It is best to take daily heart rate variability readings to keep and establish a baseline over time and to track variation trends. EveryBODY is different and every body is different everyday and changes at different points along our daily path. So it is important to try and capture your data at the same time and under the same conditions.
Ideally, you should take your daily measurements first thing in the morning, either before you get out of bed or just after rising and before coffee! After much trial and error and much backsliding, I’ve selected 9 am as the best time to take my daily readings. I decided that the only level of real consistency that I could manage had to fit into my real life . . . that includes coffee and breakfast with my spouse, walking my dog, and having weekend schedules that may include travel or any number of other random events. I hope to change this daily routine a choose an earlier time that would more accurately reflect my “morning readiness,” but this works for now.
The following is the recommended daily routine for tracking heart rate variability using HRV apps within the HRV Yoga practice:
- Put on your Polar H7 heart rate monitor strap, find a quiet place to lay down, cover up if needed to keep your body temperature comfortable, relax, and begin to breathe with mindfulness and rhythm. Choose to take your readings using either a deep breathing technique or a regular, normal breathing pattern. Be as consistent as you can in every aspect of your reading. Reducing the variables of your readings will yield the most accurate picture. Remember you are comparing yourself to your self, as you are every day at the same time of day.
- Launch the first app, take your reading and move to the next app. Get your heart rate variability readings done as quickly as possible to keep the daily routine consistent. You can always take more time later to go back to look and ponder the data and also decide how you’d like to store or upload the data. The suggested apps in the HRV Yoga practice include:
- Elite HRV
- SweetBeat (session types Monitor Stress and HRV For Training)
- Go back through the apps and upload all your data to whatever system you have chosen. Each app has one or more ways to upload, share or export data. Some of the various options include: uploading .csv files to Dropbox, sending to email as graphic images, .txt files, or .csv files, or sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
Registered members of Big Data Yoga can choose to share and view data with other members. Big Data Yoga is a good place to learn more about incorporating heart rate variability tracking with your yoga practice. Big Data Yoga recommends using the HRV Yoga practice to help yogis who are interested in looking at the activity of autonomic nervous system to balance sympathetic and parasympathetic activity.