Meet GoFloat Studios
Get to know the people behind your favourite places & spaces in downtown Burlington! We’ll be introducing you to new owners & businesses throughout the year!
Meet Jan Jaroszynski & Geoff Laing, owners of GoFloat Studios.
1). Tell us a little bit about how & why you two decided to go into business together.
We decided to embark on the journey of float center ownership around 2016, at which point we both had good paying, but slightly soul sucking, corporate jobs. For myself (Jan), it was the relief from my physical job that got me interested in sensory deprivation tanks, along with the peace and quiet that came with them. No stress, no anxiety, and no worries. The perfect remedy to a long week of work on minimal sleep. Since we both were interested in, and vibed with the concept of float center ownership (and have been friends since elementary school), we started floating, writing a business plan, and executing on our ideas, which finally brought us to 2018, when we officially opened our doors at 390 Pearl St.
2). What is floating all about? (What’s a common floating myth you’d like to bust!)
“There is an infinite amount to find in the presence of nothing…”
Floating is all about, well, nothing! It is about escape from distractions, from the outside world. It is an escape in a way that is conducive towards mental and physical recovery and well being. It is like a vacation in the span of 90 minutes.
As far as a floating-myth I’d like to address… I occasionally hear people say: “I can’t go in a float tank, I’d get claustrophobic…”
To address this concern, I’ll start by saying not only do we have 4 large ‘cabin-style’ float tanks big enough for about anyone to stand and move around in, but we also would like to emphasize that claustrophobia stems from a lack of control within an enclosed space… In our cabins however, you are always in control of your environment. You have control over the light. And you have control over the door at all times (it never locks). If you would like to leave the door open you can. And you can always get out at any time!
3). What made you choose Downtown Burlington for your float studio location?
Having grown up here, we knew we wanted a space in Burlington. And after spending weeks driving around town and scouting locations, we came across 390 Pearl. St and we LOVED it! Not only was the unit totally empty and new, but it just so happened to be the right size for our future float center, along with an incredible downtown community feel to it. After a few bumps in the road, we managed to secure the space, hire a contractor, and we were off to the races!
4). What downtown businesses do you frequent and do business with?
Jan – Aside from my morning coffees at Tamp, and the fantastic chicken and ice-cold pints from The Coop, The Poacher is my main hangout spot. If you see me there, let’s shoot some pool!
Geoff – I’m usually getting a coffee across the street at Tamp (not before a float though), and maybe getting a burger at Charcoal Pit if it’s late and nothing else is open!
5). Top 3 benefits to floating?
Jan – This is tough to say as different people may have many reasons for floating that are unique to themselves and their goals. But for me, if I had to pick in no particular order I’d say:
1) The physical relief from muscle aches and pains. As I mentioned before, I was working a physical job before I got into floating, and it was the physical relief I got from work in the tank that kept me coming back at the end of a long work week.
2) The mental clarity following a float. I feel at ease with myself and notice that I can think about and reflect upon important topics while floating, which is often followed by heightened mental clarity, and a greater sense of direction once completing my sessions.
3) The inner peace and calming effect that lasts for days following the float. As someone who is always ‘in a rush to go nowhere’, floating allows me to slow down and live more presently and in the moment so I get the most enjoyment and fulfillment out of whatever is in front of me.
Geoff – Floating is different for everyone, and there are so many different mental and physical health benefits because floating is essentially doing nothing, so you get out of your own body’s way of healing itself!
1) Improved Sleep. If I’m having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, and not waking up rested in the morning, floating makes all of that easy and natural. You can think of floating as practicing how to shut down your nervous system, and that carries over to when you’re going to bed at night
2) Mental Clarity. Whether I have a hard time staying away from the distractions of my phone or am dealing with a lot of intrusive thoughts that cause me anxiety, floating clears out the “sludge” that causes brain fog. Floating reduces the urges in my monkey brain to endlessly scroll on social media. So much of our time in modern society can be filled with unnecessary clutter. When I’m waiting for an elevator or sitting on a bench, I can be at peace without compulsively pulling out my phone. I also have better focus on whatever it is I’m doing. The negative self-talk that invades so many people’s thoughts quiets down. Even if it is there, I’m able to emotionally detach and let it go without reacting and getting anxious about it (which usually only makes it even harder to stay focused)
3) Athletic Performance. I do a lot of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and over time it results in soreness and stiffness throughout the body. The magnesium in the Epsom salts helps relax the muscles, but the zero-gravity environment also gives my joints a break from having to carry my bodyweight all day. There is also a huge difference between lying down on a bed and lying down in a float, since your back muscles are unobstructed by a solid surface which affects how deep and full of a breath you can take. Having good breathing mechanics is really important to recovery and a healthy lifestyle in general. My recovery is accelerated and any stretching or mobility work I do helps maintain a pain-free body that moves, breathes and feels better overall.
6). Tell us about YOUR first floats …
Jan – Let me take you back to the before time, the long long ago… Okay not that long ago. Like say, 2016. That was when Geoff took me to a center in Hamilton for my first experience, and man was it wild. I will forever remember my first float. I was exhausted that day, from a night out on the town the day before. I was about to cancel and stay in bed but boy was I glad I didn’t!
My float was 60 minutes long but felt like 10. I got into the experience right away! I settled into my float and before I knew it, it was over. The music came on and all I heard was ‘Jan! Your float’s over!’. I was so deep into the experience, I slept through the music for over 8 minutes! Once I got out I felt great. Like a new man. I was ready to conquer anything! I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated, I knew there was something here.
Immediately after the float, Geoff and I started pondering the idea of opening a center of our own, and bringing this concept to our community. This is what planted the seed that is now GoFlaot Studios.
Geoff – The first time I floated there weren’t many float centers around Ontario. I had heard about them on the Joe Rogan podcast, but the only one I could find was all the way in Thornhill, ON. I showed up at the address, which was a house. I knock on the door and this lady opens up. She’s got her whole family inside and I ask if this is the float center. She warmly tells me to come inside and go downstairs into the basement where she’ll be with me in a minute. There’s a part of me that thinks I’m at the start of a horror movie…but everything turned out fine. It was an old style of float tank and the only way she could wake me up was to turn on the filters which isn’t exactly a relaxing way to come out of it (we play music at our center to let you know the float is over).
I did a 60 minute float and it probably took me at least 10-15 minutes to really get used to it and find my center. At the start my head was rushing with thoughts, but I could get in touch with myself and honestly consider whether my life choices at that point were really mine, or if I was simply going along with the expectations that my family and society had for me.
My heart rate significantly slowed down. My breathing became much more deep and full. There is a lot of science out there that shows how important breathing is (I mean duh, when’s the last time you WEREN’T breathing?). But it really highlighted how it affected my physical and mental health. If I’m not breathing optimally on a regular basis, is my cardiovascular health as good as it could be? Is my stress and anxiety level higher than it should be? Floating helped me pay much closer attention to the inner sensations of my body, and specifically set me on a path to really be conscious about breathwork and how I’m breathing on a day-to-day basis.
Afterwards I thought to myself, there’s got to be a better way of running a float tank center than hosting it in your basement…and that was the first moment that GoFloat Studios started to become a real idea.
And if you’re reading this, I’ll tell you now I got into this business to help people live healthier, feel better, and pursue their full potential in life. So even if you’re a bit hesitant to try floating, I want to fulfill my ambition of helping you do just that by sharing a FREE breathwork training series that we’ve put together. Just click the link below to enter your email so we can send you links to short, beginner-friendly breathwork follow-along videos that I promise will build resilience to stress, reduce your anxiety, and improve how you’re feeling RIGHT NOW.
For more information head to gofloatstudios.com/opt-in/apnea