About six years ago, while diving deeper into my shamanic practices and studies, I found something explained in physics called entrainment. The idea actually started back in the 1600s, when a Dutch physicist by the name of Christian Huygens invented the pendulum clock. He noticed that if he connected two pendulum clocks on the same base board, that the two pendulums would synchronize. Not long after Alpha Brain waves were “discovered” in the 1930s by Hans Berger (the same man that invented the EEG machine), the phenomenon of brainwave entrainment was discovered. Scientists noticed that they could alter the strength of the brain wave by the use of flickering lights.
Scientists later discovered that the brain will synchronize it’s wave frequency to other external stimuli like vibration (sound). So the brain picks up signals from, let’s say, a drum or a rattle, and it will start to synchronize the pulses of it’s waves to the pulses of the vibration (sound and touch) put out by the instrument. This is obviously a technique that has been used for countless thousands of years by shamans all over the world to induce altered states of consciousness in themselves and other people.
Three different types of beats were discovered: binaural, monaural, and isochronic. And all three have been used in our modern culture to alter brain wave frequencies. Binaural beats only work with headphones, but any sound will do with a mononaural or isochronic (although not ANY sound, as it has to be appropriately altered to attain the desired brain frequency).
There are five primary brain waves that scientists know about, but only four that they really know much about: beta, alpha, theta and delta. Beta is a very externalized, concentrated state, but also holds with it lots of stress (we naturally produce more beta and less alpha as we age). Alpha is the beginning state of relaxation where one might still be engaged in the external world, but one’s focus is starting to draw inward. They call this being in the “zone” in sports, or we might relate it to “day dreaming” during an activity we are doing. The next waves are the theta waves. These are the waves of dreams and dream states of consciousness. These states are typically produced during sleep or deep meditation (and very active during shamanic journeys). The next down from these are delta waves. Delta waves are typically only produced in deep sleep or states of relaxation and when they are produced is when our body does most of it’s best healing and regeneration. The fifth wave, called Gamma (it’s on the higher end of Beta) is little understood, but they link it to certain ecstatic states.
When I found out about all this stuff, I was introduced to Tom Kenyon, who was the only guy I knew at the time that was releasing audio tracks that made use of this technology. I started using them in my meditations all the time and absolutely loved them. A few years ago I found out about a program called Neuro-programmer that actually allows you to customize your own audio tracks for any sort of brain wave alteration you want. I purchased the program and began experimenting with different frequencies for myself. As I started to learn more about brain waves, I began to expand how, why and when I would use these audio tracks. I started to layer them into dance music that I would play while exploring ecstatic movement and dance on my own. Living on a tropical island in Thailand, we’d have lots of dance parties all the time and I started to play those tracks with other people joining in as well. I started to play the frequencies on loud speakers while I beat the drum during shamanic journeys. I started to notice people were having deeper, more profound experiences when I layered in the isochronic and/or monaural beats during the journeys. I also began layering the beats into music that I would play during savasana at the end of yoga classes. Instantly, I noticed people were fidgeting less and seeming to have much deeper, relaxed experiences.
Since being back in the states, I’ve noticed that the fast passed, high stressed life style here in the west means a lot of people have a hard time relaxing in savasana. In some classes, people even leave when it’s time for savasana cause, well, there’s just so much to do, who has time to lie around on the floor and relax? It’s those people you see fidgeting the most before they get up. While I am totally sympathetic to people having bodily discomfort in savasana (but if we do, hopefully we’ve started to use props to help with that!) that makes it challenging to stay in the pose, for the vast majority of people it seems to be a restless mind keeps them moving in both mind and body, not allowing them to relax. (And hey, I get that sometimes people just have somewhere to be, too)
Just in the last few weeks of including these beats into classes, I’ve noticed people have been going much deeper into their savasanas at the end of class. Without the beats, students often start to fidget after 5-10 minutes (let alone a good proper 15 minute savasana), but with them, I’ve been doing lots more 15 minute savasanas and I don’t even get a peep or a wiggle out of anyone! It’s been super awesome and people really seem to be enjoying it.
So… it totally inspired me to get really down and into making some awesome new tracks for my yoga classes and meditations. I’m experimenting with adding alpha wave beats into sitar music and other music to drop people into “the zone” during our flows and sun salutes, as well as explored other types of journeys for savasana. When I’ve posted about it on Facebook, a lot of people have asked me about it, so I wanted to not only write a blog, but also offer a few tracks online that people could download for free. Whether you are a student or a teacher, you can use these for your savasana or a meditation.
The two tracks that you can access here are both for deep relaxation and take you all the way from the high alpha, down through theta and into delta, eventually leading back up through to a low alpha state by the end. Taking you into deep states of relaxation and healing, but bringing you back up to alpha concentrated and refreshed. I plan on posting more free tracks later, some for healing chronic pain, insomnia, concentration, creativity, and more. Some for meditation, some for savasana, and some just to play while doing something that requires concentration or creativity. But I just wanted to offer these and get them up now so people can explore and play with them
All you have to do is fill out the form at the bottom of this blog, enter your name and email, and whether or not you’d like to be added to my mailing list; then you will be directed to a page where you can download them. If you sign up for my mailing list, you’ll be notified when I post new tracks on the website as well as get information about the latest stuff I’m up to with yoga offerings, classes, workshops and events, shamanic journeys, and more.
For more information on brain waves and brain wave entrainment follow these links below: