Getting "In The Zone"

Feet in straps at springboard

Have you ever felt like you were "in the zone"? It could have been during running, dancing, engaged in a hobby, or (maybe!) practicing Pilates. Some people report finding unconventional, creative solutions while fully immersed in the shower. Others find clarity and peace from hearing the the right song at the right time. No matter the situation, with the right state of mind, stressors melt away easily, and you are focused.

Our brain consists of 5 different types of brain waves; Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma. While they happen simultaneously, we are often in one dominant state and experience its effects to a greater extent. The brainwave states map to all the way from a sleeping state, Delta, to the highly awake, active Gamma. Since we're talking about getting "in the zone", we will address the ways that we can go from Beta (our everyday state) to a more Alpha (the creative, relaxed state).

The Beta brainwave state is our day to day brainwave state. It includes a rapid fire frequency, where stress hormones often kick into action. Activities that map to this state include driving and paying attention to traffic, but also concentration on tasks, problem solving and reasoning. It's a very useful state to be in, and utilizes much of the left side of our brain. With the Alpha brainwave state, you feel relaxed and alert at the same time. This is where you tap into your creative power. Often, we spent too long in a Beta state of mind, which is why meditation and exercise can be so helpful to help your to brain and body to change pace. In an Alpha state of mind, awareness of the mind/body connection is enhanced, learning is in supercharge mode, and creative visualizations have greater effect. The right side of the brain becomes more active, helping you find balance in mind and body.

Next time you are in class or a Pilates session, take a few moments to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and slow down. You are changing your brainwaves, breath by breath, and reaping the rewards of a relaxed and creative state of mind.

diana chen