Doing the downward-facing dog yoga pose can help keep your heart from racing out of control, a study by a University of Kansas Hospital researcher has found.
After three months of breathing exercises, meditation and yoga poses, patients with atrial fibrillation, a common heart disorder, had fewer episodes of irregular heartbeats and less anxiety and depression.
"It doesn't mean atrial fibrillation is cured by yoga, but it decreases its impact on your life," said KU cardiologist Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy. "These patients feel better and think they can deal with their symptoms better than they could before," Kansas City Star reports.
Regular guided yoga sessions with relaxation and breathing exercises reduced the number of atrial fibrillation episodes by nearly 45%, to an average of 2.1 over three months compared with 3.8 doing other types of exercise for three months (P<0.001), Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, MD, of the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, and colleagues reported.
Quality of life, depression, and anxiety also showed benefits from the yoga regimen, Lakkireddy reported here at the American College of Cardiology meeting, according to MedPage Today.