Floating at Brighton spa a surreal experience

People coming into the Araaragot Center for Harmonic Consciousness at 201 Brighton First Road can expect only one thing — to float. 

The center, nestled on a quiet Brighton Beach side street, offers the unique experience of flotation therapy in what Araaragot describes as a “unique one of a kind sensory deprivation cabin… specifically designed” to help those who immerse themselves in the experience to relax, heal and become in harmony with their environment.

Everything about the experience is carefully arranged to maximize the benefits. According to Araaragot, the flotation cabin is filled with “a dense 75 percent solution of Epsom salts and body temperature water providing a combination of exclusive skin care and zero gravity experience.” Sessions, they say, “can take place in complete darkness and silence,” or can include audio, high-frequency wave effects or light and color impulses.

From the moment you walk in, the experience envelops you. Taking off their shoes, guests — who shower before entering the flotation cabin — have access to a lounge which includes a wraparound couch and shag carpeting both before and after their appointment.

After a short tour, visitors may as well feel like they are in a spa, continuing into a back room where pictures of the cosmos are blown up on the wall. That section is laden with mats to keep you from slipping, and houses a single chair and a hook to keep your belongings safe.

Once in the flotation cabin, reclining into the water is practically an automatic reflex, mostly because the body-temperature water is dense with Epsom salt and oils meant to revitalize your health.

Away from the outside world, your body is slowly but surely deprived of its senses in a pleasant and warming atmosphere. It feels like floating in a warm ocean, completely exhilarating and altogether calming as you slowly lose the awareness of the space and your limbs one by one.

Because the outside world is excluded, participants’ focus generally shifts to their body’s most basic functions of exhaling and inhaling. Expect to clear the mind, and feel the muscles relax without gravity being a part of the picture. Skin is smoother and there is less stress as the session comes to an end, with a 15-minute light show meant to bring the mind and body back to full consciousness and awareness.

A calm and gentle voice will wake patrons if they fall asleep, a reminder that it is time to make your way back from the sanctuary of sensory deprivation.

Exiting the tank is a little bit of a different story. Regaining awareness of your body as you exit the tank is dependent on how much you allowed yourself to relax, and it may take time to become reacquainted with your body and its surroundings.

For that reason, it is important to exit the tank slowly as you make your way to the shower to wash away the substance in the water. Because the space is padded, guests can make their way reassured from the cabin to the shower and then to their clothes — carrying the calm energy from the experience with them.

Afterward, self-servings of coffee and tea are available to guests. With their senses about them, the walk from there to their next destination is filled with observations of people, places and noises typically ignored beforehand.

That said, the experience is very dependent on the individual, and benefits those who take part only to the extent that the process works. It is a feeling guests can look forward to experiencing over and over, and the benefits increase, according to Araaragot, every time you go.

Araaragot Center for Human Consciousness

201 Brighton First Road

Brooklyn, NY 11235

718-404-8867; 347-210-2838

by appointment


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