eyes are now muted, your eyesight, your earplugs, and it’s pretty soundproof in there anyway. Not soundproof, but it’s quiet. No, no, no sight, no hearing. And then even the water is kept at skin temperature, which is a little warmer or a little cooler than body temperature. So that’s almost like your your skin and you’re in the water. You don’t know where the skin ends and the water begins. It is sensory deprivation. It’s pulling the senses inward. It’s actually an ancient yoga practice where the senses are withdrawn inward, and then you can really start to notice things in your mind and body. So it’s got a lot of physical benefits, of course, from the Epsom salt joints, from chronic inflammation. But then just the act of being in this environment where there’s no sensory stimulus, you know, all day we’re stimulating our senses, but we’re driving in their cell phones and screens and, you know, it’s just it’s not calms. Our quietness is it’s a very different experience in our society right now. So it it lets you go inward and it’s very mentally beneficial then also spiritually. So it’s like the three and it’s kind of whatever you want. Like, you know, if you just want the physical benefits, you’ll get it. Like it’s impossible not to when you’re laying in Epsom salt for an hour, but if you want to go deeper, bring it as a meditation practice or a way to connect or calm the mind. It’s there for you to do that too.

. You know, it’s really interesting because and I realized that I am good at calming my body in my mind through yoga because there’s movement and something for me to focus on because it’s either my breath or the posture and adjusting little minor things in the posture. But I and I don’t have a meditation practice, and I have always thought I wanted to start one. And in there, like I was like very chill for like the first 15 minutes. But I realized that I don’t have meditation practice at all for coming and being still and slowing everything down for more than 15 minutes. And I mean, I would just I was just kind of like playing that in there. So I was like, okay, so it’s like bouncing off the walls, a little stuff, floating, kind of like playful. But and then I kind of like, would splash the water. So I think, you know, for somebody who thinks there’s no way I can lie still for 45 minutes or whatever, there’s it’s interesting. It’s challenging. If you don’t it’s like, I think something that for some of us who are used to having a lot going on, it’s it’s a good way to challenge yourself and explore and try and then see how long you can really do it for, until you need to start bouncing around in there totally.

I mean, it’s a practice and we were saying that before. We are recording about how, you know, the more you do it, the better you get at it. But it’s okay to do things in the tank, too. And we’ve even got like all of our close associates are well versed in. Giving people things like little practices, like there’s breath practices, body scans, you can even stretch and do some yoga postures in. They’re okay if you can’t sit still. But some people go in there and they fall asleep and they don’t even realize that they have no intention about happening. Wow. You’re out. Yes, whatever you need. And it’s different day to day. So you might do it again. Maybe at the end of the day and you’re more tired and realize that you’re a lot more easy to relax, but you bring to it, you’re going to get a good benefit. Because just being in essence for that long and I give you a break and then I do it, the more you’re able to get calm and relax the mind quicker.

Yeah. How, how did you like happened upon ICS? It’s not like it’s very prevalent now. They are out.

So I started floating. That was January 2014 was my first float, so I recently got like an anniversary email. We do that and since I’m in the system as we go anniversary reference work, but I saw it like a friend of mine recommended it, like another kind of yoga like person who’s into those type of explorations and said, You got to try this. And they had a Groupon at the time. And so I bought the Groupon and, and went and were just like mind blown. And I used to write a blog. And so I was writing, I wrote about it on my blog and they posted it. And then I ended up developing a relationship with them where I was kind of writing their stuff and doing some videos for them in exchange for floats. So I was like floating all the time.

Nice. And so you’re Float Studio is attached to a yoga studio.

] Yeah, it’s both. So it’s they started when they got it. They just have the two float rooms because we’ve got to float tanks. And then they expanded and bought the yoga side and then I actually back in, I think it was 2015 or 16, help them sort of start their yoga program. So I’ve been involved with it the whole time. And I didn’t become the owner until a couple of years ago. But so it’s it’s connected. It’s the same thing. But it is kind of it was a separate suite of the building. So it’s kind of the yoga side and the float side, but they’re all this little Zen float.

Okay. And do you teach at the studio?

] I do. I do a teacher training and then I do with my apprentices. We have like regular practices. I have like a group and we’ll go up there and and practice. And anybody who’s interested can schedule private sessions with me or those meet meetups on my website. There’s more info, but I don’t, I don’t teach like additional lead class. But we do have all those and we’ve got several teachers who all who teach, you know, regular LED yoga classes there.

Okay, cool. And how long like when I did it, it was about 45 minutes. Is that standard?

It’s supposed to be an hour. I hope you go.

Oh, maybe it was an hour and I.

And you get it. You get it. You’re scheduled for like a 90 minute block. We usually do 60 minute or 90 minute floats, but we do offer two hour and even overnight.

But only got real.

Yeah Overnights. Amazing. That’s a that’s a whole other experience.

Whoa. You’ve done an overnight in there.

I have not, but I’ve posted many of the longest I float that I can float is like 3 hours. But interestingly that’s usually what happens with overnight is I’ll do like you get 8 hours, we’ll do like three or 4 hours. They’ll get up, go maybe use the restroom, get a snack or something, use the yoga room, meditate or do some yoga and then get back in. So usually it ends up being like two sessions. Although we have one lady you could go straight through.

Wow. Like she just sleeps or night. Floating

It’s sort of energizing. So, like, after 3 hours, you just, like, feel awake. All right, I’m good to go. They say it’s like the equivalent, like one hour in the tanks, the equivalent of like, I don’t I don’t remember the ratio of, like 4 hours of sleep or something. So. Whoa. To be like, a deeper breaths.

Yeah. Okay. I definitely need to try it again and see, it’s like, really chill, you know? Was in the middle of the holiday season, so it’s just busy and exciting, you know, you’re you’re amped up. So I probably need to mentally prepare to be super chill and.

And some things to do in the tank. And if you’re you know, if you’re not able to be chill, that’s okay, too. I would say maybe do a little later in the day.

Yeah. And I think if I do something really physical in the morning, so so that my body, like, really does want to rest. Yeah. I’ve been working with like yoga Nedra and doing body scans and stuff and I think my mind was just too amped up to like, really slow down. But it made me realize like, okay, this is a practice that I need to build a little bit more strength. And as far as calming, yeah, and it was interesting the whole time. Potter. I was imagining it was going to be like super warm. I guess in my mind’s eye. I was like, Oh, I’m going to go take a nice hot bath, but get out. And so the temperature was an interesting surprise for me that it was like body temperature almost or a little cooler.

Yeah. And we can adjust it a little bit because if you tend to be cold, which I am, I usually there’s two little tricks. I have one that I turn the fan off in the room because you get yeah, if you are in, you get a little airflow in the sides. The other tank oasis you don’t but in Genesis will airflow. So if you turn that off in the room, that is cooled and then we can sneak it up a degree or two, but we don’t want to turn it to hot because when it gets uncomfortable, it’s there’s just a little bit of a window of where you can be, you know, the cooler edge or the warmer edge, but it’s only like a two or three degrees.

So I was going to say, you can actually if you like yoga, Nedra, we can do this. We can play that in the tank like you can play like a whole recording. Or if you have it on your phone, the Oasis has Bluetooth. We could just you’ve got a meditation if you want to do something, like if you if it’s better to have kind of like a guided meditation. 

yeah. That’s what I’ve been doing A lot of it’s the guided yoga. Need your body up again and it’s, it’s, that’s the first thing that I found that I can like lie still. And of course, my mind still goes but I can bring it back. And and I really noticed doing that how much tension I hold in my body without realizing it. And I think that for sure, this is probably something that would help with that as well, to be able to relax into something. But without the traditional support of the ground beneath you, it’s like a whole different sensation for sure.

Yeah. What are some of the the regulars like is it for different Some people come more for the physical benefits. What are some of the different.

So yeah, I can give you a little picture like because we have a couple of floaters who come like almost every day or four times a week and then, you know, we get people that come twice a month or once a month or once a week. We’ve got kind of a range. But one of our floaters who comes almost every day is a veteran who has degenerative disease, and he comes first thing in the morning. And it really helps him, you know, go on with his day. I think it also benefits like PTSD. I mean, I know what benefits those things. But for him, I think it helps him specifically in that way, too. But he’s definitely coming more because he can’t function without like like he uses you know, he was using like assistive devices to walk. And it really just made such a difference for him as a company That’s one of them.

Yeah. So we there’s a program with veterans and floating where they try to pair veterans with different float tanks around the United States. And it was I was hearing about it and I was contacted by them before the pandemic and we were setting it up. And I haven’t heard much sense. So I don’t know if it’s vital, but I say got to say there’s a lot of evidence science based about the benefits for PTSD and also for, you know, any kind of chronic injury. Yeah, but then to look to another floater who came was coming every night. He was coming in the morning. She had lost her father. Right. Right before she started floating. And it’s been about two years now. And it really helped her get through the grief. And, you know, of course, grief is ongoing, but it really during that acute stage was beneficial to her in that way. So you get those those are just two little examples. And of course, I try to float every week, mainly as like a meditative practice, but also body. I do a lot of active stuff and sometimes I’m like, I just need a float. Like, I’m sor kind of like, Right.

yeah. That’s awesome. Well, I’m really excited to integrate just a few pictures and videos while we’re talking into this final videos that people who’ve never even seen this concept can get a picture of what it’s like.

I’ve got some pictures too, if you need, like, you know, from our web. Yeah. 

Okay. That would be great. Yeah. The the closest I could. It’s like trying to give people an idea is like, imagine floating in a pool, but you have, like, a pool noodle, like, or a float underneath you, but you’re in the water, like, absolute. That’s like a mesh float, and you’re just lying there. It has a similar feel to that. Yeah.

Because it doesn’t feel like it almost feels like a solid thing. You feel a lot more supportive than you do in regular water. Yeah. Look sort of like a. Hot tub with a lid on it like it’s bigger than a U.S. tanning bed, but it’s like, you know, whiter, too. And then it. Yeah, cause it’s not it’s not solid. So you get the sensation of being water, but it feels a lot more. Yeah. Like there’s probably a good way to say it. Kind of like if you’re floating on one of the.

Yeah. Right. Um, well, in the video links, I’ll post links to your studio and some pictures and. Yeah, I guess if anybody has more questions about it, they can reach out to you. I’ll put some information in there for them to be able to have direct contact. But for anybody who’s considering different modalities for a relaxation, this is just a really neat experience to try. And I think it’ll either it either works for some people or it doesn’t. You either love it or you’re like.

Good experience and move on to find the right thing for you. So. But I thank you for your time for letting me try that. It was I think I’m going to give it another try because I want to I want to work on my meditation practice. And this, I think, would be a good way to challenge myself with it.

It’s just not easy. Yeah, well, thank you. You’re welcome. I’ll see you soon. All right. 

 I’m about to try the float sense deprivation tank for an hour. I just climb in, turn off the light and float in the salt water with earplugs and do like a body scan. And chill out. So we’ll see on the other side of relaxation. So I just got out of my time doing, like, that cleansing thing. I got a shower and got dressed, and I feel pretty good. It was. It was really unusual to say it was so different than anything I’ve ever tried. I got a tiny bit bored towards the end, but I think that’s a sign that I need to be better at meditating and selling out. And you don’t have to worry if you get a little water in your eye. There’s a spray bottle in there. And I did, and the spray bottle works, so I put it out for you. That was just because I was reaching over and sort of for no reason. It was it was my mistake. You’re not going to get saltwater in your eyes easily. I feel good now. And floating is really a unique feeling. So if you have any curiosity, give it a try. I didn’t feel any like claustrophobia. You closed the lid. A turn off the light. And there’s music if you want. I tried both. I like music, actually, but I did float around for a while. I would, like, kick in. Oh, you know what I really like is the water is kind of like liquidy, not liquidy, silky feeling. And I would like splash water on myself and then rub it over me because I really like the synthy. So that was probably my favorite part. But go float.