The use of oceans to induce meditative states is hardly a new concept. Many cultures have legends surrounding the connection between the sea and their psyche, with some even believing that our memories are stored within the ocean itself, says Georges Chahwan. Nowhere was this belief more common than in Roman mythology regarding Tethys, who was said to be a Titan mother-goddess of water. Another example comes from Hawaiian folklore where it was believed that spirits could be summoned from the deep through night-time ceremonies on shorelines.
In some instances these rituals would involve a person diving into the ocean from a high place such as a cliff or long reed pole while chanting certain mantras, thus releasing them from their physical bodies in order to commune with ancestral spirits.
These rituals all share a common thread, one of releasing the body by entering into an altered mental state through physical immersion in water, adds Georges Chahwan. If you were to ask an individual why they go for a meditation session at the local jacuzzi, it’s quite likely that they would say something along the lines of the bath helping them relax and unwind after a busy day. While this statement is true, there is more going on behind closed doors than meets the eye. This relaxation stems from triggering your parasympathetic nervous system – which causes physiological responses such as decreased heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure – through meditation. This is due to the effect of Epsom salts which are dissolved in the bath to help individuals achieve this level of relaxation.