According to experts of a “small, proof-of-concept study” published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and featured in, yoga may reduce the symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common kind of cardiac arrhythmia, which is associated with irregular heartbeat and palpitations.

Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy and his team worked with 52 patients afflicted with AF who have been getting regular medical therapies from the University of Kansas Medical Center. They were first subjected to a control period of three months before they were enrolled in yoga sessions for the following three months.

The trial revealed a significant reduction of symptoms during the yoga period--as much as 22 percent of the volunteers reported not experiencing misbeats or palpitations. This may be due to the movements, breathing patterns, and relaxed environment that yoga propagates.

Researchers further note, “The benefit from the emotionally supportive atmosphere at yoga training centers, and the positive impact by the caring relationships, change in diet and life style modification associated with yoga practice on physiological parameters cannot be underestimated.”

(Photo by lululemon athletica via Flickr Creative Commons)

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