When we find ourselves “in the Flow,” life seemingly presents more vibrant colors of reality to savor and enjoy in almost timeless states of smooth transitions. We are more creative, perform better, have increased motivation, and find somewhat effortlessly driven spaces; in tune with our inner rhythm and the collaborative environment’s synchronistic beats.
So, like a unique instrument or full pallet of colors at hand, could we finely tune and summon this expansive Flow State through possible on-demand?
To dive deeper, let’s first define The State of Flow
What is Flow?
Science defines Flow as a “subjective state during holistic involvement in a certain activity.” In other words, a change in our perception.
Yet, there are physical changes as well. Studies show “increased theta activities in the frontal areas and moderate alpha activities in the frontal and central areas;” this means there is an objective way to verify whether or not a person is in the Flow State by measurement of their brainwave activity.
The next step is whether or not acts of Yogic participation can affect these “flow states” in brainwaves
Yoga and Brainwaves
Several randomized, controlled trials (in other words, serious and reliable studies) consistently report that Yoga “increases overall brain wave (delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma) activity.” The effect of this increase in brainwave activity is better cognitive (brain) functions: better attention and working memory, understanding things more accurately and faster, a higher ability to focus, easier to switch between activities, and a more positive mindset overall.
Starting to Connect The Dots
Flow and Yoga
A state of Flow is characterized by increases in two types of brainwaves: theta and alpha. We also noted that yoga increases these brainwaves (among others). So, we can say that doing yoga will help to get us “in the flow” by various means of participation in the practice.
To see exactly how that works, let’s look more closely into brainwaves.
Here are the main ways in which this band of brainwaves affects the body:
- Create a state of meditative, intellectual concentration
- Reduce anxiety and nervousness
- Improve short-term memory and help build new memories
- Heighten intuition
- Increase healing
- Allow more effective reprogramming of the subconscious mind
This band of brainwaves has two levels: higher and lower. Alpha waves at the lower level seem to be connected with being aware and paying attention. Higher-level alpha waves appear to be related to task-specific processes such as thinking and perceiving. Overall, alpha brainwaves help to quiet the mind and support tasks that use memory and imagination.
Putting It All Together
In short: Bite-sized Summary
Flow requires an abundance of alpha and theta waves which practicing Yoga tends to increase the ability. So, as a result of doing yoga, people can feel more “in the flow” and recalibrate more often with increased awareness to do so at will.
Getting in the Flow whenever we want seems like it would be an impossible idea. And yet — long-time practitioners of yoga report that they are in the Flow more often than not. It becomes their default state of mind. On the rare occasions that they get out of this mindset, they can quickly get back into the free-flowing primal force of creation in life.
Some Tips To Getting Back Into The Flow
Focus on the breath and its natural patterns, dwell in a short meditation, or chanting a mantra can realign and ignite an altering state of awareness and compassionate view of the inner reality and web of life; we all share in common. And somehow, in a way that cannot precisely be explained — just remembering to be centered, mindful, and in the Flow can be enough to shift dynamics and get back in sync with your true essence.
In health and wellbeing,