For those who don’t know, one of the main purposes in getting a good night’s sleep is to allow your brain the opportunity to go into an alpha wave state. When sleeping, it happens approximately every 90 minutes. And why is this important for you? Because in an alpha wave state (as opposed to the busy beta wave state) the brain is resting and regenerating. Not to worry though if you’re a poor sleeper, meditation can also help you get into this prized state of being.
Checkout this recent Huffington Post from Matthew B. James on the importance of alpha waves to your overall health and wellness. According to James, practicing just a few minutes of meditation a day can not only help you slow down from your fast-paced-life, but it’s also a good technique to reboot your brain. He provides the following Hawaiian meditation exercises:
Light meditation: Hakalau is a light meditation suited for these 15-minute breaks. This is a form of meditation from the ancient Hawaiian Huna system called “the walking meditation of the Kahuna” because the Kahuna who practiced it were able to walk around and function while remaining in the state. There are five steps to this form of meditation:
- Ho’ohaka: Just pick a spot on the wall to look at, preferably above eye level, so that your field of vision seems to bump up against your eyebrows, but not so high as to cut off the field of vision.
- Ku’u: “To let go.” As you stare at this spot, just let your mind go loose, and focus all of your attention on the spot.
- Lau: “To spread out.” Notice that within a matter of moments, your vision begins to spread out, and you see more in the peripheral than you do in the central part of your vision.
- Hakalau: Now, pay attention to the peripheral. In fact, pay more attention to the peripheral than to the central part of your vision.
- Ho’okohi: Stay in this state for as long as you can. Notice how it feels.
Deep meditation: If you have an office or a space you can make quiet and can close your eyes, you can do a 15-minute deep meditation. This is going into a deep alpha state without going to sleep. The form of this meditation we teach from Huna is called Hiolani, also called the sitting meditation of the Kahuna. “Hio” is “to lean, “lani” is “heavens.” People in the islands use the term Hiolani to express the phrase “to lean upon the heavens.” The Hiolani meditation requires you to be as comfortable as you can and to remain awake — this can be the hard part! You can also achieve this state through self-hypnosis. A 15-minute meditation that is deep enough can be the rest equivalent of 1.5 hours of sleep.
Read more from James on using meditation to reboot the brain here.