A woman was meant to be enjoying a relaxing flotation session at a yoga studio, but it all went wrong after she got trapped in the sensory deprivation pod.
A woman was meant to be enjoying a relaxing flotation session at a yoga studio, but it all went wrong after she got trapped in the sensory deprivation pod.

Woman sucked under in relaxation floating tank nightmare

A Melbourne woman says she was left severely injured and traumatised after a relaxing flotation session descended into horror.

Angela Leslie was floating in a sensory deprivation pod at the Elevation Floatation and Yoga clinic when the tank's drainage system began, causing her hair to be sucked into the filter.

A panicked struggle ensued as Ms Leslie tried to free her hair as the pod began its filtration cycle, she alleges in court documents.

The 47-year-old claims she suffered spinal and shoulder injuries and needed surgery on her left knee as a result of contorting her body awkwardly inside the isolation tank.

Her partner, who was floating in a tank nearby, eventually freed her from the powerful suction.

Ms Leslie is suing the Hawthorn East clinic claiming damages.

The health and wellness clinic in Melbourne's leafy east, which has been promoted by footy players and beauty pageant winners, promises the trendy new-age therapy will "almost serve as a mini vacation from the hustle and bustle of everyday life".

The company's website says the benefits of flotation therapy include stress and pain relief, improved mood and that it can even be used to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ms Leslie claimed she had been unable to return to her work at a supermarket since the incident in February 2018 and still suffered pain, shock and PTSD.

A statement of claim filed in Victoria's County Court this month alleges the clinic failed in its duty of care to Ms Leslie, resulting in the aggravation of previous spinal injuries.

Clinic owner Dinuka Bandara told the Herald Sun he believed Ms Leslie slept through or ignored the warning signals that the session was ending and the drainage was about to start.

"We've catered to more than 10,000 people in our float tanks since we opened (in 2015)," Mr Bandara said.

"This is the first incident we've had."

The owner said there were emergency sensors in the room and the filtration cycle was stopped as soon as they became aware Ms Leslie was still in the tank.

Mr Bandara said the couple were given a tutorial the session and claimed Ms Leslie did not follow the safety precautions.

"We go to every effort to make sure everyone is in a safe place to promote wellness and healing," he said.

"We're supporting her the best way we can."

genevieve.alison@news.com.au