**top Scores** Inner Balance / Coherence



  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013

    What are the difference between each level. To the Layman it seems just that the coherence levels just move up on the same scale.


    If I have a session on level 1, would it look the same on level 4, as in my scores and levels I reach will be the same (3.0 on level 1 is a 3.0 on level 4, just one is high and one is medium) and just the Low/Med/High scores change. Or is there more to it than that?


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • What are the difference between each level. To the Layman it seems just that the coherence levels just move up on the same scale.


    If I have a session on level 1, would it look the same on level 4, as in my scores and levels I reach will be the same (3.0 on level 1 is a 3.0 on level 4, just one is high and one is medium) and just the Low/Med/High scores change. Or is there more to it than that?


    The sensitivity of the infra-red sensor increases exponentially with each challenge level. So while it's possible to get 3.0 on level 1 or 3.0 on level 4, the quality and results of the practice will be different. It should also be more difficult to get 3.0 on level 4 then it is on level 1. Here is a good explanation of the challenge levels from the HeartMath.com site:


    These screen shots of the Inner Balance session screen at the four different challenge levels show

    how the thresholds between the low, medium and high challenge levels increases as you increase

    the challenge levels from one to four.


    The coherence score ranges from 0 (no coherence) to 16 (theoretical maximum coherence) and is

    independent of challenge level.


    The low/medium  threshold goes from 0.5 to 0.6 to 1.8 to 4.0 as you raise the challenge level.

    The medium/high threshold goes from 0.9 to 2.1 to 4.0 to 6.0. as you raise the challenge level.


    HRV vs Challenge Levels, a Question:


    Question: Please can you explain in HRV / physiological terms what changing the challenge level means to the program? Does it require greater frequency power in the LF zone? Does a session that produced higher levels of power (close to 0.1HZ) reflect increased coherence? 


    Answer: Increasing the challenge level raises the threshold in the coherence algorithm for determining Low, Medium, and High coherence levels. The coherence scoring algorithm uses power spectrum analyses, a measure of frequency and frequency magnitude, of the heart rhythm to determine the amount of physiological coherence in the HRV waveform. By tracking the ratio of power in the coherence peak relative to the rest of the frequency spectrum a coherence ratio is calculated. The challenge level sets the level at which the algorithm scores the coherence ratio as low, medium or high. The higher the challenge level, the higher the coherence ratio score must be in order to accumulate coherence points. The more stable the frequency in both amplitude and frequency the HRV waveform becomes (visually this appears as a smooth regular sine wave like pattern in the HRV waveform) the more power is concentrated in the coherence frequency peak and thus the ratio of power in this peak relative to the rest of the spectrum.


    Coherence in not strictly bound to the fixed boundaries of the LF region, most physiological processes vary over a range of frequencies. The coherence range spans from the top of the VLF through the lower portion of the HF range of the HRV power spectrum (approximately 0.03-0.24 Hz). It is not necessary for the coherence frequency to be at 0.1 Hz to be coherent, although 0.1 Hz is the center of the range around which the coherence or resonant frequency typically occurs when looking at large samples of the population. Each person tends to naturally find their own resonate frequency which can vary some from day to day or with different states.


    And some more info about How Coherence is Determined:


    Coherence is determined by first measuring and storing the continuous stream of inter-beat-intervals (IBI), calculated from pulse data received from the finger sensor. Next, the power spectrum of the most current 64 seconds of IBI data is calculated. The more coherent (sine-wave like) the heart rhythm the more the rhythm frequencies concentrates into a single peak in the power spectrum. If coherence is high then most of the energy will be concentrated in or around a single peak within the coherence range of the power spectrum.


    The values are IBI's accumulated in interpolated form every 500ms for a total of 128 in the 64 sec window.  By comparing the power in the coherence peak to the rest of the spectrum the coherence ratio is determined. For each challenge level there are 2 coherence level thresholds for clarifying the ratio level, low/medium and medium/high. Coherence is scored as low, medium or high depending on its relationship to the threshold levels. In general (the actual details of scoring are more complicated), points are deducted for low coherence and awarded for medium and high coherence. These points are continuously updated throughout the entire session. The current level of coherence and accumulated coherence points are reflected in the software displays.

    Director HeartMath South Africa, Lead Trainer and Licensed 1:1 Provider & Coach


    Relationships | Results | Resilience


    A Change of Heart Changes Everything









    “Every famous athlete, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach. Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’… give them perspective. The one thing that people are not good at, is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps.” â€“ Eric Schmidt – Google CEO

  • ok guys, only taking scores from level 4  :-P


    seriously, though, just post your best results, very interested to see how other people are using this, in general - and especially what effect it is having on other life metrics

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • have updated original post with a "hrv hacks" section


    feel free to share your own hacks...

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Baba YagaBaba Yaga
    edited August 2013

    You guys are doing great!  I've been lengthening my practice times from 10 min sessions to around 20, aiming for over 1000 achievement points.  So my overall coherence has gone down for the most part.  Had a good session this evening though. 






  • ok guys, only taking scores from level 4  :-P


    seriously, though, just post your best results, very interested to see how other people are using this, in general - and especially what effect it is having on other life metrics


    OK, you made me want to try a level 4 again.  Score wasn't that great, but with all that breath and heart work, I feel pretty good. 


  • wish I could be as good as baba...


    I have put a link to Baba's hacks in the op.


    I still don't understand what the inner labrador is, but will keep practicing... :-P

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • @MrJBSmith, thanks, it probably helps that I've practiced breathwork for a while.  There are a lot of pranayama type images that help.


    Taking in your inhalation as though you were savoring a very fine scent.

    Let your exhalation be long, soft, calm and peaceful.



    In the podcasts, Dave has referred to the distractibility of the mind as a labrador, like a  dog that easily gets distracted with, "look a cat" or "cat poop, think I'll eat it."


    Quote:  So all right, I have turned off the “Oh look, I’ll eat cat poop” because my Bulletproof Coffee turns off food cravings. I am nourished and satisfied and eat the Bulletproof Diet the rest of the time; I don’t have food cravings because I’m not starving anymore, so I satisfied that part of my inner labrador.

  • ...some mad monking...



    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Baba YagaBaba Yaga
    edited August 2013



    Do you use music with the IB?  What do you like to listen to?  Did the breath imagery help? What are your hacks?


    Have you heard any of Gregg Braden's talks?  I like what he says about the heart. 

  • "Do you use music with the IB?  What do you like to listen to?"  


    Sometimes I will listen to binaural beats, mostly around 10 Hz. But also, I just like to "listen to nature".


    "Did the breath imagery help? What are your hacks?"


    Yeah, some of your tips are really useful to me, thanks heaps. I have updated the end of the original post to this thread with a list of "hacks" that I use, ranked in order of usefulness ( to me). Happy to hear any and all tips from others  :-P 


    I still haven't got the hang of the tongue thing... but will keep practicing.

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • I thought I would prompt others to share how IB may be relating to other life metrics. I keep a spreadsheet of over 100 life metrics, some I update daily, most are updated at least quarterly. Some of these life metrics include Karolinska sleep diary metrics. One thing I have noticed is that my Karolinska metrics are significantly changing over the past month. Currently, I am on a cycle of mild aromatase inhibitors, along with some other hormone hacks. After I finish this cycle, I am interested in seeing if there are any other changes, and tracking this for a while.

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Just use the techniques as tools, if your mind is jumping around, try just letting your tongue rest along the floor of your mouth.  You don't have to do it all the time, just as needed.


    Impressed that you're tracking so much, so many good tools to have. 

  • I'm finding as most of the time I'm nose breathing in and mouth breathing out, my tough is already on the floor.


    Anyone else alternating between nose and mouth or all nose?


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • I've played around with a few combinations; walking, standing, sitting, lying, pillow, no-pillow, feet elevated, head elevated, breath in through left nostril out through right (and vice versa), in/out through nose, in/out through mouth, in nose/out mouth...I've even stuck the thing on my dog's ear :-P  


    Best for me is: nose breathing in/out, lying down, spine reasonably straight, shoulders relaxed


    Best for dog is: don't try it...

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • I always do mine lying down, as I do it when I wake and before sleep. So that's where I am. I'm just lazy ;-)


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • I only breathe through my nose for this, greater control than mouth breathing for me. I usually sit for my practice, often I'll put it on level one and see how I'm doing while driving.
  • I have added the text and image, below, to the original post. I have been getting into the habit of (literally) listening to my heart beat.


    When in level 4 high coherence, I like hearing it quicken to about 90 bpm (for me) at the top of an inhale, and then rapidly decelerating to about 60 bpm at the bottom of the next exhale.


    I can predict, almost all the time, when I am in level 4 high coherence, without having to look at the device, just by hearing a large, consistent acceleration and deceleration between inhale and the next exhale.




    The picture below shows how your heart rate (bpm) can vary 20 or more points in the space of a few seconds (literally a few heart beats), when in "high coherence". Just as important, is the pattern of that variation. A large, "smooth" sine-wave like hrv pattern is linked to beneficial biochemical change in the body. 



    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • edited August 2013

    optimal breathing rate.


    What are people's thoughts on this? I find I can always get a 5+ score just by sticking to a 0.085 Hz metronome / pacer. See pic below.


    Can't find hard science on this frequency, but obviously it is a popular meditation frequency (1 cycle every 12 seconds, 5 breaths per minute). Alan/heartmath, is there any hard science around this subject? What is the "optimal" frequency?




    edit: find what I was looking for here , page 130.


    "The length of the delay differed across individuals and lay in the range of 4–6.5 s for all subjects; i.e. the resonant frequency of their CVS lay in the range of 0.075–0.12 Hz."

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • I always breathe in using the nose and breathe out using mouth. This comes naturally to me. Thinking about breathing any other way tends to distract me during the session. Most of my sessions are done while sitting.


    JB, do you track your metrics by assigning a score to them? eg. quality of sleep 8/10, focus 7/10, etc.

  • @reggie ;


    I use the following hierarchy when tracking life metrics: values > areas of focus > goals > goal metrics (with  goal metrics being the least important). I think people often get this hierarchy around the wrong way. Also, goals don't always link to life values, even though people often *think* they do. And even when you are *sure* a metric is aligned to your life values, often times it ends up not really being the case at all.


    For metrics, I prefer objective measures, in numbers, but not always. 


    For sleep, the science shows subjective measures are as good as objective, for example, "there is a consistent relation between subjective perceptions of sleep and the physiological characteristics of sleep" - Journal of Sleep Research (Dec 1997). 


    Also, a key thing to begin with is: how does science define "good sleep". For example, this paper here. So I track key elements that make up "good sleep", but always ensure my main "guide" is having my "areas of focus" linking with life values, rather than just metrics. For sleep my "areas of focus" are taken from primal blueprint thinking including: "honour the sun" and "perform dawn patrol". This is what I focus on, if I hit these daily, I am linking closer to my values, regardless of what a zeo readout might say (as an example).


    Having said all that, "metrics" I log related for sleep are:


    -daily log of sleep supplements 

    -time between sleeps

    -total sleep time

    -number of wakes

    -time at waking

    -mood on waking (I now find the IB mood function lets me "automate" this, and seems to do the job just as well, as it was very similar to my previous way of doing it).


    The recent changes to these metrics, that I am noticing, include: much less total sleep time, more number of wakes, better moods on waking.


    I can't really explain this, normally I would see longer sleep times and less wakes correlating with better mood. But, so long as I hit my "areas of focus", I don't really care. And, so far, I have really seem significant improvements in this regard. 


    Not sure if that helps, or made any sense. 

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Thanks for sharing, man. Good point about aligning your goals to values. 


    I tend to struggle with subjective metrics. In recording such metrics, I usually factor in things that are not related. There is an element of judgment in recording these metrics and my judgment could be affected by my mood, the kind of day I had, how much coffee I drank etc. On the other hand, an objective metric like coherence provides me with a clear measure on how I'm progressing without any subjectivity. If I score not so well on HRV session, there is some visible/invisible stress. If I score well, then my stress is under control. It is that objective feedback from the Inner Balance app that I like the most. For me, it is a better indicator than "feeling good" and "feeling productive".


    I'm trying to extend this principle of change using objective feedback in other areas like sleep, attention, productivity etc. 

  • 9458815942_dc78d23819_m.jpg9456033485_4713a50d15_m.jpg

    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • @MrSmith, flickr isn't displaying your post, :( 


    Had a bit of a fluke earlier this week, haven't come close to that again, mainly been averaging around 5.6 most of the week.  This practice is really keeping me a very nice zone. 



    201384_zps78541e28.jpg  201387_zps1168a348.jpg

  • edited August 2013

    sick session, that is amazing...


    updating my sig, very hard not to feel like a loser  :-P (kidding)


    edit: baba, you inspired me...took an early lunch and got above 70, level 4, for first time



    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

  • Baba YagaBaba Yaga
    edited August 2013

    That's great!  I have to say, you inspired me to try this level 4 stuff, I never would have gone there w/o your edging me on, didn't like that word "provisional" ...  So keep at it, somehow I just think you should be the Mad Monk, I like Bad Buddha better. 

  • Breathe In through Nose Out through Mouth..so far been on Mornings only but think Night would be good to get You in Sleep state...been on challenge level 3 for the past month time to step it up to 4

  • I think it's time for you all you mouth breathers to graduate to the nose, the nose is for breathing, the mouth is for eating. :smile:  Consider this: 


    As we breath in, air passes through the nasal mucosa, the mucosa supports the cilia, tiny hairs that move in a wave like motion as we inhale and exhale.  Along with filtering, adding humidity and warming  or cooling the air before it enters the lungs,  cilia also sends nerve impulses to the brain,each nostril is innervated by 5 cranial nerves from different sides of the brain, so by exhaling through your mouth, you're missing out on potential calming brain stimulation.  By breathing through the nose, you're stimulating the olfactory nerve; that impulse is then passed on to the hypothalamus, which is connected to the pineal gland.  This does not happen through mouth breathing.  Plus, habitual mouth breathing can set you up for patterns of snoring and/or irregular breath. 


    The nostrils shifts in dominance every two to four hours. Every couple of hours either the right or the left nostril becomes more open to receiving airflow than the other. The prominent nostril has a specific effect on the hypothalamic functions via the olfactory nerve. Breathing through the right tends to activate the system; breathing through the left tends to calm it.


    If you set yourself up for a pattern of always exhaling through your mouth, you're going to miss all these subtleties. 


    Pranayama technique for anxiety & insomnia:  let your exhalation become longer than your inhalation, at first just a few seconds longer, eventually, double the length of your inhalation.  Do not push the air out with your stomach muscles to make the breath longer, instead, just take longer to do the exhalation. 


  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013

    I've switched my breathing a little now and on readying the above post, seems like i'm heading in the right direction. I'm now just breathing through the nose. Trying to get an almost 'sucking through a straw' draw of breathe in, so it's even and continuous. Then the same on the way out, but obviously the straw thing goes  out the window a little, but trying to keep the in and out even and continuous. Finding it beneficial so far, seem to fill my lungs better and have increase the timer to 6 secs, so slowed it down too.


    Results are a little better, but not too much, but the graphs look a bit more even to me.


    So no more mouth breathing for me.


    Still finding coughing, yawning and swallowing is disturbing my flow :sad:


    getting some useful states on my sweetmeat for HRV for Training too!


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • edited August 2013

    thanks for all the tips, guys, getting a lot out of it  :-P


    All my best scores have been over the past few days.




    edit: and today was pretty chilled out



    Reigning Former Inner Balance "Mad Monk" Champion... :-P 

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