Of course, as always, check with your doctor before you try yoga for atrial fibrillation and irregular heartbeat. These are dangerous conditions, and yoga, while it may help some people, in most instances will not provide the protection from strokes and heart disease that modern medicine can.
This information was of interest to me because I have atrial fibrillation and was hoping to find things that I could do myself to help keep it under control.
It has long been known that, like other exercise programs, regular yoga practice can lower cholesterol and lower high blood pressure.
However, a recent study showed that yoga can also cut the risk of irregular heartbeats (atrial fibrillation) in half.
Atrial fibrillation is common in many people, but it also has the potential of being incredibly deadly.
AFib, as it is also sometimes called, causes blood to pool in the upper chambers of the heart. During one of these events, the blood can begin to clot, and the clot can eventually find its way to the brain, causing a stroke.
I learned about this first hand, because about seven years ago, I had to hit the local emergency room at 2 AM.
When I felt what seemed to me to be the start of a heart attack, I looked online (a friend asked why I took the time to look it up), and had every symptom listed for a heart attack.
At the hospital, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation with a “right bundle block”.
This is a situation in which the top portion of one side of the heart is not talking to the bottom. This causes blood flow is impeded and blood begins to pool.
Apparently, this “right bundle block” thing is my buddy for the rest of my life. It causes the heart to become “confused”, with one portion beating out of sequence with the other.
Anyway, the findings of the study I mentioned earlier were presented in New Orleans a few years ago, at an annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
Based on the study’s findings, Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, head of the study, and an associate professor with the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, stated that a regular practice of yoga apparently could have a significant impact for helping with regulation of heartbeat while also improving the overall quality of life.
In the study, researchers learned that, on average, regular yoga sessions could decrease episodes of irregular heartbeat by as much as 50%. It also significantly reduced depression and anxiety scores while improving scores in other areas such as physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning and mental health.
BENEFITS OF YOGA
Various studies have revealed that yoga exercises are extremely effective when it comes to increasing the level of joint flexibility, together with the level of lubrication of joints, ligaments and tendons.