What is Breath Coherence?

Breathing patterns affect the pattern of heart rate variability [^1]. When you are doing slow and regular deep breathing, like inhalation for 5 seconds and exhalation for 5 seconds, marked by a highly ordered, smooth pattern of heart rate variability, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems can be synchronized with each other. We name this state Breath Coherence / Coherence Time.

At this time, the two branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, are coordinating with each other, and you are achieving a state of cognitive enhancement and energetic calm. This state is associated with increased concentration, fast reaction, memory, and emotional stability [^2][^3].

The Real-time Breath Coherence will show 60 seconds of you breathing rhythm.

If you are having regular deep breaths, you'll find the line of Real-time Breath Coherence goes smoothly and periodically in a few seconds. Keep as long as you can!

How to understand Breath Coherence Graph?


Coherence is related to the breathing pattern during meditation. Regular deep breathing exercises (5 seconds of inhalation and 5 seconds of exhalation) can synchronize the two branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system:

1. to promote the effective functioning of the physiological system and the improvement of cognitive function;

2. to achieve the balance of your mind and body.

Long-term breathing exercises make it easier to enter a state of coherence and maintain a high level.

Heart Rate & Coherence

The breathing pattern during meditation affects the pattern of heart rate changes. Slow, regular deep breathing (5 seconds of inhalation and 5 seconds of exhalation) synchronizes the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, increasing the different physiological systems' resonance.

The curve of heart rate can visually reflect the harmonious state during meditation. The heart rate change in the general form is disorderly, but the heart rate can show a periodic rhythm through regular deep breathing.

Coherence changes before and after breathing exercises in meditation


Coherence increases and remains high when breathing regularly in the second half.

The red part means you breathed disorderly changes, while the green part means you were having regular deep breathing


Coherence is different from relaxation. Relaxation is primarily an increase in parasympathetic activity, a state of rest from cognition and emotion.



1. Courtney, Rosalba & Cohen, Marc & Dixhoorn, Jan. (2011). Relationship Between Dysfunctional Breathing Patterns and Ability to Achieve Target Heart Rate Variability With Features of "Coherence" During Biofeedback. Alternative therapies in health and medicine. 17. 38-44.

2. McCraty, Rollin. (2005). Enhancing Emotional, Social, and Academic Learning With Heart Rhythm Coherence Feedback. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation. 33. 130-134.

3. Edwards, Stephen. (2014). Evaluation of heart rhythm coherence feedback training on physiological and psychological variables. South African journal of psychology = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir sielkunde. 2014. 73– 82. 10.1177/0081246313516255.

September 05, 2022 — Flowtime Team