Instabilities in brain rhythms correlate with tics, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggressive behavior, rage, bruxism, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, migraines, narcolepsy, epilepsy, sleep apnea, vertigo, tinnitus, anorexia/bulimia, PMT, diabetes, hypoglycemia and explosive behavior.

Our brain is a fascinating machine.

This 3 pound organ contains 100 of billion cells. It can process though upto lightening speed depending upon the control on brain. Divided into two part left and right hemisphere, each dealing with specific function. These billions of cells known as neurons talks to each other. These neurons communicate using electricity.

When millions of neurons are communicating at the same time, this all generates a significant amount of electrical activity – which can be detected using sensitive scientific equipment, such as an EEG (electroencephalograph) machine.

This combined electrical activity in the brain is known as a brainwave pattern. It’s called a brainwave due to its wave-like patterning.  


The brain waves can be observed with an EEG (or an “electroencephalograph”)

Our brain’s ability to become flexible and/or transition through various brain wave frequencies plays a large role in how successful we are at managing stress, focusing on tasks, and getting a good night’s sleep. If one of the five types of brain waves is either overproduced and/or under produced in our brain, it can cause problems. For this reason, it is important to understand that there is no single brain wave that is “better” or more Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) “optimal” than the others.

Each serves a purpose to help us cope with various situations – whether it is to help us process and learn new information or help us calm down after a long stressful day. The five brain waves in order of highest frequency to lowest are as follows: gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta.

Now, different brainwave patterns have different names, depending on their frequency. (The frequency is measured in pulses per second.)


Gamma Waves

“Gamma” which is a critical yet mainly supportive frequency, found to exist during certain Buddhist meditations. Think inspiration, higher learning, and focus.  It is always complemented by other brainwaves.

These are involved in higher processing tasks as well as cognitive functioning. Gamma waves are important for learning, memory and information processing. It is thought that the 40 Hz gamma wave is important for the binding of our senses in regards to perception and is involved in learning new material. It has been found that individuals who are mentally challenged and have learning disabilities tend to have lower gamma activity than average.

  • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 100 Hz (Highest)
  • Too much: Anxiety, high arousal, stress
  • Too little: ADHD, depression, learning disabilities
  • Optimal: Binding senses, cognition, information processing, learning, perception, REM sleep
  • Increase gamma waves: Meditation

Beta Waves

These are known as high frequency low amplitude brain waves that are commonly observed while we are awake. They are involved in conscious thought, logical thinking, and tend to have a stimulating affect. Having the right amount of beta waves allows us to focus and complete school or work-based tasks easily. Having too much beta may lead to us experiencing excessive stress and/or anxiety. The higher beta frequencies are associated with high levels of arousal.   “Beta” pattern is typically emitted when we are consciously alert, and is our dominant waking frequency. Think concentration, cognition.

When you drink caffeine or have another stimulant, your beta activity will naturally increase. Think of these as being very fast brain waves that most people exhibit throughout the day in order to complete conscious tasks such as: critical thinking, writing, reading, and socialization.

  • Frequency range: 12 Hz to 40 Hz (High)
  • Too much: Adrenaline, anxiety, high arousal, inability to relax, stress
  • Too little: ADHD, daydreaming, depression, poor cognition
  • Optimal: Conscious focus, memory, problem solving
  • Increase beta waves: Coffee, energy drinks, various stimulants

Alpha Waves

Going deeper, “Alpha” is another brainwave pattern, which usually occurs when we are in a state of physical and mental relaxation, though still aware of the world around us. This frequency range bridges the gap between our conscious thinking and subconscious mind. In other words, alpha is the frequency range between beta and theta. It helps us calm down when necessary and promotes feelings of deep relaxation. If we become stressed, a phenomenon called “alpha blocking” may occur which involves excessive beta activity and very little alpha. Essentially the beta waves “block” out the production of alpha because we become too aroused.

  • Frequency range: 8 Hz to 12 Hz (Moderate)
  • Too much: Daydreaming, inability to focus, too relaxed
  • Too little: Anxiety, high stress, insomnia, OCD
  • Optimal: Relaxation
  • Increase alpha waves: Alcohol, marijuana, relaxants, some antidepressants

Theta Waves

Theta is often associated with daydreaming, or feeling very sleepy. Think meditation, intuition, memory. It’s also strongly associated with creative states.

Theta waves are connected to us experiencing and feeling deep and raw emotions. Too much theta activity may make people prone to bouts of depression and may make them “highly suggestible” based on the fact that they are in a deeply relaxed, semi-hypnotic state. Theta has its benefits of helping improve our intuition, creativity, and makes us feel more natural. It is also involved in restorative sleep. As long as theta isn’t produced in excess during our waking hours, it is a very helpful brain wave range.

v            Frequency range: 4 Hz to 8 Hz (Slow)

v            Too much: ADHD, depression, hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattentiveness

v            Too little: Anxiety, poor emotional awareness, stress

v            Optimal: Creativity, emotional connection, intuition, relaxation

v            Increase theta waves: Depressants

Delta Waves

These are the slowest recorded brain waves in human beings. Delta really represents the lowest amount of activity possible.  This typically only occurs during deep sleep, and can also trigger growth and body healing.

They are found most often in infants as well as young children. As we age, we tend to produce less delta even during deep sleep. They are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and restorative, healing sleep. They have also been found to be involved in unconscious bodily functions such as regulating heart beat and digestion. Adequate production of delta waves helps us feel completely rejuvenated after we wake up from a good night’s sleep. If there is abnormal delta activity, an individual may experience learning disabilities or have difficulties maintaining conscious awareness (such as in cases of brain injuries).

  • Frequency range: 0 Hz to 4 Hz (Slowest)
  • Too much: Brain injuries, learning problems, inability to think, severe ADHD
  • Too little: Inability to rejuvenate body, inability to revitalize the brain, poor sleep
  • Optimal: Immune system, natural healing, restorative / deep sleep
  • Increase delta waves: Depressants, sleep



Infra-Low brainwaves (also known as Slow Cortical Potentials), are thought to be the basic cortical rhythms that underlie our higher brain functions. Very little is known about infra-low brainwaves. Their slow nature makes them difficult to detect and accurately measure, so few studies have been done. They appear to take a major role in brain timing and network function.

The benefits of Yoga and meditation for our

Brain wave Balance

yogas citta vritti nirodha

Yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, chapter 1, sutra 2

Yoga means a lot of things to a lot of people, and I think most of them would agree that what ties the myriad types together is their effect on the mind. Whatever branch of Yoga we practice, the goal is the same: to overcome the mental chatter of the ego and, through that effort, to find spiritual liberation.

Yoga and meditation simultaneously control all wave patterns and balancing different hormones of brain like cortisol, serotonin, endorphin, dopamine etc. Yoga and meditation increase alpha and theta waves. These two types of waves are beneficial for our immune system, help to balance our brain chemistry in favor of better mood, and are where we process the information that we take in during beta. Advance stage of yogi undergo experience of ultra low Epsilon waves or even too higher than Gamma waves producing NAD called ANAHAD NAD , a thundering sound at very ultra high frequency.

In Meditation and the Brain, Benjamin Kramer tells us that in one study “after only an eight week mindfulness meditation program, regulation of alpha rhythms helped the brain ‘turn down the volume’ of distractions in the surrounding environment. Researchers noted that mindfulness meditators had more ability to adjust brain waves and exceptional ability to rapidly remember and process new facts.” (Emphasis added.)

He goes on to relate that mantra meditation has been found to produce predominantly alpha waves, while open monitoring systems of meditation, such as mindfulness and zazen, produce theta waves. The practice of Yoga Nidra, a deeply relaxing form of meditation, produces both alpha and theta waves.
While there are some theories, science does not know exactly how or why this leap happens from the slow, low rhythms of meditation to the super fast frequency of transcendence.
What we do know is that the chatter of our everyday consciousness is the voice of beta waves.  Through practicing Yoga we begin to quiet the mind. We slow down to listen to the voice of alpha waves, the voice of intuition. We can even sink beyond that into the silence of theta.

disclaimer – Results may vary from person to person

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