Stability Ball Mindful Stroop

Here we have women’s boxing champ Maureen Shea doing our Mindful Stroop task. She is seated on a stability ball with one leg up forcing her to stabilize. The goal is for her to control her breathing on pace with the bars on the screen and as that’s happening she’s seeing color words written in incongruent ink (such as blue written in green) the Stroop effect. She must memorize the colors in order while stabilizing and breathing controllably.

The rationale behind this drill is several fold. One is by doing the Stroop task which engages the inhibitory control centers or holding back unwanted responses. The breathing helps engage the vagus nerve which regulates heart rate. A calmer heart rate contributes to better focus. The single leg balance on the stability ball integrates the physical component and also adds more load to the already physiologically, psychologically and cognitively stressed Maureen!