Atrial fibrillation (AF) is perhaps the most common heart rhythm disorder in the world. It affects approximately 240 000 Australians and it is also a risk factor for stroke. This type of irregular heart beat has been shown to improve with regular Yoga practice.
AF is a disturbance of the heart’s electrical system. It causes the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) to quiver rather than beat normally. This can mean that the heart does not pump blood around the body as efficiently as it should.
There have been studies on the benefit of yoga as a complementary treatment for atrial fibrillation, including one in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that after 3 months of a 60 minute, twice weekly Iyengar Yoga class, the participants had fewer AF episodes.
In addition, 22% of the participants who had AF episodes before they started yoga had none while they participated in yoga classes. While the study was small, it shows promising results for the application of Yoga in cardiovascular disease, specifically in relation AF.
In our upcoming Yoga and Chronic Diseases workshop, Liz Williams will covers the Cardio-Vascular Function and Fluid Transport. Liz is a yoga therapy educator and highly experienced health educator who has been working in the health sector for over 40 years. Our Yoga and Chronic Diseases workshop is an 8 part series running from January – November 2022.