Pasadena float tank

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7 reasons why you’re about to fall in love with floating

What used to be rather grimly called “sensory deprivation” or “isolation” therapy has resurfaced as the far more appealing “flotation therapy”: Those in need of some de-stressing and mental relaxation can bob about, alone, in an enclosed tub filled with enough salt water to keep them gently suspended on its surface.

One of the newest entrants to the Los Angeles float scene is Just Float, a 3-month-old facility in Pasadena. With 11 separate “suites,” it is also the largest in the world, according to founder Jim Hefner, who decided to open it after he tried flotation therapy and was just “blown away.”

Here are seven reasons why floating could be your next thing.

1. There’s plenty of room. Flotation chambers used to be akin to little tanks — not great for those prone to claustrophobia. But no longer. At Just Float, for example, chambers are eight feet long by five wide with a ceiling that is seven feet high, so you can stand up in it and not hit your head. Not that you would want to be standing anyway: The point is to lie down and let the water carry you while mental clutter falls away.

Jim Hefner is a co-founder of Just Float in Pasadena.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

2. It’s totally private. Float centers are catering to individual needs. At Just Float, each suite, which locks from the inside, comes with its own shower and small dressing area, complete with basic toiletries and a fluffy towel and bathrobe. The idea is to get naked, although if you want to wear a bathing suit, nobody will stop you. (Hefner says the experience is heightened if there is no barrier between skin and water.) Once you’ve showered, another small door leads into the flotation unit. It looks like a large, shallow hot tub. Step in, and let the floating begin.

3. You’ll enjoy a feeling of absolute suspension. At Just Float, it comes from the 1, pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in gallons of body-temperature water. As the mind relaxes, the music piped in shuts down. (It’s only on for the first five minutes.) The unit is completely soundproof: Coachella could spring up around you and you wouldn’t hear a thing.

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4. You can keep the lights on, if you want. Traditional float therapy may call for total darkness. But many places allow you to decide. At Just Float, the lights turn off after five minutes. Floaters can get half of them back — just enough for it to be soothingly


5. Float therapy centers pride themselves on cleanliness. At Just Float, a high-tech system purifies the water four times between each user, running it through an ultraviolet disinfection process. Indeed, just minutes after the float is over, an invisible machine whirs to life, starting the cleansing process. If there’s any doubt, ask before you buy.

Ilona Houhanissyan, an employee at Just Float in Pasadena, floats in epsom salt, mixed in 11 inches of water, at a temperature of degrees.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

6. There is no rush. Many float centers offer sessions that last an hour or longer. At Just Float, once the float is over, a second shower (using a special post-float conditioner) gets rid of the salty residue on the body and in the hair. A tea lounge with a selection of organic teas is used for regrouping before hitting the Freeway.

7. Floating is for just about everyone, so shop around: At Just Float, for example, there is a specially fitted room designed for those who have physical disabilities.

Here are some float centers in and around the Los Angeles area:

Just Float, in Pasadena. $60 per hourlong float.

Float Lab, in Venice and Westwood. $40 for a two-hour float.

Float Clinic, in Torrance. $45 for a minute float, done in total darkness.

Nova Center, in Woodland Hills. $99 for 90 minutes. You can float to various light patterns, or total darkness. Floaters also listen to a guided meditation.

Newport Float Therapy, in Costa Mesa. First-time float special is $59 for 90 minutes.

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Just Float

76 N. Hudson Ave. Suite , Pasadena, California
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Thursday-Saturday pmpm, Sunday ampm


The largest float therapy center in Los Angeles with eleven private, luxurious float rooms including a world-class ADA / open room for people with disabilities. We’ve designed our own custom float rooms to maximize your comfort and provide an exceptional experience. Each float tank contains an extra-large, enclosed tub with 1, pounds of Epsom salt dissolved in gallons of water and heated to degrees. Free from gravity and external stimulation, you are able to relax in a meditative state and sensation from the outside world melts away. Listen to soothing music or float in serene silence in your private, spa-like room. Enjoy total darkness or customize your lighting to fit your mood. Floating offers a multitude of benefits for both mind and body. It is safe, all natural and therapeutic.

Visit our website for scheduling and special offers and follow us on Twitter & Instagram @justfloatinc to learn about floating.



Other Locations Nearby

FloatSPACE, Los Angeles • mi

Soothing Solutions, Burbank • mi

Float Lab Westwood, Los Angeles • 19 mi

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More about Just Float

Business Type: Commercial / OfficeNumber of float tanks: 11Style of float tank(s):
  •     Cabin / Room
Brand of float tank(s):
  •     Other: We built our own Float Rooms
Disinfecting processes used:
  •     Hydrogen Peroxide,
  •     UV

Where to Float in Pasadena, California

Just Float offers sensory deprivation / float tank therapy in the Pasadena, California area. They will help you get the most from your float tank experience. Contact Just Float now to schedule a float.

Float tank locations in California

Are you considering trying floating in Pasadena? Just Float has a float tank available for your use. Come try out floating in a sensory deprivation tank to see and experience the benefits of floating for yourself.

The sensory deprivation tank creates an environment free of distractions enabling the body to truly relax. In this deepened relaxed state the body’s natural abilities to heal, focus, and harness creativity are heightened. This makes floating a powerful learning tool for students, artists, or anyone looking to get the most out of their profession.

Schedule your float tank experience in Pasadena, California today with Just Float

Call Just Float at () or stop by to set up your first float in Pasadena.

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floatingWant to take your meditation practice to the next level? Just add water.

From Vancouver to New York City, luxury float centers—where the wellness-conscious commune with their psyches inside sensory deprivation chambers that are filled with several inches of body-temperature, Epsom salted water—are emerging as the next big thing in mindfulness.

And when we say big, we also mean it literally: Just Float, which recently opened in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, is currently the world’s largest floating destination. If there's any spa that can do for floating what SoulCycle did for spinning (in SoCal and beyond), it's this one. So I had to dip a toe in.

Just Float was co-founded by self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” Jim Hefner, who first learned about the practice via comedian Joe Rogan (who has a float tank in his house). After his first profoundly relaxing dip at an Orange County float center two years ago, recalls Hefner, “I thought, ‘Floating needs to be everywhere—why is it not more available? Humanity is in dire need [of] this.’” (It might sound like a serious exaggeration on his part, but floating has been studied for all kinds of real health issues—more on that in a minute.)

According to Jennifer Nied, senior editor at American Spa magazine, ultra-enlightening experiences like Hefner’s are why floating has gained so much traction over the last several years. “When floating, the body is supported yet completely relaxed, and this physical relief leads to mental and emotional release to help people recover from stress,” she says. “It's a necessity in the hyper-available digital world we live in.”

So what does floating in a tank really feel like?

What really sets Just Float apart from the handful of other floatation spas in the LA area—aside from its record 11 tanks—is its proprietary design that's meant to help you deal with the floating's elephant in the living room: tight spaces.

“The [float tank] can be a little intense, so we try to help transition you with the architecture,” says Hefner. “All of the shapes, colors, audio, and light were sweated over. [From the front door to the float suite], the space gets smaller and smaller, the light gets lower and lower, and then we put you in the box. All of which was intentional.” It might not work for those with major claustrophobia, but for the rest of us it's like training wheels for tight spaces.

After you check in, you'll take shower in private room before entering the float tank. Don’t worry about bringing a swimsuit—it’s best to totally eliminate physical distractions by floating in the nude, I was told. (It also helped to know that the chambers are powerfully sterilized four times after each session using hydrogen peroxide and UV light.)

The sound-proof, light-proof tanks, designed exclusively for Just Float, are quite roomy by floating standards—five feet wide, eight feet long, and seven feet tall. The high ceilings probably get a whole lot more people intrigued who'd otherwise panic at the idea of being enclosed in the typical coffin-style float pod for an hour. Just sayin'.

Once inside, you close the oversized “bank vault” door (it's easy to pop it back open if you need to), hit a button to turn off the lights and music, and focus on your breathing. You're not supposed to be surprised if you soon think you hear sounds, see vibrant visual patterns, or get a burst of creativity, all of which are commonly reported effects of floating. I definitely felt transported as the time whizzed by.

After an hour, when the lights and music gently rise again, you’ll emerge back into the world, at which point I'd recommend hitting up the post-float lounge for a tea and reacclimation before braving the freeway. (You’ll need it—the whole trippy experience feels like traveling to outer space and back.)

just-float-2Why scientists love floating

But lest you think this is just a fancy form of hot water with a wellness scene price tag ($60, though packages with discounted sessions are available), studies have linked floating with everything from stress and pain reduction to enhanced creativity, athletic performance, and mental health (it’s being studied as a particularly powerful antidote to PTSD).

And the practice is about to undergo a whole new level of scientific scrutiny—in February , Just Float is hosting the California Institute of Technology’s neuroscience department to conduct the first peer-reviewed study on floating’s brain effects using wireless EEG brain wave transmitters.“The research dealing with floating over the next two years is going to be monumental,” says Hefner. “There is enough anecdotal evidence [of floating’s benefits] that is compelling enough to make [scientists] put more money into research.”

To see some of that evidence firsthand, just flip through the communal journal in Just Float’s lounge, where guests record their experiences. As one entry states: “I entered full of noise, self-doubt, and fear; I emerged renewed and reminded of the truth.” Clearly, this destination and others are helping people stay afloat in more ways than one. —Erin Magner

Just Float, 76 N. Hudson Ave. #, Pasadena, CA, , ,

No float centers near you? Here's how you can create an aquatic detox ritual at home.

(Photos: @Stocksy/Branislav Jovanovi&#;; Just Float)

I Tried Floating in a Sensory Deprivation Tank - You Glow Girl

I Got Into Pasadena's Sensory Deprivation Tank

I’m not a guy who likes to be alone with his own thoughts, and I’m not really into the “spiritual” stuff: I’ve never been to a meditation retreat, I’ve watched people get ”washed in a sound bath” and couldn’t understand a reaction to a man blowing a glorified shofar in your face other than laughter, and any time I’ve tried to focus -- I mean, really, really focus -- I end up focusing on, like, what I may have in my fridge, or what’s on TV, or anything other than focusing.

So, when I got the opportunity to lock myself in a small room, with absolutely no stimulation, alone with my own thoughts, totally naked, floating in extra-buoyant salt water, for an hour, in total, % pitch black, as a supposedly healthy spa experience, my initial reaction was, “well, but what am I going to do for an hour? I mean other than think??” But thinking, they say, is good for you, and I’m up for anything once. So, despite my fear, of course, I said yes.

And it was amazing.


Just Float in Pasadena is one of a growing number of sensory deprivation spas popping up around the country, but it’s also the biggest one in the world; with 11 rooms in a massive complex just outside of Downtown Pass, they’ve committed to what seems, on the surface, like a sort of ridiculous premise.

After all, “flotation therapy,” as they call it, has all the signs of hokum, especially the medical claims: a quick internet search reveals promises of everything from stress to pain relief from, well, what seems like the equivalent of taking a 60 minute stay in a hot tub. Just Float’s own site also talks of decreasing blood pressure and lowering heart rate (OK, that last one makes sense -- you are, you know, lying down for an hour.) So yeah: I was skeptical.

The waiting room at Just Float feels like what you’d see at a great dentist’s office, with cushiony chairs and couches in cool pastel colors. After walking in and signing my life away -- of course -- I was given a tablet with a quick, five-minute instructional/promotional video.

Warm music played as I was shown what to expect: I was to strip totally naked and wash myself off before stepping into the tank, where -- according to the video, which starred someone far better looking, thinner, and more female than me -- my apparently lithe body would stretch out and bob above the water, while even more warming music played. I’d hit a button along the wall, and slowly the music would fade, the lights would fade, and it would be pitch black, completely silent, and I’d be alone.

Totally alone.

Alarmingly alone.


A nice guy in scrubs led me to my room, which looked like something out of a ‘90s Schwarzenegger movie: behind the first door was a small anteroom with a shower and a shelf, as well as a robe, but towards the back was where the magic was allegedly going to happen. A branded, aqua-colored door in the middle of the wall, with a massive handle pulled up to reveal a low-lit, square space, much shallower than a typical pool and much wider than a bath -- 8ft long and 5ft wide, full of gallons of water and lbs of salt, to ensure that I would be floating the whole time. I’d assumed that the whole thing would be a claustrophobia-inspired casket-sized space, so I was glad to see the ceiling five or so feet above me, glowing a cool blue hue, with the knowledge that I could sit up if I did get panicky a relief.

After taking that shower, I took a deep breath, closed the door to the room, and climbed in, first sitting and then laying all the way down with my head floating in the water, before hitting the button by the left side of my head to signal that I was ready to start the experience.

Complete blackness, and not in the “hey, there's no lights in the desert” way, but in the "there's no lights in the anything" way. 

Slowly -- very, very slowly -- the calming music that had been playing both in the room and underwater faded out, and the dim light that had illuminated the space mellowed before disappearing completely. And then: nothing. Complete blackness, and not in the “hey, there’s no lights in the desert” way, but in the "there’s no lights in the anything" way. And no sound, either, other than the light lapping of the water.  And my breathing.  And then the thoughts started:

“Woah, my breathing is loud. Is that actually my breathing? Am I snoring? No, I’m breathing. Yes. Wow. That’s a lot of breaths.”

The water was both extremely refreshing and colder than I expected (they claim it’s nearly at body temperature), but I got used to it quickly, loving both the buoyancy offered by the saltwater pumped into the tub and the realization that if I moved my body just so, my butt could hit the bottom and pop back up without my head ever leaving the water. I did this a few times -- three? four? -- before realizing I had no idea how much I was actually even moving in the water. The darkness and the unnatural buoyancy had stripped me of any spacial awareness. Even though they were just a foot or so below my feet and above my head, the walls and ceiling seemed like they were forever away as I shifted my body weight.

This went on for a minute or two in this pitch-black space, a mild, brief distraction. But I was there to commit to the experience. So I started breathing again. In. Out. In. Out.

My mind never completely shut off, but eventually I found myself wondering whether my eyes were open or closed; when I opened them, it was so dark that I couldn’t see my hands at all, so I closed them again, convinced there was no way I could actually, you know, fall asleep while lying in water, though I did, maybe, just for a little bit. Music flowed through my brain, in and out, then in, then out. Maybe 20 minutes had passed. But it was hard to tell.

Random thoughts blew through my head: for one moment I’d think about whether I’d get a phone call from my mother that day or not, then it’d be about why Captain America: The Winter Soldier was better than Civil War, then it’d be wondering what the parts of my body that were above the water -- literally, my nose, beer-gut, and, uh, groinal area -- looked like on that even plane, and whether that was the oddest way anyone could possibly see a body.

Once I got into it -- probably halfway through -- what I was thinking about was nothing.

But mostly, once I got into it -- probably halfway through -- what I was thinking about was nothing. And that’s insanely rare for me. I’d disappear into the idea of relaxation, which I found far easier to do there than on a massage table with someone touching me, or in a yoga class with a teacher in my ear. All I could focus on was breathing, and that breathing eventually became hypnotic, the silence in the room surprisingly welcoming instead of deafening. I’d never have expected it, but it felt freeing.

And then it didn’t. All of a sudden, my brain turned back on, and started thinking.

“How long have I been in here? Has it only been 10 minutes? 5 minutes? This feels like FOREVER!! Man. This has to end soon, this must be over soon, is this going to go on ”

That’s when I heard the music -- or at least I thought I did; with my ears underwater, it could have been a hallucination, or coming from another room. But then it got louder, then louder; then a faint light glimmered above, signifying my time was up.

I unlatched the pod, naked and exposed, hearing my joints crack under me, exiting into the shower area and stretching to the sky -- and feeling, well, great. The hour alone with myself was liberating, and the feeling in my body electric.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be a candidate for actual long-term meditation, and the Just Float experience was clearly a fleeting one, rather than one that would change my life forever. But if a float-spa was close to my house? I’d go back again. Maybe that time I could shut it all off. But for now, getting close would have to do.

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Jeff Miller is the editor of Thrillist LA and will do any odd spa experience once. Find him on Instagram at @jeffmillerla.

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The Float Lab® Advantage

Welcome to Float Lab®!

Float Lab®, established in Los Angeles in , specializes in isolation floatation chambers that provide a sensory deprivation experience. We sell Float Lab® chambers as well as offer appointments for sensory deprivation experiences.

With locations in Venice Beach and Westwood, CA, Float Lab® serves Los Angeles County with the only certified isolation flotation chambers approved for commercial use. Float Lab® chambers are the world’s only NSF 50 and UL certified float chambers.

What is sensory deprivation?

Sensory deprivation, sometimes called floatation or isolation therapy, is the practice of floating in a salt solution that eliminates the brain’s need to navigate gravity. In the light-free, sound-resistant, zero-gravity environment, the mind can redirect its thoughts and focus inward.

Now is the perfect time to explore your mind’s potential. Book your appointment or consultation today!




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