Tag Archives: breathing

Gary Monk on Tracking HRV for Relaxation and Focus

In this video from the always great Meetup of the London Quantified Self group, Gary Monk describes his detailed relaxation and focus experiments using continuous HRV measurement with HeartMath’s Inner Balance sensor in the course of his normal daily life.

Posted in Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Conference Preview: Breakout Sessions

ConferencePreview

At its core, Quantified Self is a community-driven effort to extract personal meaning from personal data. Our conferences reflect that by providing opportunities to learn what others are doing in their Quantified Self practice. Through our Show & Tell presentations you get to see first-hand accounts of how data is being collected and put to use in order to understand and investigate personal phenomena, but that’s not all our conference have to offer. In the spirit of collaborative learning we also schedule “Breakout Sessions” alongside our wonderful Show & Tell talks. These sessions, like all our conference programming, are developed and and facilitated by our wonderful attendees. Here’s a preview of just a few of the many fantastic Breakouts we have scheduled.

Title: The Self in Data
Breakout Leader: Sara Watson
Description: In my research on the QS community, I’ve found that we talk a lot about our technical requirements of data, and about how we want to use data. What we don’t often talk about is what it means to know ourselves through data. This breakout is an opportunity to discuss what data tells us about ourselves and how we relate to our data.

Title: On Sleep Tracking
Breakout Leader: Christel De Maeyer
Description: Does self-monitoring with devices like myZeo, Body Media create enough awareness and persuasion to change behavior and to maintain new habits? We would like to use this session to learn and share our experiences.

Title: Tracking breathing as a Unifying Experience
Breakout Leader: Danielle Roberts
Description: During this session we can exchange experiences on the tracking of respiration and tracking and visualising of life group data in general. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in a demo using custom breath tracking wearables and real time visualisation of breath data.

Title: Activity trackers
Breakout Leader: Michael Kazarnowicz
Description: We’ll take a look at the most common activity trackers on the market today. We will look at the trackers (maybe even play around with them hands-on) and compare the functions and the data you can get from them.

Title: QS as a Catalyst for Learning?
Breakout Leader: Hans de Zwart
Description: In this session we will explore whether quantifying yourself can act as a catalyst for learning. Can it speed up the learning process? Can it help us in achieving the holy grail of learning, a personalized tutor? What perverse effects might it have in the context of learning?

The Quantified Self European Conference will be held in Amsterdam on May 11th & 12th. Registration is now open. As with all our conferences our speakers are members of the community. We hope to see you there!

Posted in Conference | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Neema Moraveji on Perfect Self-Awareness

–This review was written by Ryan Viglizzo for my class DIY Health at NYU ITP (Tisch School of the Arts). In this class, students design systems of self-care that help people take stock of themselves by exploring ways to measure, reflect and act upon their health and lifestyle.–

Moraveji asks, “What would it be like to have perfect self awareness?” His talk suggests that having perfect self-awareness means having an optimized mind. He describes an optimized mind as one that is calm, aware, and emotional but not driven by emotions.  Moraveji points out that we can achieve this state of mind by changing and self-tracking our breath.  Moraveji focused on social influence and staring at a computer screen to test change in breath rate. I would like to relate his talk to exercise.

As a runner, it took me years of doing the sport to start understanding the importance of breath.  As we run we get better—run longer distances, feel better, and increase our speed. I realized that when I trained I trained my breath. I controlled my breath; which inadvertently taught me how to manage my body. This poses the question—Can we teach our body to regulate or does our body teach us to regulate?

Moraveji explains that breath connects all of the body’s major and vital nervous systems. If we use our mind self to regulate our breath, our body follows.  I would say agree with this notion. When I run I think about relaxation. I think about my breath being steady, calm and rhythmic. As I think about that I fall into my pace with my breath and my body’s nervous system follows. It all starts with my mind.

This process can be described in a first order feedback loop. Goal: become relaxed, efficient and calm during the run. Action: Thinking about and making breath rhythmic, calm and steady. Environmental distractions: increasing pace, other runners, weather, change of terrain, etc. Sensing/monitoring: BMP (breaths per min.) Comparing my states: Am I breathing slower and feeling calmer as I run? If so I achieved my goal. If not I go back to Action (to start loop over).

I see the breath as a function that is controlled by our mental intention. As we calm our breath it triggers the body’s nervous system to sit at a certain resting state. I think Moraveji is trying to make people aware of the fact that if we are conscious of our breath we can improve our self-awareness and in turn be more productive, happy, and clear.

One issue I had was that Moraveji only measures breath solely on breath rate. I feel like there are other parameters of breath that needed to be included in his study. The study also touched on social motivation. I think that the social motivation piece is not a constant in its ability to keep people self-monitoring.

Posted in Videos | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments