Scientists have discovered that the rhythmic chanting used when saying the rosary or a yoga mantra has a calming effect on the heart. ?The rosary might be viewed as a health practice as well as a religious practice,? says Dr. Luciano Bernardi, of the University of Pavia in Italy.
Bernardi and his colleagues measured the breathing rates of 23 adults while they either prayed the rosary in the original Latin or recited a yoga mantra. The rosary is the Hail Mary prayer, repeated 50 times. For comparison, the researchers also measured people?s respiration during free talking, and during natural breathing, as well as slow breathing exercises.