“Spinning It” with Yale Vannoy Podcast: Floating 101

I got a special podcast today. In Episode 32, I’m going to discuss my last 2 floating experiences. Yes, that’s what I said, floating experiences. What is floating? I’m going to read this from where I floated at iSofloat here in San Antonio. It’s a new float lab that just opened up.

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Speaker 1:
Let’s welcome the Colonel!

Yale Vannoy:
Hello hello hello. What’s up boys and girls? Episode 32 of Spinning It is brought to you by Foldies, foldies.com. Use the code-phrase YVQB at checkout to receive 25% off your next Foldies order. What are Foldies? Well the original Foldies are a new fold on classic sunglasses. We take the timeless look of your favorite sunglasses and add some hinges to make folding sunglasses that easily store in any pocket, and can be worn in any situation you find yourself in. Trust us. They mean any situation.
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I got a special podcast today. In Episode 32, I’m going to discuss my last 2 floating experiences. Yes, that’s what I said, floating experiences. What is floating? I’m going to read this from where I floated at iSofloat here in San Antonio. It’s a new float lab that just opened up.
It says, “What is floating, or a float room? A float room, also known as a sensory deprivation, or isolation tank, is a 6-foot wide by 8-foot long by 7-foot high tank with a large access door for entry, and filled with about 10 inches of water and around 1,000 pounds of high-pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salt allowing the user to escape the effects of gravity and float like a cork. The water is heated to skin temperature, 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The float rooms are totally enclosed producing a light- and sound-proof environment. Floating has been commonly described as similar to relaxing in outer space or being back in the womb. It’s like no other experience in the world.”
I couldn’t agree with that more. I’ve been wanting to float for almost 2 years now. I heard about floating by listening to the Joe Rogan experience podcast, and he talked about a guy named Crash who has a place called, I guess, The Float Lab. It’s in Venice. Then he talked about another really, really great floating area in Austin. Getting all the way to Austin from San Antonio for an hour-long float and then coming back, just was really kind of out of the way. I knew I wanted to do it, but then I heard that San Antonio was opening up a float tank. Actually my wife let me know about this. Needless to say, I was very excited. I signed up early before the float spa even opened up. That’s kind of what I equate it to. It is really like a spa. I’m going to take you guys step-by-step of my first float experience.
I drive up to iSofloat. iSofloat’s located kind of on the northwest side of San Antonio really close to the UTSA campus. I’m pumped up. It’s a Sunday morning. I believe it’s like 10am, and I don’t know what to expect, but I’ve heard all these amazing things, like people saying, “You’re feeling like you’re floating in outer space. You can go into a deep meditation state. You come out so relaxed. You’re able to kind of work out problems in your mind, just leave everything behind, and just be present in the moment.” Some people fall asleep. The Epsom salt with the magnesium is great for aches and pains, which I’ve got a torn [inaudible 00:07:41] in my shoulder, I’ve got a ruptured disc in my neck. My body’s just, muscles are always kind of tired from all the work I do out on the field. I was really looking forward to everything; the physical healing, the mental healing, the relaxation. I was pumped up. It sounds like it’s something that was meant for me.
I show up 10am, walk to the doors. Immediately loved the feel of iSofloat. It just had that spa feeling as soon as I walked in, very relaxing. They take me to a changing area. The changing area has restroom, it has lotions, and shaving creams, and mirrors, and all sorts of stuff. Anyway I get my locker, load up my clothes in the locker, put on a bath robe, slip on some shower shoes. They first take me to kind of a room with massage chairs. They’ve got massage chairs in here. It’s dark. It has like some blue lighting in there. They’ve got some hot tea. They’ve got some cold ice water for you to sit back, relax. They put me into this nice, big leather massage chair. I think I sit in there for about 10 minutes, and just start getting worked on. This thing’s doing some great work on me. Feels good. Just kind of getting me ready.
I finish up with my 10 minutes in the chair. Then the lady showed me back to my float room. I’m getting pumped up, right? They probably, I don’t know, I would say they have about 4 float rooms. I might be wrong on that, but I’m just [guestimating 00:09:28] that there’s 4 of these float chambers.
They take me to my room. I walk in, and first thing I notice is directly to the back and to the left is this kind of open shower. The floors are like the stained concrete. Then to my right is this huge kind of futuristic-looking meat locker, maybe. You know how you go to the gas station and you have to open up one of the lockers to get big bags of ice out of it? That’s how it looks except this is streamlined. It was kind of a white color. It has an LCD kind of control station where they I guess punch in everything they needed to punch in on it. The room has this kind of blue lighting to it. The blue-ish kind of gives you this very relaxing feeling. The entire float tank is very, very smooth to the outside. Like I said, it looks like a space-aged meat locker.
They say, “Okay, well first off you got to wash off. Wash off your body any lotions or hair product that you might have, or any of that kind of stuff. Once you’re done with that, you’re free to hop into the float tank.” I finish up getting clean, hang everything up, and they say, “The best way to do it is in the nude.” There we go. We get into the nude. We hop into the … I open up the door. It’s got this blue lighting inside the actual tank, which like I said, it was very relaxing to me. I’m just inspecting everything. There’s a little bit of light, and there’s, yeah, this probably 10-inch layer of water. Even though I heard everyone say, “As soon as you lay down you’re going to float,” for some reason I’m thinking to myself, “It probably won’t work for me. I’ll probably kind of sink, or my feet will fall, or my head will fall.” I don’t know. I just had this negative feeling of, “Maybe this isn’t going to work for me.”
What I was told was I had about 5 minutes to get ready, and then the lights would start dimming into the room, and then my time would start. I signed up for a 90-minute float, so an hour and a half. Now think about that for a little while. When was the last time that you spent an hour and a half doing nothing but relaxing? I’m not talking about sleeping or taking a nap, but 90 minutes to yourself. Not where you’re driving and having to concentrate on traffic. 90 minutes in total dark where you get to meditate. Well, that’s a little intimidating. Some people might say, “Well I don’t know what I would do for 90 minutes. I think I’d go a little stir crazy.” I kind of had those feelings a little bit too, but I was wanting to maximize this experience. I said I was going to try to block out all the negativity, and just really take it step by step, and really try to appreciate this experience because I was so excited about it.
I get in, and I’m excited. I start to kind of lay over on my back, and what do you know? I just go up to this float position. It’s a really big room, so I could stand up in the float tank and my head doesn’t come close to the top of it. I’m stretching out as far as I can with my arms and my legs. I don’t come close to touching the walls or anything. As the lights start to dim … I had to put earplugs in because they say it helps with keeping the salt water out. They also gave me a little towel, like a freshwater towel in case you open up your eyes and you get salt water in your eyes and you want to clean it or whatever. I put the earplugs in, block out any type of noise I can hear, and just it’s total dark, total isolation. I kind of begin this float process.
At first, I didn’t want to move a whole heck of a lot, because I thought I would sink. I would say probably for the first 20 minutes, I had my legs out straight, arms out to the side, head straight up, and I’m just trying not to move. I was telling myself, “Well you’re really tight, and that’s not the point of this. We’re trying to loosen up and relax.” Then I started kind of moving my arms and legs and stuff in different positions to find out what felt best for me. Then I went to hands above the head. I went to one hand above the head, one off to the side, both arms down by the side, reaching my arms out as far as I could just to kind of stretch out. For me, I’ve got kind of a bad left shoulder, like I was talking about torn [inaudible 00:14:38] in my left shoulder, believe it or not, hands above the head, like you’re signalling touchdown, felt really good for my shoulder. I stayed in that position for a little while. Obviously hands off to the side felt pretty good as well.
I found a couple positions that I really liked. Then I started saying, “I’m going to go through a little mantra and just kind of chant it out.” What I’ve heard a lot of people do when they’re doing yoga or doing breathing exercises and stuff like this is they say, “In with the good, out with the bad. In with the good, out with the bad.” It might sound like foo-foo or hippy, but I was willing to give it a shot. It really did help me feel good. I said, “Anytime any outside thought about what was going on at work or home, or what I saw on TV, what’s going on in the news,” I was trying to block any of that out. Anytime any of those thoughts came in, I’d immediately go back to, “In with the good, out with the bad.” For me anyway, it was difficult because I’d sit there and go through that process, and then after about 45 seconds of doing this, your mind wanders, or my mind wanders anyways. Then I’d have to pull it back in.
I would say probably after about 10 minutes of doing this, I got into a very relaxed state. I’m at 45 minutes, so halfway through my float. I got into this very relaxed state where I probably could have fell asleep. I might have even fallen asleep for maybe 5 minutes or something like that which is really difficult for me to do. I’m not a big napper during the day. It takes me a while sometimes to fall asleep in the evening. My brain is just very active and always spinning. I wish I could. I’m jealous my wife can just put her head down on the pillow and pass out for a nap, or when she goes to sleep at night. I’m just so jealous of her having that ability. I didn’t think I would pass out, but I probably did fall asleep maybe for about like I said, 3 to 5 minutes.
Then I’ve heard people say, “If you can fight the urge to fall asleep and just really stay present in that very, very relaxed state, then sometimes you can have these feelings of euphoria. You kind of go into this, I would say like a dream state, hallucination state, dream state. I wanted to try to get that. Did I get it on my first go-around? Maybe a little bit, but I think it was more just really trying to get acclimated, being very excited about the first experience doing it.
Believe it or not, after I floated in and out of consciousness for a little bit, I’d say probably with about 15 minutes left, then my mind started wondering on, “Well when’s this going to be over? When’s my time going to run out?” which I wish I couldn’t do, but I just didn’t have a good, I guess, internal clock of how long 90 minutes was going to be even though my training sessions are 90 minutes long, but I’ve got all that planned out, so I know exactly, I can time that out pretty easy without even looking at a clock, but when you’re in this isolation tank with no sound, no sight, really no feeling at all, you just kind of lose track of time. My last, like I said, 15 to 10 minutes, I just kind of did a lot more of movement and worked on stretching my body out, and stretching different positions, all that stuff like that.
Then when the float is over, the lights will slowly dim up inside of the tank. If you fall asleep and the lights don’t wake you up, then the filter will turn back on as it goes through the filtration process, and that gets loud enough where it will wake you up. I step out of the tank, and really did think to myself, “Wow that 90 minutes went really, really quickly. I want to do this again.” I shower off and go have some hot tea, get back into my street clothes, and I went and met my daughter and my wife for, we had like a church fair, and sat there. I was just in a very relaxed state.
I told the guy at iSofloat, the owner, that I could probably just go pass out and go to sleep. He said, “Yeah, you know a lot of people when they float, they go home and relax, or really don’t do much for a period of time.” Well that don’t work for me. I’ve got a 2-year-old, run my own business and stuff, so the ability to go lay at home all day or just relax all day, that’s like a vacation thing. I don’t get to do that very much, but I really, really enjoyed that first float. Like I said, that was on a Sunday.
I believe it was either a Sunday after that, or 2 Sundays after that, it was either a week or 2 after I went in for my second float. Now I kind of know what’s going on, have an idea of what I want to do, just kind of have a game plan [inaudible 00:20:17] that anytime you try something new, that first experience, you might not be able to make the most of it because you’ve got that excitement of, “Oh it’s new and I don’t know what to expect.” Well now I knew what to expect, so I was going in with a different plan of attack.
As I step in for the second time, I got to a float position very, very easily, and then really, really went right into my mantra of, “This isn’t a new experience anymore, so I’m here to get my relaxation in. I’m here to work out any problems I might be having.” When I say problems, I’m saying just stuff going on through your day, or if you’re wanting to, for myself, generate ideas or think of new drills to do with my quarterbacks, or do stuff I want to do around the house, I set a time out that I was going to think about that kind of stuff.
Then after that was done, I said, “Okay that’s done. I’ve done with working on my creativity. I’m done thinking about the things I want to accomplish. Now we’re going to leave all that behind, let it kind of melt away, and really go into a relaxed state.” Then I think on this second time, that was probably like I said, about halfway through, I know I dozed off at least 2 or 3 times, the second time.
This 90 minutes flew by so much faster than that first time, because I really wasn’t thinking about clock, clock, clock anymore. “Is my clock going to run out?” I really, really did go into a deep, deep relaxation. When the lights starting kicking on, I was like, “Dang that couldn’t have been 90 minutes.” I do wear my watch in, and then I looked down. I was like, “Yeah that was 90 minutes. That was the fastest 90 minutes of my life.” I thought to myself, “Man I should have gone 2 hours or something.” I think they said most people do hour-long floats. I’m not most people, man. I like to kind of do a little bigger. We did 90 minutes.
Man I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed it. I’m going to actually float for my third time this Sunday. I think Sunday’s a good float day for me. I don’t work on Sunday. We normally go to church in the afternoons and get stuff done in the afternoons. We normally relax around the house Sunday mornings. Sunday mornings are going to be my float days. I think I got like a 6-month package. The thing that I’m excited about is that the owners at iSofloat told me that the more you do it, especially when you hit that third to fifth float, the faster you can go into that relaxed state, the faster you can go into that euphoric state. This is my third float, so I’m kind of excited about getting set into it a little quicker.
One of the questions that I got from one of my parents who’s very interested in floating, was this, one of my quarterback’s parents; First of all, you’re floating in water, so if you fall asleep, can you drown? which I thought about a little bit too. The answer is no. What they say at iSofloat is that a lot of people fall asleep while floating as a result of being super relaxed, and maybe over-stressed.
Now they say that the studies show that 1 hour of sleep while floating is equivalent to 4 hours of sleep in your bed. I’ve kind of told myself that I’m going to do my creative thinking, creative process for the first 30 minutes, and then really try to just see if I can knock out for that last hour. I don’t know if it’s going to be possible, but I’m going to give it a shot, because, are you kidding me? Equivalent to 4 hours of sleep? There’s some nights where, we’ve got a baby girl that’s almost 2, where I know I don’t get 4 hours of sleep, I know my wife doesn’t get 4 hours of sleep, so that would be huge. Yeah, at iSofloat they encourage everyone to relax, release any of the worries, and just doze off.
Let me see, I’m reading something real quick. It says, “Each float room contains just 10 inches of salt water, and this solution supports matter, how you might toss and turn in the float pod.” Yeah, that’s what they call them too is a ‘float pod.’ “It’s extremely difficult to accidentally flip onto your stomach, because the salt water causes extreme discomfort in your eyes, nose, mouth, so on and so forth,” so you don’t have to worry about drowning during your float. Here’s the thing: If you’re having problems relaxing, if you’re wanting to meditate, which a meditation is so amazing. I know it helps me. Sometimes I get away from it, but I’m always a better person and in a better place when I do. If you’ve got injuries going on, if your muscles are tight, if you’ve got pains in any way, if you’re wanting to really kind of spark that creative part of your mind, I think those are all really great reasons to try out floating.
I don’t care where you float, you should give it a shot though. One of the things that they told me was that sometimes people jump out of their first float early and say, “On this isn’t for me,” or after their float, they come out and say, “Well I’m not healed, and I didn’t get to relax very much and I didn’t … ” Well, it takes time. It’s a process. That’s why I tell people when they come out to quarterback training all the time that if you’re expecting to come out to the training one time, and then be Tom Brady, that’s not how that works. It’s a process. The more you come out, the better you’re going to get, the more all your muscle memory can set in, and the more complete quarterback you could be.
I’m guessing that’s the same with floating. The more relaxed you get, the more comfortable you get with floating, the deeper you can go into all these different relaxation states. I’ve done everything from massages to chiropractic work. I’ve done [arosti 00:26:31], yoga, I’ve done acupuncture. You name it, I’ve tried it. Physical therapy, everything. Actually I’m going through physical therapy right now. Shout out Foundation of Physical Therapy. I’m having a blast with you guys. You’re all really helping me out. This is one of the things that I’ve really been excited to do. I’m going to keep you guys updated on how my body recovers, what my relaxation is like, if I can get into deeper relaxation states, and just if this is a thing for everyone. Maybe it isn’t a thing for everyone, but I think we can all use some time to ourselves. I think we can all use some time to block out what’s going on in the world and just concentrate and relax, and lower that blood pressure a little bit. For an athlete, I feel like there’s no better thing to get into that relaxed state, and to help your body heal up.
I’m going to give my people at iSofloat a shout out. Go to isofloatsa.com. This is directly from their website: “What is floating? It is relaxation, restoration and recovery like you have never experienced before. Floating, aka ‘float therapy,’ is a tool for pain relief, wellness and relaxation, and it comes with many benefits. Our hectic lifestyles today filled with constant stimulation from cell phones, social media and trying to find, achieve, a work life balance. Float therapy allows our bodies to better equip themselves to deal with all the stress and tension created by our hectic lifestyles. This is possible as floatation therapy decreases external stimuli while placing our bodies in an anti-gravity environment allowing the body to produce natural endorphines that leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as you’ve never experienced before.” That’s pretty cool. It increases the production of endorphines. I like hearing that.
The funny thing is ever since … I’ve been listening to Joe Rogan’s experience for a while and heard him talking about this for probably almost 2 years now. I’ve heard it pop up on other podcasts. I’ve heard it pop up on the news. I’ve seen it in movies. If you guys watch, on Netflix, that show Stranger Things, one of the main characters, the way she would kind of communicate with, this is a Sci-fi show, but the way she would communicate with kind of the other side would be she would go into an isolation chamber, or to a float tank. That’s the way that she could kind of melt away to the other side and talk to the other side. Little geek-out moment there for you. Then I actually saw there’s another float lab opening up off of 1604, 281 area. The fact that these are opening up, I love it. I’m going to be a fan of it. I don’t get anything from iSofloat. They don’t pay me any money to give them any props or anything like that. I just wanted to really share that experience with you. Yeah, give it a shot guys.
When you do, shoot me an email, and let me know how it went. If you go to iSofloat or any of these other floating establishments, put it on social media. Tag me on social media, and tell me how your experience went. Let’s grow this float community. That is it for the day. This is a float-inspired episode. We’re not going to go in football and all of the stuff that we typically go into. Sometimes you just want a short, sweet one. I got you out of here in about 30 minutes. Sometimes this is maybe your commute to work and back, so there you go. I hope you enjoyed it.
All right Spinners, that’s it. Spinning-it swag is now available to purchase. T-shirts, hats, visors, performance wristbands, are all available now through all my other social media outlets. We’ve got sleeveless shirts in now. If you want to do some curls for the girls and show off those guns, suns out guns out. We’ve got the long-sleeve shirts that are just gotten in. Some of them are in North Carolina powder blue which is one of my favorite colors. It’s starting to get a little chilly. For Texas, it’s starting to get in the evening in the 70’s which is great, my type of weather. If you get cold really easy, get one of these long-sleeved shirts. They’re running out fast, so make sure you contact me quickly. Become a part of the Spinning Squad and have the opportunity to wear the same products that your favorite YVQB Academy quarterbacks wear for training and on the game field.
If you want to know more about my quarterback academy, or you’re interested in training with us, you can find me at www.yvqbacademy.com. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. If you’re interested in being one of our sponsors like Impact Mouthguards, MRM and Foldies, you can contact me through my website. Visit impactmouthguards.com, mrm-usa.com, and foldies.com for all your mouthguard, supplement and eyewear needs. Use the code YVQB at checkout for a huge discount on your next purchase. Let’s go, guys. Let’s get on Team Impact, Team MRM, and Team Foldies. Love y’all. [Bay-so’s 00:32:02]. Long live Spartacus. I’m out.

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