yoga for your heart

The connection between yoga meditation and breath techniques and the ability to influence the heart rate has been known to yogis for a long time. New research is catching up and is showing yoga is good for your heart!

yoga-healthy heart!

yoga-healthy heart!

Specifically, yoga may be good for a condition called atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is an irregular heart beat where the hearts 2 upper chambers (atria) beat too fast and irregularly. This underlying problem in the hearts electrical circuit can have serious consequences, such as blood clots, stroke or heart failure.

Ongoing research at the University of Kansas Hospital, is looking at the effect of regular yoga practice on irregular heartbeat. Yoga’s ability to influence and change the autonomic nervous system may improve patients control over their heart rate than those who do not do yoga. Stressful situations and emotional moments can trigger the AF patient’s heart to beat more rapidly. Promising results are being seen as researchers are currently monitoring 49 AF episodes while on the yoga regimen vs. regular exercise routines.

Results demonstrated…

“…rigorous practice of yoga can help reduce episodes of irregular heartbeat and improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression often associated with atrial fibrillation. On average, yoga was found to cut patients’ episodes of atrial fibrillation in half and significantly improve quality of life.”

This is the first ever yoga study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and showed yoga can improve quality of life for heart patients – yay! (Lakkireddy et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;():. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2012.11.060).

… this is important because 1 in 3 older adults won’t escape heart problems !

much love from my yoga-healthy heart.

p.s. Huffington Post’s heart-healthy yoga postures to help you with the sit-and-reach tests

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0 thoughts on “yoga for your heart

  1. kgnarlym

    Not to burden you with my lethargy, but what is the threshold of “rigorous practice” in that study? Beautiful-Fun photo, by the way!!! 🙂

    1. kaitlynroland

      It was iyengar yoga: 10 min of pranayamas, 10 min of warm-up exercises, 30 min of asanas, and 10 min of relaxation exercises. There is no measure of exertion during the practice, but it sounds like they consider the 30min of asana to be rigorous (vs breathing/relaxation). It’s very subjective! My research showed that current yoga programs were not vigorous to induce cardiovascular benefits in general older adults (Roland et al. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 2011); however this is a clinical population and may have a lower exercise tolerance threshold.

      1. kgnarlym

        Ah, thank you! I think the Variety of yoga-stylings, while ultimately the Real Beauty and source of practicality, must make little headaches for research and the like. Have you ever heard of the Tai Chi Ruler (chi’h)? I’ve heard it yields good results with Parkinson-populations…


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