The Treatment: Floating Meditation
While Miraval offers Floating Meditation classes several times a week, they were all booked when I arrived, so I opted for a private session with Alysa instead. I do have a meditation practice at home in New York — a combination of Headspace podcasts and visits to a local Vipassana center — but am always looking to expand it and try other versions of meditation.
All classes, whether private or group, take place in the resort’s Agave Center, which has a lovely view of the Catalina Mountains. Whoever leads the meditation also uses crystal chakra bowls which, depending on the time of day, positively glow in the front of the room. It gives the space a very spiritual feel, which I found not only beautiful but very relaxing.
The meditation itself is pretty straightforward. You start by sitting in a silk/spandex “hammock” suspended from the ceiling. I was instructed to close my eyes and to focus on the breath before reclining in the hammock for the duration of the session, which lasted about 45 minutes. The rest was guided by Alysa, and while I managed to stay awake (and trust me, it was HARD), I don’t remember much more than feeling incredibly relaxed. Occasionally she would give my hammock a little push, and I found the rocking/swinging motion very comforting. At one point she placed crystal bowls all around me and played them, one at a time, asking me to focus on which of the seven chakras I felt responding to each. Then she played them again, and told me which chakra each bowl corresponded to, to see if I felt differently. Most of the sounds were pleasant, but not all. Breathing through this type of discomfort is part of any meditation process and practice.
Anyone into meditation who wants to try a different practice, or adventurous newcomers. Please note: contrary to the implications of the name, water is not involved and the class does not take place in a pool.
Anyone who might be claustrophobic, or who is uncomfortable with the idea of lying/being enveloped in and occasionally swinging suspended in sturdy silk/spandex hammock.