3 Reasons I Do Yoga for Heart Palpitations

A blog by Thomas Boto, co-founder of Natural Rhythm

When I was looking around the internet for cures for my heart palpitations, I continually came across recommendations to do yoga. I saw a few articles that said that doing yoga greatly reduces irregular heartbeats. However, I also saw some comments on blog posts that said that they experienced more heart palpitations when they tried to do yoga, so I wasn’t sure what to do.

 

I tried it and my heart palpitations were so bad at the time, that it didn’t matter what kind of yoga I was doing, all I could focus on was the skipped beats which were happening about every third beat. So I stopped yoga. It wasn’t until later, after my heart palpitations slowed down a bit, that I came back and tried it again. And I’m glad I did.
 

The Benefits of Yoga for Heart Palpitations

Yoga has a number of benefits. You can find articles all over the internet touting the wonderfulness of daily yoga, but the three best, in my opinion are:

1. It helps lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that doing yoga two to three times per week made a significant different in blood pressure compared to just dieting alone.

2. It helps you sleep better. Many studies (including this one from Harvard) have found that eight weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality for people with insomnia.

3. Stress Relief. One of the best reasons, in my opinion, is that yoga helps your body stay calm when things are in a state of stress. Essentially, you are temporarily putting your body in relatively uncomfortable positions while practicing calm and slow breathing. Over time your body gets better at managing stress.

There are many different types of yoga, and I am certainly no expert. I actually just googled “yoga for stress” and after watching a few videos found two that I liked (I have posted them below). I’m trying to get better at it, but right now it still feels a little awkward and more like glorified stretching than anything else, which is fine with me.

Here are two yoga videos I would do when I was trying to find ways to help stop my heart palpitations.

1. Yoga for Stress Relief

2. Yoga at Your Desk (It’s shorter and I could do it at work)

My Favorite Stretch for Heart Palpitations

Around this same time, I also bought a foam roller for my back and I’m really glad I did. I know this isn’t exactly part of “yoga”, but I incorporate it into my routine and I think it helps immensely! This is the one I got from Amazon if you are interested. It’s nothing fancy. But I keep it right by my desk and a couple times a day I lay down and roll out my back and do some simple stretches with it. It helps my posture and helps open up my chest. I love love love it. Highly recommend getting one if you don’t have one already (they are fairly inexpensive and definitely worth it). I also got a yoga mat (this one) but I don’t think it is essential. I have hard wood floors in my office, so I needed a soft spot to stretch out. It’s nice and squishy.

I wish I had some other cool stretches for you, but I don’t at this point. I need all you yoga experts to give me some tips in the comments. Let me know if you have a great stretch or routine that you think would be beneficial to those of us with heart palpitations. If you are new to yoga like I was, I highly recommend you try out the videos above. Adrienne, from Yoga with Adrienne, seems to know what she is doing.

And on a side note, there was this one video that kept popping up that said you could heal your heart palpitations in minutes with a certain Heart Mudra (a “mudra” is a hand pose or just a position in yoga). It was essentially placing your thumb on your middle and ring finger with your pinky up and your index finger down on the inside part of your thumb. Here is the video if you are interested. I tried it and I can’t say that it helped any. I am skeptical but I thought I would pass it along. Anyone else try this? Was it effective?

So does yoga help cure heart palpitations or help you management them better? Does it make your heart palpitations worse? Is it a waste of time? It took me a while, but now, personally, I think yoga helps. I do think that it’s a good way to push pause in the day and reduce some anxiety and stress, which in turn helps reduce heart palpitations.

What do you think? Love it or leave it? Let me know in the comments!