Can Brain Entrainment Improve my Meditation Practice?
At Bad Yogi, we talk a fair amount about “taking the leap” or “trusting your gut”. The personal development market is booming these days, and is projected at $13.2 billion by 2022. But let’s be honest, that leap of faith does not come easily. We are simultaneously faced with the roller coaster of emotions that come along with it. Excitement. Fear of failure. Passion. Self-doubt.
Whether you’re looking to take that “leap” or simply on a path of personal improvement, the feelings can be all the same. In fact, most people are on a path of continual self-improvement, yet statistics show that 96% of personal development efforts fail.
We’ve got the best intentions, but our thoughts and actions are consistently being driven by self-limiting beliefs, fear, and mental programming that we pick up at a very young age. This can result in not meeting those goals that we desperately want to meet. This is why diets fail. Or why you lose steam on a project that you were once super excited about. Why you can’t seem to make that habit stick. Sometimes even why you just don’t feel like you are “enough”.
So… how do we cut through that crap? Is it meditation? Reading all of the personal development books out there? Daily affirmations? Hypnotism? As it turns out, there’s increased data supporting the fact that meditation combined with brain entrainment can not only get rid of your self-limiting beliefs, but also tap into your “inner guru” to help you reach your highest self.
The benefits of meditation
People always say it’s very difficult to stay in meditation with traditional practice, which is likely due to lack of formal training and lives which are full of distractions. Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. Benefits include:
- Reduces stress: Studies have proven that meditation decreases the stress hormone cortisol. As such, related symptoms (anxiety, sleep disruption, increased blood pressure, cloudy thinking, etc) also decrease.
- Can help fight addictions: Say what?! Studies show that meditation develops mental discipline and willpower. It can also help you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses. As such, this can help you recover from addiction, lose weight or redirect other unwanted habits in your life.
- Improves sleep
- Promotes emotional health
- Enhances self-awareness.
- Lengthens attention span
- Increases self-love
…ok, so clearly there are countless benefits, and I’m suddenly feeling my “inner guru” asking me why the heck I haven’t been practicing meditation for longer.
What is brain entrainment?
Brain entrainment is a method to stimulate the brain into entering a specific state by using light, sound, or sometimes electromagnetic field. There is a hypothesis that the brain can naturally sync its brainwave frequencies with the rhythm of periodic external stimuli. This allows us to induce many brainwave states; such as a trance, enhanced focus, relaxation, meditation or sleep induction. The brainwave entrainment effectively pushes the entire brain into a certain state, but unfortunately, can take years of practice to be able to guide your brain into higher states.
Brainwave entrainment works for almost everyone. It is a great way to lead your mind into states that you might usually have difficulty reaching, allowing you to experience what those states feel like.
The history of brain entrainment
Brainwave entrainment is not a new, or even highly scientific, thing. In fact, brain entrainment dates back to the Bronze Age (as far back as 2300 BC). Ancient Greeks induced altered states by looking at flickering sunlight shining through a spinning wheel.
In yoga, you may have heard of something called Trāṭaka, which is a method of meditation that involves staring at a single point such as a small object, black dot or candle flame. Yogis believe that this brings energy to the third eye. Trāṭaka is said to enhance the ability to concentrate. It increases the power of memory and bring the mind in a state of awareness, attention and focus.
A wearable device that taps into your subconscious mind
Think personal development meets virtual reality. Advancements in science are bringing us revolutionary technology every day, and now, there is a device looking to make its way into the market called GuruGo. GuruGo is a wearable device, currently in Kickstarter phase, which optimizes brainwaves to get rid of self-limiting beliefs, allowing you to tap into your highest self.
Through guided meditation and brain entrainment via synchronized lights and isochronic tones, your brain becomes the follower, working to sync the brainwaves to their optimal frequency. Combined with the powerful of traditional guided meditation and science-backed brain entrainment, GuruGo can help surpass roadblocks and help aid in better sleep, reduced stress, weight management and more.
I’ve tried it… my honest review
I’m the daughter of two psychologists. I also have a personal interest in “what makes people tick” and on a constant path that I call “adulting.” As a result, was excited to get the chance to play around with a prototype of this device to understand how it worked, and more importantly, IF it worked.
I took a relatively skeptical approach to this device. Meditation is simply not something I’m naturally drawn to. “No time!” I shout, when someone asks me if I want to spend 20 minutes over my lunch attending a free meditation session. Luckily, I was promised that there is no experience with meditation required in order for the device to work. I was even told that it’ll still work, even if I held onto my skeptic nature.
I’ve only been using the device for a short period of time, but found myself loving the synchronized lights that accompany the device. After a couple uses, I felt they actually increased my focus and calm while listening to the guided meditation. It’s quickly become something I actually look forward to doing, and as it suggests, I feel AMAZING after each session.
My husband is 3x the skeptic and has not meditated a day in his life. Despite this, he found himself easily following the program and feeling that the time had passed much more quickly than anticipated. He’s going to be my little lab rat as we test the device for improved sleep patterns, which he definitely could benefit.
With the virtual reality market projected at a whopping $209 billion by 2022, there is a huge increase in technology aiding us in our path towards personal development. Although it may feel a bit non-traditional to use a wearable device to enhance your meditation practice, why not give it a shot if it’ll aid you in finding your truest self and realizing just how badass you truly are?
Although I was provided a prototype of this device to demo, there was no additional compensation offered and my opinions are entirely my own.
If you believe in a technology on Kickstarter, backing the project can make a difference between the device becoming available to the consumer market or not. Kickstarter can be a blessing and a curse!