Drifted around in an anti-gravity tank for an hour.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would turn out.

Let’s start with Palm Ave itself – it’s a place near Siglap that’s run by one guy – Derrick. Step in and you’ll already feel relaxed. Nothing chichi about it all, it’s a pretty plain set up, but nicely designed. In the middle of the space is a living-room like area with 2 very comfortable, white sofas and further behind that is a “co-working space” – that is, a jamming studio, brainstorm area and kitchen. There are two rooms with two pods (I’m not actually sure what they’re called but I’ll call them pods).

So you’ll sign a release form (don’t worry, nothing life-threatening… you technically can’t drown), and you’ll get ushered into a room where Derrick will explain how to operate the pod.

Random picture of this set of pictures. Thought it was a nice touch.

So each room basically has a pod and a shower facility. You’re supposed to shower before getting in and shower after getting out. There’s a red button and a blue button – the blue one turns off the light inside, and the red one is an emergency button… if you press it, Derrick mentioned he’ll come to your rescue. After explaining everything, he leaves the room, says “see you on the other side”, and then closes the door.

Soap, shampoo, conditioner and towels, all provided!

You’re encouraged to switch off all lights before entering the pod, and once you’re in, to switch off the pod light as well.

Entering the pod while the light was still on, I lay down…

and I felt like a precog from Minority report.

See, same same.

I’ll divide the experience into phases –

Phase 1: Trying to relax

It took a while for me to really relax – it isn’t often your body floats on water, and it sure takes getting used to. I guess this would be what floating in the dead sea would feel like. Or your mother’s amniotic sac.

I take that back, because babies usually look scrunched up under there. The pod’s pretty spacious actually! I was initially unconsciously a little tense, especially at the neck because you kind of want to rely on yourself to support it, but then I consciously let go.

And it felt wonderful.

I then focused on my breathing, then I drifted into…

Phase 2: Daydreaming

The brain then slows down, apparently this is common, I found it very bizarre, because in this state, the stuff that comes into mind is just strange. For me it started with a series of very strange cartoons. I don’t quite remember what followed. But nothing was serious, and thoughts kept changing like someone was flicking through hundreds of cable tv channels. I remember thinking, this is a damn good way for creatives to train thinking out of the box, because the thoughts that came to mind were nothing that could be anchored in reality, or achieved by any kind of brainstorm matrix.

But on hindsight, I don’t remember anything from the float. I just know it was bizarre.

Phase 3: Complete Relaxation

‘Nuff said about this. My mind ran its course and got tired also, so there was nothing left to think about. Instead, I focused on the heightened senses I had. Didn’t put in earplugs so I could hear some faint thud-thudding, I could feel the warm currents flowing under me, and I could even feel the water level against my skin. To just be with yourself, shut off from the world with nothing to look at or listen to was bliss. (Nina said she smiled)

But after a while, I moved on to

Phase 4: Restlessness

Unlike Nina who managed to find peace, stillness and Nirvana in that entire hour, I started feeling restless after a while. That’s when I started exploring the limits to which I could float – I’d tense up to pretend I was a plank, then experiment with moving different body parts, experimented with different angles of tilting, hand placements, leg placements etc. There came a point I was doing core exercises.

Finally the music came back on, which signaled the end of the session, and I crawled out and bathed and came out of my room all salt free and relaxed.

Derrick then serves you watermelon as a refresher. There’s a guest book of sorts that’s on the table outside where people leave their thoughts after they’re #freshfromthefloat. It’s interesting reading through them – people have seriously different experiences in the pod. Derrick mentioned that the whole experience is like “a legal way to get high”… stuff you see are a manifestation of your mood and what you’re thinking about. Apparently sometimes people leave laughing uncontrollably.

Mwahaha.

Would I come again? Definitely. I felt even more relaxed than after getting a massage, and on weeks where I feel like life and work are batshit cray I can imagine that this is a great way to reset my mind and body. It’s not cheap though. Nina and I shared an intro package which adds up to $55 a session. Otherwise, it’s $70 per 1hr float. Cheaper than a beach holiday I guess. Would recommend this to people who appreciate silence and time alone.

Palm Ave Float Club
20 Waringin Park, Singapore 416333
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm

Call +65 91516004 to make an appointment
or book online: http://palmavefloatclub.com/booking

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