It is the very last day of the very last year of the decade. Today, I am simultaneously looking backward and forward. Ten years ago, I was a teenager in high school. I had never left the country (save for a few hours on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls) and I had never lived away from home. Today, I am a “young professional” in Boston. I’ve had many adventures at home and abroad and met many very special people along the way.
This year, instead of staying at home, as per my custom, I am ending the year by going out and trying something new. Have you ever visited a flotation pod, Dear Reader? This experience was a first for both me and my boyfriend. We arrived downtown to an unassuming location in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. The Spa is called G2O and is located on the 3rd floor of its Exeter St. location.
Upon first glance, the place gave off a very clean, professional, and upscale vibe. The hostess took us past the hair salon and showed us up one more flight of stairs. We entered into the “Fireside Lounge,” equipped with an electronic fireplace and inviting milky-colored, leather furniture. There was coffee, tea, and snacks on a side table, as well as a few magazines that somehow matched the color tone of the room.
Before entering the flotation pod, I was instructed to change into a G2O robe and a pair of flip flops. The flotation pod was in a private room with a shower and many towels. Visitors are allowed to change into a disposable swimsuit or simply enter the pod in the nude. Soft music and colored lights emitted from the pod. Visitors can control these features with buttons located inside the pod and speak to a staff member through an intercom system. The water in the pool was warm. The pod could be easily opened and closed. I opted to close the pod and turn out the lights.
I spent the first few minutes trying to align my body correctly. I had an inflatable neck rest, the type one might use on a long flight. The heavily salted water lifts your body from the base of the pod. It’s actually kind of hard to sit normally, it is as if your body wants to lie back. Once my body was in a comfortable position, I then tried to focus my mind. My thoughts ran wild. I was considering the fact that I only had 30 minutes in the pod. What if I squandered these moments of relaxation on unhelpful or stressful thoughts? These thoughts quickly passed though as I instructed myself to instead think about the physical sensation of the experience.
How funny it is to feel totally suspended as if time had just stopped. My body was so still. I am prone to fidgeting and, frankly, feeling generally uncomfortable, however, in the pod, it began to feel as if I stopped feeling. As I stayed in the pod longer the air began to heat up as the water evaporated and the warmth filled the pod. My mind began to drift and wander as if asleep rather than in thought. In fact, there was a moment, when I became conscious of this and could not tell whether I had simply abruptly switched thoughts or had woken up. Not knowing whether I had been asleep was pretty disorienting. I hadn’t been in the pod for long, but the hot air and the gentle rocking of my float made me feel a little woozy. I opted to exit early.
After my float, I quickly rinsed off in the private shower. My skin felt incredibly slimy, yet smooth from the Epsom salts. Prone to dry skin, I applied a generous portion of their eucalyptus body lotion before leaving. Overall, I found this to be a very interesting experience. There is nothing life-changing about floating in the dark, but it was a quirky little way to end the year. It was also very interesting to get to know the spa. G2O deserves all the cliché spa praise: it was relaxing, the staff was so friendly, the ambience was peaceful, etc.
If you decide to try out a flotation pod, Dear Reader, I do have some advice for you:
1. Make sure you are hydrated and have used the restroom beforehand. Any sort of avoidable human discomfort will negatively affect your spa experience.
2. Don’t feel that you must completely close the pod lid. I did, because I thought I wanted the “complete experience” but in actuality, I just kind of overheated myself by blocking the passage of cool outside air.
3. Make sure to thoroughly wash yourself after your float. The salt sticks to your body and hair and is a bit difficult to remove. If you don’t get all of the salt off, you will be left with little patches of white residue after everything dries.
4. Use the lotion after you shower. Your body was covered in salt, your skin will dry out and may become irritated afterward. If you do not listen to anything else, please just remember to use the body lotion.
5. A word of warning. This experience is not for everyone. If you find yourself uncomfortable in closed spaces, you may not enjoy your flotation pod experience (however, please not that you can keep the lid open). Additionally, if you do not fit correctly in the pod (for example you happen to be a very tall or wide individual) you may not feel comfortable in the pod. Lastly, if your skin is irritated by salt (especially, if you have any cuts or skin abrasions), you may not enjoy your pod experience.
I’m glad I took a chance and paid ($65 for 30 mins — yikes!) for the pod experience. Being open-minded about new experiences is something I want to get better at in 2020, so I’m happy I am putting myself in the right frame of mind for the new year. Although I can’t quite remember where I started the decade (probably in my childhood bedroom), I am very happy with where I ended it. I wish you a very happy New Year, Dear Reader, one filled with excitement, hope, love, and enjoyment for all of life’s big and little moments. I hope you find your happiness, tonight, tomorrow, and in the months, years, and decades to come.