PhinneyWood is full of wonderful people and great places that we all wish we knew more about. Resident Kevin Kozel periodically digs deeper to let us know more in a column we like to call … Hi Neighbor!
These days it seems we’re all looking for ways to relax, heal, or unplug. It’s getting harder and harder to find ways to escape without the possibility of being interrupted. Why not take a float? While floating has been growing in popularity over the past few years, it’s actually a concept that has been around for quite some time. Having experienced it myself, I can attest to the soothing escape it can create, but there are multiple benefits that the activity can offer.
Andrew Loppnow, one of the co-owners of Float Seattle, recently opened a new location in PhinneyWood. I recently caught up with Andrew to ask him some questions about floating, what it can do for you, and what to expect from his latest location.
Kevin Kozel (KK): You just opened a new location on 85th Avenue, but you’re also the owner of all Float Seattle locations now, is that right?
Andrew Loppnow (AL): Yes, my business partner Dean and I are operating owners. We work shifts at all three of our studios on top of all of our duties behind the scenes. I’ve worked for Float Seattle for almost five years and Dean was a member for a while. The two of us had an opportunity to take over the business from the founder last year, so we found a way to make it happen. We’ve had a busy year learning the ropes and making lots of improvements along the way. It’s a lot of hard work running these float centers, but we love what we do!
KK: And how many locations are there now?
AL: The first one started in Greenlake in 2012. There is a second in Bellevue which opened in 2015. This Greenwood location is the third one. We recently took over a previous float business that was in this spot. It’s our biggest float center with six tanks. The others have four.
KK: It’s certainly the biggest site I’ve seen.
AL: Its size opens up a lot of possibilities for us. While floating is our main focus, we also host community events once a month. For example, we just offered a gong meditation here a few weeks ago and are beginning to offer team-building workshops and other things. We aim to be a wellness hub for the Seattle community, promoting and educating people on anything related to meditation, pain management, stress relief, etc. We’re really excited about what where we’re at, but also what Float Seattle can become. Floating by itself is amazing, but we look forward to offering more and more value through these other offerings.
KK: So tell us more about the experience of floating.
AL: Sure. There are many shapes and size of float tanks, but the experience is generally always the same. There is about 10 inches of water with 1,000 pounds of Epson salt, which is what allows you to float effortlessly in the water on your back. It’s heated to body temperature. The pods have a light and the ability to play music, however we recommend turning off the light and floating in silence. There are really two components; the salt allows negating of gravity and has a natural anti-inflammatory effect which relieves pressure on your joints and muscles, and there is the reduction of sensory inputs created by the skin-temperature water and the lack of light and sound which creates the relaxing environment.
Our bodies spend so much energy processing the world with every waking minute. It’s incredible what can happen when you take most of that away! The experience essentially hits the reset button on your nervous system. It’s very effective in reducing stress, aches and pains, and just providing a space for relaxed introspection and meditation. It’s definitely strange at first, but many people find it to be one of the most relaxing experiences they’ve ever had.
KK: How do you prepare your clients for their first float?
AL: We give you a very thorough walkthrough on your first visit and make sure we go over the common questions and fears that people might have. That’s something I think we do a really good job of. It’s really important to set people up so they aren’t thinking about all of the things that could keep them from relaxing. We aren’t going to just throw you in a tank and forget about you.
Each guest has a private room with a tank and a shower, and you’ll shower before and after the float session. We provide everything that you’ll need. The session itself is an hour, but you should allow 90 minutes for the whole experience for showering and taking a moment to drink some tea on the couch after your float.
KK: Having floated myself, do you explain that it can take a few floats before your body start to accept it?
AL: Yes, it really takes two or three times for someone to really get comfortable with floating, get over the novelty aspects, and start to understand how it might help them in their life. It’s important to be forward with the educational component and make it less of a sales pitch. If you really want to decide if it’s for you or not, then you really owe it yourself to experience it three times to see what it can do for you. One float is certainly relaxing and interesting, but the benefits really do compound with multiple sessions.
KK: What plans do you have available for people looking to give floating a try?
AL: We have lots of options, but the introductory rate is $39 (regularly $69). We also offer a three-pack for $135. For our standard memberships it’s $54 per month. That gets you one float and then all additional floats are $35. You max out at $229 per month, so once you reach that all additional floats are free. We also offer floating Happy Hour Monday through Thursday until 3 pm at the $39 introductory rate for all floats. The membership can also be used at any of our three locations and is super flexible in regard to cancellations and pausing.
To get signed up for your first float, or for more information on the activity of floating, you can stop by Float Seattle at 111 NW 85th Street or visit their website at www.floatseattle.com.
Any person, place, or thing you want to know more about in our neighborhood? Feel free to drop us a line or leave a comment and we’ll look into making it a future feature on Hi Neighbor!