Exploring Brain Waves

There are five main types of brain waves. From slowest to fastest: 

   –Delta (exhibited mainly during sleep)

   –Theta (exhibited when drowsy) 

   –Alpha (exhibited when doing a little amount of thinking and relaxed)

   –Beta (exhibited when thinking, alert, or concentrating)

   –Gamma (exhibited when different regions of the brain fire in harmony like moments of insight… EUREKA!)

When was your most recent “aha” moment? Ever gotten one during a workout or soon afterward? The reason this is likely to occur is because when exerting yourself physically, you are allowing your beta waves, which are overactive during waking hours, to go offline and provide space for other types of brain electrical signals to take place. 

This is also why meditation is so important and powerful. Beta waves begin to disappear and alpha/theta waves become predominant. Through this fluctuation in brain waves, one primes oneself more readily for gamma waves to be prevalent.

Research has shown that on average, expert yogi meditators have 25 times greater the amplitudes of gamma oscillations at baseline compared with a control group of non expert yogis (Goleman, 2017, Alterted Traits). This implies that expert yogis seem to experience an ongoing state of open rich awareness during their daily lives and NOT just when they meditate.The take away for those of us that have not accumulated upwards of 30,000 hours of meditation is that your ability to be in flow and have eureka thoughts is NOT out of your control. Rather, how you spend your time and create space for yourself in between just being overactive (caffeine saturated) and asleep affects how your brain will function. And your perception of your own wellbeing is largely influenced by how your brain functions. 

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