I thought it was time to write a blog all about this subject to help you understand how using a heart rate monitor alongside DDP Yoga can help you to take your training to the next level but also help you to modify the workout to make it your own!
So heart rate monitors are recommended with DDP Yoga and this is because there is an optimum fat burning zone that you can get into during your DDP yoga workout. The formula to figure this out is 180-your age, then that number - 20 and that becomes the range you want to be working out at especially if weight loss is your goal. Within this range it is called aerobic exercise which we all know as cardio, aerobic means with air (oxygen) so when you are working out within this zone your heart rate is elevated enough to allow your body to burn fat but also keeps your lungs and circulatory system healthy as you are getting plenty of oxygen into your body. When we go above this zone for too long we put a lot of stress on our bodies and this is when our bodies are more likely to hold on to fat and just burn sugars, which is why sometimes after an intense workout you can feel hungry right afterwards because your body has just burned through all the carbohydrates. This is not the case after a DDP Yoga workout if you stay within your guided zone you will feel revived and energised after a workout and not burnt out. This method of working out can also be transferred into other forms of exercise, when I am going out on my bike I now keep an eye on my heart rate because if I am going up hills and I can see my heart rate rising too high I slow right down concentrate on my breathe and get back into my fat burning zone.
I started doing DDP Yoga without a heart rate monitor for the first 6 months and it made sense to spend time getting to know the workout, the names and positions and then once I was familiar I introduced a heart rate monitor to take my practise to the next level. Using a HRM allows you to gauge whether you need to put a little more effort into the workout or if you need to relax a little to bring your heart rate down, this is where the modifications come in handy for DDP Yoga if you are in a lunge position and your heart rate is reaching over your fat burning zone you can always step in or drop to a knee and if its low and your trying to get it up there lunge a bit deeper! It is also amazing to see how high you can raise your heart rate by standing in one place engaging your muscles and moving your arms with dynamic resistance, which is why DDP Yoga is unique you are able to get similar results to a cardio workout without impacting your joints in the same way you might if you were going for a run or lifting weights.
I started out with a WAHOO fitness HRM because this is the one recommended alongside the DDP Yoga app, this is a strap HRM that goes around your chest and connects to the app via bluetooth. I used this to track my DDP Yoga workouts and it seemed to give me an accurate reading, I used it for a good couple of years until recently I changed to a Garmin Vivoactive 4s smart watch. I decided to get this as I had heard a lot of good things about them and for me its a lot quicker to set up, as the WAHOO was sometimes difficult to find a bluetooth connection particularly if I was using it outdoors for other activities (not sure if this is only my experience?). With the Garmin being on my wrist I find it handy to check my Heart Rate for cycles and other activities without needing to look at my phone. However there seem to be so many different types of HRM out there and if you do want to use one alongside your DDP Yoga practise then do your own research and find out which one is best suited to you and your lifestyle.
One thing my heart rate monitor has made me aware of over time is that since practising DDP Yoga my resting heart rate has become considerably low and will also recover quickly when it has been elevated for a period of time, which allows me to feel more energised on big hill walks or cycles.
Training within your fat burning zone will have huge benefits towards your fitness and health and a heart rate monitor will help you tune in to this. If you decide to use a heart rate monitor alongside your DDP Yoga practise I recommend using it as a guide and focus all your energy into enjoying the workout and giving it your best. It should be used as a tool to enhance your workouts but not define them, some days I enjoy doing DDP Yoga for the movement and breathing therefore take little notice of my heart rate and other days I will feel like getting my sweat on and having a serious workout. So what I am really saying is there is no right or wrong because you can't go wrong with DDP Yoga, I always say to people even if you are joining in for the breathing alone you are going to feel the benefits towards your health and wellbeing.
You do you! :D