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 ;-)
SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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
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. 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.
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!
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