Even sharpshooter and Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra, who trained to calm the mind and can probably control it far better than any of us, had a momentary lapse once. “During the Athens Olympics, an unstable floor disturbed my mind to such an extent that it took me out of the game. I was supposed to win that day, but my mind betrayed me. Victories are not just a matter of skill, it is also a victory over the mind. In my moments of victory, whenever I held the rifle, I found a sense of stillness and tranquility that made me hit the mark again and again,” he says.
Athens bothered Bindra so much that he decided to work on better mind control methods and wondered if there was a way to track her mental well-being every day. Meanwhile, national badminton head coach Pullela Gopichand, who is credited with producing his academy’s world champions and who prepares his students to win the game of nerves first, was thinking of a similar tracker. And in 2020, they came together and partnered to develop a wearable tool called the “Dhyana ring” to track athletes’ mental alertness.
So what does this device do? This ultra-lightweight unibody aluminum ring, designed to be worn continuously, can monitor heart rate variability (HRV) and, combined with proprietary algorithms, becomes versatile for various wellness applications. For example, it can track activity and sleep patterns and, most importantly, mindfulness. It measures calories, blood oxygen (SpO2) and metabolic activity, which is of critical importance for diet and weight loss programs.
Overall, it allows the user to track different elements of their well-being and can notify users of approaching stress by continuously tracking their internal balance. “A patented feature of the new ring is that it will notify the wearer whenever their stress levels are rising. Imagine going into a meeting and getting a notification that your stress levels are high. You can take a break for the two unique meditations within the app that are designed to get your stress levels back to normal. You can then go into the meeting with confidence and poise,” says Bindra.
“When I was training to be a shooter, I would have liked to have a Dhyana ring,” says Bindra, who participated in the development of the product and contributed her experience to maintain the inner balance, testing it in several stages. “The fact that it can instantly show me how my mind is being disturbed is just amazing.”
“If you can measure whether your mind is focused, that is invaluable for any player. Focus is what separates silver from gold and the more we train ourselves to be comfortable in that state, the better we do. What if our mind were more aligned and centered? We would stay on course and not jeopardize our chances. Dhyana is unique in that sense, it is not another meditation app. It’s a smart piece of hardware that assesses your state of mind, measures your heart rate variability and tells you how you’re doing right now,” says Bindra.
By continually analyzing your heart rate variability (HRV), your sympathovagal balance (which is the balance your nervous system maintains between lethargic relaxation and anxious stress), Dhyana can discreetly notice changes in this balance shift and notify you when it detects signs of distress. stress.
“When students, or anyone else, are experiencing stress, the early part is important as it helps us to lessen procrastination and move towards execution. However, stress in large doses starts to deplete our physical and mental resources, and we often fail to recognize the moment when the very thing that made us work harder starts working against us. The ring detects you, tells you when your stress is getting unbearable and your mind has been holding the state for too long, and then recommends you take a break, a meditation or even a walk,” adds Bindra.
The first version of the Dhyana ring was widely used by both the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad and the Neuromeditation Institute in Oregon, USA to assess the effects of HRV on people’s mental states at different intervals, such as pre- and post-workout, pre-meeting and so on.
The Dhyana ring is now the official meditation partner of the Indian Olympic Association. for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.