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?
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
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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...
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
@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 â€œOh look, Iâ€™ll eat cat poopâ€ because my Bulletproof Coffee turns off food cravings. I am nourished and satisfied and eat the Bulletproof Diet the rest of the time; I donâ€™t have food cravings because Iâ€™m not starving anymore, so I satisfied that part of my inner labrador.
...some mad monking...
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.
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.
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?
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...