HRV Yoga uses apps on smart phones to track heart rate variability before, during and after our yoga practice. One of the most complete set of applications for this kind of tracking is found in a bundle developed by Marco Altini. As of today, there are four apps in the bundle showing on the Apple iTunes Preview page for $14.99 (note: the App Store on my iPhone only shows three apps with the “Stressed Out” app being the missing fourth item). Whether it’s 3 or 4 apps in this bundle matters not, as long as HRV Logger is included, I’m happy.
Each app in the bundle can serve a slightly different need in the HRV Yoga practice of tracking heart rate variability. Here are the four apps and how they are used in the HRV Yoga practice:
HRV4Training – This app is part of the recommended HRV Yoga Daily Routine. It can be used with a Polar H7 heart rate monitor strap, or can capture readings via the iPhone’s camera. The HRV4Training menu has info similar to other HRV Apps with “Population Comparison” being one of the most unique features that allows you to see how you compare to other HRV4Training users in your age range. Users of the HRV4Training app can send their readings from HRV4Training to a separate app used by an instructor, coach or larger group. The “HRV4Training Coach” app helps instructors track progress for several individual users.
HRV Logger – I love this app. It works particularly well when tracking heart rate variability for longer periods of time, like during HRV Yoga practice! It’s a little more complicated, but that’s exactly why I like it. There is more data, with tracking for 12 different heart rate variability features. Too much information? Ah, but TMI never felt so good. Even with all the data, the app is easy to navigate, feeds the need for beautiful graphics, simplifies threshold ranges, shows activity in REAL TIME, and has one of the easiest export features to Dropbox that I’ve found. Oh, and it not only allows you to name each session but actually saves the raw session files with those individual names. It’s the little things. Forget generic file names like 2016-02-12 08-42.27.txt. (note: It may be the Apple user showing in me when I gush over the idea of having long lists of files with my very own descriptive names.) A file name like 2016-2-2_RR has my recording name appended to it to become 2016-2-2_RR_HRV Yoga Class 2.2.16.csv. Yes!
Camera HRV – Use this app for a quick, 60 second read using the camera on your iPhone. It provides similar data as HRV Logger and is useful when your strap is not handy or you are in a hurry. It supposedly has been tested against longer readings taken with a heart rate monitor strap with no loss in accuracy. I think I’ll stick with HRV Logger for longer readings and HRV4Training for it’s more advanced group and comparison features.
For more images from these apps, check out this link to google images for HRV4Training.