Heart function improves by adding yoga music at the right time

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yoga-music(NaturalHealth365) What’s your bedtime routine? If you’re like most people, you probably surf the internet, watch television, or lounge around in your pajamas while scrolling through your social media feeds. Well, if you want to improve your cardiac health, try putting some calming yoga music on in the background.

It’s clear that music can affect your mood.  And, yes, research has proven that the right music – at the right time – can ease anxiety for those feeling ‘high strung.’

For example, new research shows that certain types of music – specifically the relaxing type used in typical yoga classes – may actually make your heart stronger, particularly by influencing an important cardiac marker of health known as heart rate variability.

How soothing yoga music can reduce anxiety and improve heart function based on new research

A recent press release from the European Society of Cardiology shared some interesting findings from a study out of HG SMS Hospital in India. The research team tested 149 healthy subjects (average age 26) on three different nights. In the first session, the subjects listened to soothing yoga music before bed.

In the second session, they listened to steady-state pop music.  The third session had no music – the subjects instead listened to silence.

As the press release states: “The researchers found that heart rate variability increased during the yoga music, decreased during the pop music, and did not significant change during the silence.”

Additionally, subjective levels of anxiety (as assessed on a standard test known as the Goldberg Anxiety Scale) decreased after listening to yoga music – but increased after the period of silence, and showed a statistically significant increase after listening to pop music.

Plus, the subjective levels of positivity (as assessed on a visual analogue scale) were also significantly higher after the yoga music compared to the pop music.

What we find interesting here is that the subjects involved in the study only had to listen to relaxing music in order to see meaningful benefits. So, even if you’re not willing, interested, or able to take up an actual yoga practice, you still can get some health benefits just by playing a go-to yoga playlist!

Of course, one glaring question you probably have right now is: what exactly IS heart rate variability, and why does it matter for my cardiac health?

How heart rate variability relates to better cardiac health

You might hear the term high heart rate variability and assume it means something negative. It sort of brings to mind wildly fluctuating pulses, doesn’t it?

But it turns out that low heart rate variability is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. A significantly greater risk, in fact – upwards of 32-45%.

And if you’ve already had a cardiovascular event, having a low heart rate variability increases the risk for additional problems, and even premature death.

Heart rate variability basically describes how your heart adapts to changes in the autonomic nervous system (the higher, the better). These changes are primarily the “flight or flight” mode and the “rest and digest” mode, which are regulated by the two main branches of your autonomic nervous system – the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, respectively.

During the fight or flight/sympathetic response, your heart rate speeds up – and we don’t know about you, but we certainly don’t want to be in the “fight or flight” mode in the moments before bed!

Conversely, your heart rate will slow down during the “rest and digest”/parasympathetic response, helping you to relax.  It’s this ability of your heart to respond in time with an ever-changing nervous system that gives you a good idea of how healthy your ticker is.

Incidentally, in addition to listening to yoga music, breathing exercises have also been shown to improve your heart rate variability. To learn more about heart rate variability training, check out The HeartMath Solution.

Sources used for this article include:

ScienceDaily.com
ESCardio.org