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  • Renae Molden

Supporting the nervous system with yoga and flotation therapy


I’ve been teaching at Lizard Yoga \ True Rest Float Therapy for several months now. What I’ve discovered about this amazing place is they are experts in creating environments that support calm. Within one big building, there are containers of comfort and rest. When you open the door the tones and sounds are similar to those when you walk into a library. There is a lounge with a soothing Himalayan salt wall. There are smaller rooms throughout that offer float therapy, massage therapy and contrast pool therapy. And, of course, there is a yoga room. Every room within this building has been thoughtfully designed with rest in mind.


A strong foundation has been laid for us to support shifting our nervous systems to a much calmer place.

The people who work with True Rest and Lizard Yoga all have the expertise to support the client interested in having a deep, restful experience. Let’s take massage as an example. I was able to enjoy one the other day and the draping skills were absolutely perfect. There’s something really elegant about having a skilled massage therapist with impeccable draping skills. It allows us to feel held within the work we are looking to do in shifting our nervous systems to a much slower state. And, we are all there to support this process. Every single practitioner. It’s what we do and it’s how we have chosen to contribute to our community and world.

One of the things I love about teaching at Lizard Yoga is the variety. This isn’t a yoga place that caters to only one population. Veterans enjoy a free float on the 11th day of every month, there is a Women’s Circle every Monday evening, each weekend offers a Sound Bath, private contrast pools and saunas for athletes (Yes! Please!) and they’ve even made some room for Kaiut Yoga. A practice that is not well known here in the U.S.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is how can I contribute to this beautiful place? How does what I do crossover to True Rest and Lizard Yoga clients?


I can support my students in learning and understanding more about their own nervous systems. I can support them in learning, over time, to shift to a much calmer place. I can support them in learning to stay within this inner calm for extended periods of time. And, I can guide them toward allowing this strong mind-body connection to naturally access spontaneous meditation.

Float Therapy also aims to support members and guests in shifting their state. They use what’s called Sensory Deprivation to support their clients. Guests have 8 minutes to prepare for their float. Then, the lights go out completely, the sound is off and the temperature of the salted water helps let go of the body. Then, it’s up to the guest to navigate shifting their own state to a much deeper level.

The tools we use in Kaiut Yoga to move into a similar state are these: Sound, Sensation, Vision, Breath and Balance. Practicing this style of yoga, in my mind, is the perfect way to prepare your nervous system for deep float experiences. It’s a practice you can enjoy between floats using floats as the ultimate test in how quickly you are able to shift your state.

If you resonate with any one of these categories and would like to enhance your experiences in both yoga and float therapy, I’d love for you to join me.

  1. I haven’t tried it or I could’ve had a better experience.” What’s the one thing you avoid that you know would benefit you? It could be better nutrition, drinking more water, exercise or even reading every day. Most of us would agree these things are good for all of us. There are other things more closely connected to the nervous system that many of us tend to avoid. For some it’s therapy. We know on some level it has the potential to benefit us but we don’t go or we avoid it. For some of us it’s trying something new like a float or yoga. Even with research outlining the brain benefits, the idea of sensory deprivation or an internal experience is so far outside of our comfort zone we label it as not doable. You can establish a relationship with your nervous system in a way that feels safe. Over time, if floating, yoga or even therapy is a future goal you can begin to understand your baseline and move it closer to a much calmer place.

  2. I have some anxiety before I engage in that activity.” Understanding our nervous system baseline before engaging in activities that are good for us is important. It gives us an opportunity to check in to see how we are doing from an internal perspective. We all have things that give us a little anxiety before we do them. Most of us can relate to the anxiety we might get before taking a test or speaking at an event. Having anxiety before doing something really good for our nervous system isn’t talked about as much. For many, this is a whole new concept. There’s no denying the anxiety exists and sometimes we need tools to help us navigate that anxiety. Teaching the nervous system to move toward a calmer baseline is doable. Over time, with consistency and a regular practice, your nervous system can learn to present you with less anxiety. Then, the experience leading up to a positive event can be much less stressful.

  3. I love to float and I want to shift more rapidly.” For some of us, the anticipation of a float or yoga is quite enjoyable. We look forward to the experience and to our how we feel after. For many, the effect of a good float or yoga practice will last for many hours and will impact our lives in profound ways. Because our brains and our bodies change every single day, some days it may be easier to shift states than others. It can be quite frustrating when a 60-minute session turns into only 30 minutes of “true rest.” It is doable to teach the nervous system to switch more rapidly from our regular state to a much deeper, restful state. It takes time, it's doable and it’s definitely one of the goals of a regular Kaiut Yoga practice. We want to see the system shifting rapidly. One way we can be testing our capacity to make this shift is with a float or within your own yoga practice.


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