A practice like this creates what’s called heart coherence. It occurs naturally, but being able to consciously generate it helps your body regulate the relaxation response and reduce stress reactions. You don’t have to understand all of the science and math behind it – just concentrate on this visualization with deep, slow breaths.
And if you ARE curious about the science and math behind heart health, here’s a start:
You want your heart to be able to quickly adapt to changes in your inner and outer world. High Heart Rate Variability is healthy. Deep, diaphragmic breathing at a particular rate enables you to synchronize your breath with your natural heart rhythms. This is known as a state of Heart Coherence.
Studies on HRV show that exercise helps keep your heart young.
Heart Coherence balances the autonomic nervous system (the relaxation response). More explaining this!
“Optimal synchrony between HRV and breathing rhythms occurs at a specific frequency, this being 1 cycle in ~12 seconds, or 5 cycles in ~1 minute. When operating at this pace, cardiopulmonary efficiency and effectiveness are maximized and in keeping with the fundamental underlying autonomic nervous system rhythm. Cardiopulmonary operation at this rhythm is characterized by relatively low average heartbeat rate, maximized heart rate variability amplitude, and maximized heart rate variability coherence.” Coherence.com – a great source for better understanding all of this!