Rest Nest Float Club in Yorkville, TorontoSunday, July 12, 2015
Is it just me or is there a new trend popping up in the health and wellness industry? I'm sure many of you are aware of the benefits of bathing in saltwater pools but now there's a new saltwater experience that is taking rest and relaxation to a whole new level. They call it floating. No, it has nothing to do with root beer floats or the kind you find at Carabana. Float therapy is a zero gravity escape into a float pod where sensory inputs are eliminated and your body feels completely weightless. When I first read about floating, the idea of being enclosed in complete darkness in a pod wasn't so appealing. Yet, being able to experience complete relaxation in a weightless environment intrigued me. Then, as if they had read my mind, I received a gift card from Rest Nest Float Club located in Yorkville here in Toronto. Now I had no excuse. I had to try it!
Rest Nest Float Club, located at 21 Yorkville Avenue, opened earlier this year in a newly renovated space located just across from Toronto Fire Station 312 and the Yorkville Library. The multi-level unit features a relaxing waiting room on the main floor and a beautiful spiral staircase leading up to a mini bar area.
To the right is a gorgeous open space basked in natural light thanks to the large windows that face Yorkville Avenue. The beautiful cork flooring was specifically selected as it provides warmth and quiet, and is highly suitable for yoga classes and their monthly Urban Retreats. Beyond the doorway, you will find three float rooms and a bathroom.
Each room has a float pod and a shower. I booked Room 3, which happens to be their smallest room and I found it was a bit cramped for my taste. Before you begin your float, which is an hour in length, it is recommended you use the loo then use the shower. They provide soft wax ear plugs which they suggest using prior to your shower to create a water-proof seal around the outermost part of your ears. Once you're all set, you turn off the lights in the room and enter into the pod, which remains lit until you manually turn off the light. The pod itself is quite large and much more spacious than I had previously imagined. It is filled with ten inches of warm water and 850 pounds of dissolved magnesium salts. After you have entered the pod, you lower the hatch, which is suspended by hydraulics and does not lock, making it easy to open. If it's your first float, you could leave the light on as it adds a beautiful glow in Chakra colours. But I highly recommended turning it off by using the blue button on the right. You can always turn it back on whenever you feel the need. In the slight chance you get saltwater in your eyes, there is a spritz bottle of fresh water and a towelette inside the pod. Music plays to signal the end of your float and you have a few minutes before the water begins to filter.
The Floating Experience
Lying weightless in your own private pod surrounded by complete silence and utter darkness is unlike anything I have ever felt before. I remained in Savasana or corpse pose for the entire hour and focused on breathing and relaxing my neck. I also had to adjust to the feeling of the ear plugs, which I've never worn before. Initially, lying in the pod was somewhat disorienting and it felt as though I was slowing spinning in a clockwise direction. I panicked slightly because I thought I wouldn't be able to locate the light button in the dark if I wasn't in my initial position but then I reached out to touch either side of the pod and was reassured. Logically so since the pod is oblong in shape. At one point, it felt like I was floating in space and kind of like I was disconnected from my limbs, as weird as that may sound. I imagine this is what it would feel like being suspended in jello. Once the music began to play, I started to wiggle my toes and fingers, and awaken my body. I turned the light back on, opened the pod and rinsed off in the shower, feeling completely relaxed.
- You shouldn't drink coffee right before a float and depending on the time you have booked, eat only a light meal an hour to an hour and a half before your float.
- They recommend not shaving or waxing beforehand since the salt can irritate your pores. I did, however, and only noticed a slight tingling sensation that went away within in a minute or so.
- Floating is safe for pregnant women but if you are in your third trimester or you have any concerns, you should always consult your physician.
- They recommend that you wear only your birthday suit when floating but I felt more comfortable in a bathing suit.
- Towels, soap, shampoo and conditioner are provided for you and there is a separate room with blow dryers. You will need to bring your own comb or hair brushes.
- You can help yourself to water located on a refreshment table as you leave the rooms, or lounge at the bar post-float.
- Floats can be booked as early as 10:30am and as late as 9:00pm.
- It costs $100 per float but you can buy multiple float packages at a lower rate.
- You can learn more about the Urban Retreat at Rest Nest by visiting adamboltonyoga.com.