3 Reasons I Do Yoga for Heart Palpitations

Tom August  —  June 24, 2016

[Note: This post is part of a larger series about the The Best Cures and Remedies for Heart Palpitations]

When I was looking around the internet for cures for my heart palpitations, I continually came across recommendations to do yoga. I saw a few articles that said that doing yoga greatly reduces irregular heartbeats. However, I also saw some comments on blog posts that said that they experienced more heart palpitations when they tried to do yoga, so I wasn’t sure what to do.

Yoga for Heart Palpitations

I tried it and my heart palpitations were so bad at the time (you can read about my story here) that it didn’t matter what kind of yoga I was doing, all I could focus on was the skipped beats which were happening about every third beat. So I stopped yoga. It wasn’t until later, after my heart palpitations slowed down a bit, that I came back and tried it again. And I’m glad I did.

The Benefits of Yoga for Heart Palpitations

Yoga has a number of benefits. You can find articles all over the internet touting the wonderfulness of daily yoga, but the three best, in my opinion are:

1. It helps lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that doing yoga two to three times per week made a significant different in blood pressure compared to just dieting alone.

2. It helps you sleep better. Many studies (including this one from Harvard) have found that eight weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality for people with insomnia.

3. Stress Relief. One of the best reasons, in my opinion, is that yoga helps your body stay calm when things are in a state of stress. Essentially, you are temporarily putting your body in relatively uncomfortable positions while practicing calm and slow breathing. Over time your body gets better at managing stress.

There are many different types of yoga, and I am certainly no expert. I actually just googled “yoga for stress” and after watching a few videos found two that I liked (I have posted them below). I’m trying to get better at it, but right now it still feels a little awkward and more like glorified stretching than anything else, which is fine with me.

Here are two yoga videos I would do when I was trying to find ways to help stop my heart palpitations.

1. Yoga for Stress Relief

2. Yoga at Your Desk (It’s shorter and I could do it at work)

My Favorite Stretch for Heart Palpitations

Around this same time, I also bought a foam roller for my back and I’m really glad I did. I know this isn’t exactly part of “yoga”, but I incorporate it into my routine and I think it helps immensely! This is the one I got from Amazon if you are interested. It’s nothing fancy. But I keep it right by my desk and a couple times a day I lay down and roll out my back and do some simple stretches with it. It helps my posture and helps open up my chest. I love love love it. Highly recommend getting one if you don’t have one already (they are fairly inexpensive and definitely worth it). I also got a yoga mat (this one) but I don’t think it is essential. I have hard wood floors in my office, so I needed a soft spot to stretch out. It’s nice and squishy.

Foam Roller for Heart Palpitations

I wish I had some other cool stretches for you, but I don’t at this point. I need all you yoga experts to give me some tips in the comments. Let me know if you have a great stretch or routine that you think would be beneficial to those of us with heart palpitations. If you are new to yoga like I was, I highly recommend you try out the videos above. Adrienne, from Yoga with Adrienne, seems to know what she is doing.

And on a side note, there was this one video that kept popping up that said you could heal your heart palpitations in minutes with a certain Heart Mudra (a “mudra” is a hand pose or just a position in yoga). It was essentially placing your thumb on your middle and ring finger with your pinky up and your index finger down on the inside part of your thumb. Here is the video if you are interested. I tried it and I can’t say that it helped any. I am skeptical but I thought I would pass it along. Anyone else try this? Was it effective?

So does yoga help cure heart palpitations or help you management them better? Does it make your heart palpitations worse? Is it a waste of time? It took me a while, but now, personally, I think yoga helps. I do think that it’s a good way to push pause in the day and reduce some anxiety and stress, which in turn helps reduce heart palpitations.

What do you think? Love it or leave it? Let me know in the comments!

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DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind I am NOT a medical professional and this is NOT a Medical website. I am just a guy who got sick and tired of dealing with anxiety, stress, and benign heart palpitations and started blogging about my journey. Hopefully some of that information is helpful to you. But what works for me or others might not work for you. Please do not do ANYTHING described or recommended in this website without the consultation and consent of your Primary Care Physician or Cardiologist. After all, this is your heart we are talking about. Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission that goes toward supporting this website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

13 responses to 3 Reasons I Do Yoga for Heart Palpitations

  1. I do yoga everyday for an hour. During that hour I have no missed beats!!
    The stretching combined with the deep breathing is fabulous for anxiety and stress.
    I recommend an hour a day. It’s my best time of the day!

    • That’s awesome! I definitely agree with you about stretching and deep breathing for anxiety and stress. I wish I would have understood more about the wonderful benefits of breathing exercises prior to having heart palpitations!

  2. The only thing that has helped mine is magnesium malate 400 mg a day. The heart doctor was never willing to try other meds, only beta blockers but the palps kept coming back. Now the palps are so much better. I still have mild ones daily but its not so bad. Magnesium was suggested by the doctor a few years back and I got the magnesium in 2014 but with this wave of palps really bad in the winter I take it consistently. I will never stop taking it. Great treatment!

    • I’m so glad you found something that has been helpful! Magnesium has been really helpful to me as well. I originally tried Natural Calm Magnesium but now I use Triple Calm Magnesium (http://amzn.to/29czAVV). It’s a mixture of Magnesium Taurate (which is great for the heart), Magnesium Glycinate, and Magnesium Malate. I love it and highly recommend it. Thanks so much for posting and sharing a little bit of your story! All the best!

  3. Dear Tom. Nice to meet you and thanks for posting.

    My 2 cents: inverted positions (headstands, shoulderstands) “activate” my arrhythmia. I go from no palpitations to +1000 supraventricular palpitations per hour. Of course I am not saying “yoga is bad”: just that for some reason, some postures (that I believe they affect my neck and vagus nerve) trigger palpitations.

    Other exercise that triggers lots of them is skipping (jumping rope).

    I am still trying to figure it out why…

    Hope we can meet someday to exchange ideas.

    • Wow, that is a lot of superventricular palpitations per hour! I’m really sorry to hear that you have experience those! I definitely think that different yoga positions or certain exercises activate my heart palpitations as well (heavy squats for example). I’m not sure why either. I think it has something to do with the vagus nerve as well, maybe added stress to the body. I don’t know. It’s interesting though. Let me know if you ever figure anything out! Thanks for your comments Hernan!

      • Tom, there is something I would like to ask you and your readers (not intending to hijack thread, feel free to move discussion to some other of your posts). Have you ever experienced palpitations after eating ‘healthy’ food such as CARROTS or CORN?

        What could it be in the CARROTS (not being intollerant to them according to blood tests) that trigger supraventricular palpitations? Any idea or theory appreciated!

  4. The photo of the hand above has worked for me a lot, I’ve started doing that position with both hands about 6 months ago. The legs up against the wall also helps a lot. I had it really bad about 6 months ago and I am so grateful to say that my tachycardia has not been rising over 100 for about 2 months now. What I found out it was more stress then anything. I still have an irregular heartbeat but the palpitations almost completely gone unless I have alcohol. It is a nightmare to go through and what I found was other then yoga is ‘just not thinking about it.’
    It is really NOT EASY to try to stop thinking of your heart but I really feel its the key to this.

  5. Have an early light dinner. Go to bed after 2 hours. Alcohol drinks trigger palpitations. I have experienced it and still experiencing it. Also try washing your face with cold water and Ice bag on your forehead. It works for me.

  6. This has probably been mentioned before, but I’m almost sure that Sweet and Low and nuts make my skips worse. Also eating small meals helps keep them at bay with nothing after supper. It helps to know that there are others out there like myself.

  7. The desk workout above is based on yin yoga. It’s a slow stretching style meant to encourage relaxation and myofascial release. If you have a local studio, you can probably find a class. I started this style in lieu of physical therapy for a torn shoulder several years ago, but it also helps with heart rhythm and palpitations.

    Other YouTubers to check out: DoYogaWithMe and (especially for guys) ManFlowYoga. There are many others as well, but I can remember these two off the top of my head.

  8. I was diagnosed with PSVT back in 2015, heart rate 260 after being outside in 100 degree heat doing yard work. I went through the whole gamut of testing and was able to get off medication within 6 months. My heart is a testy little butthole now and let’s me know when I’m not treating my body right.

    This year, after a long month of home repairs in the heat, heavy palpitations showed up. I went to the ER and of course everything shown as fine. Here are my go to’s for keeping them at bay and they are working so far:

    1. Stay hydrated. I can’t stress this one enough. Water with electrolytes especially.

    2. No coffee or caffeine. This one was hard for me because I love coffee. Caffeine is in a ton of things so anyone that’s looking to cut it out, please read labels.

    3. I went on a smoothie “fast” for a week and gave my digestive system a rest. This one oddly helped the most. Smoothie was just 1 cup cashew milk, a banana, strawberries, a (vegan) protein powder and a dash of salt. I’m allergic to dairy so people can feel free to find what works for them. I had this multiple times a day. Sometimes I added greens to boost the nutrient factor.

    4. Agreed on the yoga.

    5. A zinc, magnesium and calcium combo supplement.

    Good luck to everyone. I know it’s so frustrating to deal with and the anxiety that comes with it is such a bummer. Take care!

  9. Up late at night frustrated with heart skips and feels really good to be able to read about other people and not feel so alone. Usually have heart skips while exercising, but tried 5 rhythms today by myself at home and didn’t have heart skips. Pretty amazed, will get back to yoga and magnesium after reading all the comments 😊