I'm lying on my back in the water, a Korean man gripping my head firmly, pulling me backwards through the water so I ripple like a snake.
It sounds horrible but is bizarrely relaxing.
I'm not usually one for "wellness", but my brain and I haven't been getting along well recently so I jump at the chance to escape to South Korea for a break away from it all.
• South Korea: Seoul a stimulating city of experiences and culture
• Jeju Island in South Korea becomes new hot spot for Aussie travellers, according to new study
• South Korea: Jeju Island hits the sweet spot
• Strange story of eerie floating hotel in North Korea that Kim Jong-un wants to destroy
We find peace and serenity at Healience Seonmaeul, high in the mountains of the Gangwon province, with no phone reception and little Wi-Fi except for one room kept for "business emergencies".
The food is wholesome, there is no coffee, and the rooms are nestled into the woodlands surrounding the resort village.
At home in New Zealand, my phone is constantly pinging with social media alerts, emails, and work phone calls.
Now there is just blissful silence. The occasional rustle of autumn leaves falling from the trees. The sound of my feet crunching over the frosty ground.
My sense of bliss is interrupted only when our guide informs me they have arranged a 90-minute meditation for our group the next morning.
That length of time alone with my brain, when it's been so cantankerous lately? It doesn't sound like something I want to do. But the reality is, thankfully, entirely different from what I expect.
We start with a walking meditation through the woods and our guide helps us get into the right mindset from the beginning, stopping us in a small clearing and telling us to quietly focus on everything we can see.
The tall Korean pine, the leaves falling from other trees, the roll of the hills through the steep mountains. Browns and greens, the blue of the cold autumn sky.
She then asks us to close our eyes, and take in the earthy smells, listen to the sounds of falling leaves, the occasional chirp of birds.
A friend next to me shifts their weight, causing a small rustle and a snap of twigs.
Cold bites at my cheeks and ankles. By the time we are ready to begin the walk, warned that talking is strongly discouraged, I am already feeling more contemplative than I have in weeks.
As Korea is the 11th largest economy in the world, it might not surprise you that its people are busy.
Education is important, with children throwing themselves from a young age into the achievement needed for a successful career.
While the cultural context may change, Koreans aren't alone on that one. Around the world the effects of overwork and stress are on the rise; a 2018 Gallup survey found 23 per cent of full-time workers feel burned out.
The Korean response to this has been an explosion of wellness facilities over the past 10 years, many focusing on a return to nature, centreing yourself through meditation, and coming back to the present moment through mindfulness.
As we walk through the forest in silence, I try to remember the last time I did this.
I regularly go for hikes and walks but not like this. I usually have a friend with me, we talk, and our minds focus on whatever the conversation is about.
To walk in silence, focusing on the sights and sounds around us, is entirely different.
Work problems, the growing email inbox, the pile of washing at home on the couch 10,000km away. In the forest, the static in the back of my mind gets quieter too.
It's not surprising that Korea has turned to its natural majesty to fight off the increasingly frenetic pace of the modern world.
Seventy per cent of South Korea is mountainous, but it also has beautiful coastline, and islands dotted around the peninsula.
One of the most well-known is Jeju Island, also known as the Hawaii of South Korea.
An hour's flight from Seoul, it's a favourite for honeymooners, or those who want to be hiking at the beginning of the day, and diving for seafood at the end of it.
But I'm not going outside this morning. I'm going down into the lower levels of WE hotel, to experience water meditation.
I walk into the dimly lit warm pool, where a masseur pulls me onto my back, putting floats under my knees and head.
My ears dip just below the water, and as they go under, I can hear classical piano playing. The music wafts through the water, a relaxing secret for those experiencing the meditation.
I'm told to close my eyes, the last of my senses tethering me to reality. Between the floating, the darkness, and the music, I'm now in a calm space in my own head.
It starts with a foot massage, then up my legs, unknotting the muscles from the quiet hikes we've been on.
Then nothing, for I don't know how long. I just float in the water with the music, and the quiet of my own thoughts.
The gentlest of touches on my shoulder alerts me the massage is about to start again, before he starts on my arms, shoulders, back.
The masseur starts pulling me backwards through the water, first by my head, rippling me through the water so that my spine stretches long. Then my arm, stretching my sides, my back.
It occurs to me as I twist around that I never just do something for myself, for no reason other than I want to.
Everything I do has a purpose, whether it's increasing fitness, upskilling for work, or giving support to friends. But I don't begrudge my husband or family doing things purely because they want to, because they need rest and restoration.
Why can't I allow that for myself? Why haven't I made space for any of these experiences in my normal life? Maybe that's why my brain's been so unhappy with me lately.
By the time I step out of the water and towel off, I wouldn't say my brain and I are friends again. But by the time I'm on the plane home, I'd say we've struck a friendly truce.
Korean Air flies direct from Auckland to Seoul. koreanair.com