What are they & why do we do them?
Dialogue AM-NAPs came about from the much loved CrossFit term ‘AMRAP’ – ‘As many rounds as possible’. Despite AM-NAPs meaning a “nap”, it doesn’t necessarily mean we just park up for an hour and see who’s the best napper. Dialogue AMNAPs are performed at the start of our recovery when our heart rates are highest and muscles are tense after the workout of the day.
At Dialogue, it is our aim to improve self! YOURself. Be that through physical, mental and/or emotional domains, we are in the business of training self optimisation, and that starts with CrossFit! We not only want to train the physical body, but the mind also. So in a round-about way, once we have got you nice and sweaty, and feeling fit, we then start to target your mind! This we do this in its simples form being through the AMNAPs.
So how does it all work? When you exercise your body – which is all controlled by your brain -our body it enters a state called ‘fight or flight’. It’s as if you were head on with a tiger – what are you going to do? Fight or flight Regardless of your decision now, your body gets ready; raising your heart rate, blood pressure, adrenalin and cortisol (stress) levels and starts to release the sugar (energy!) into your blood stream so you can get the hell out of there or stand strong ready to fight that stripey beast! This response is a vital way of life; it occurs naturally. It’s funnily similar in our daily lives. With our busy lives, every time we face a stressful event (which seems to occur a lot!), this same response happens and our body enters ‘fight or flight’; What have I got to do today? How is this care travelling so slow, I’m going to be late!? How do I get the kids to school and get to work on time? How many clients am I seeing today, what do I have to prepare? What’s for lunch – take out or do I have leftovers? This is our brain cycle in every event in life, every dang day – stress, pressures, deadlines, expectations, constant connection – our bodies live in a constant cycle of ‘fight or flight’. We seem to never switch off, never truly relax, and often never take the time to really think or react for ourselves. *Ding ding ding* Introducing Dialogue AMNAPs!
Dialogue AMNAPs simply provide you with the time to return the body to a ‘resting’ state and take some time for yourself. Taking the time out to intentionally relax the mind returns the body to the opposite bodily response; ‘rest and digest’. This resting state desensitises nerves throughout the whole body, lowering levels in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, muscle tension, inflammation and centres in the brain – completely removing the stress from our bodies! And get this; even when we are not doing the AMNAP, the stress we have removed, remains removed forever! So think of the impact on our daily lives from simply lying on the floor for a few minutes! No medication or consultations needed.
The AMNAP concept is based on mindful meditation; the act of being present in the moment, paying attention on purpose, dealing with your stress and entering a deep relaxed state of mind. Previous and emerging studies in the area are demonstrating lasting benefits in attention, empathy, self knowledge and self concept, concentration, attitude, optimism and emotional resilience. Yes, post workout, we are trying to relax our breathing and heart rate as fast as possible (this is our ‘mindful’ breathing), but now you know we are also consciously removing stress from our daily lives! And with regular AMNAPs this process becomes near instant, and we start to enter a deep relaxation a lot earlier, so are creating more time to deal with more stress! Efficiency. I’m sure you know the feeling too – how long does 3 minutes feel like now!?
Having a ‘meditative’ mind, is becoming aware of all experiences; we simply are raising an experience, accepting it and developing an optimistic, non-judgmental, non self-criticising stance toward the experience – stress gone.
Similar to our fitness, we need to understand that a highly alert, high functioning nervous system can be, and often is detrimental to our health. Constantly working at a high threshold is not sustainable (picture rowing 10km at a 500m pace!!! #ded). Therefore, intentionally performing Dialogue AMNAPs and purposefully focussing on achieving that deep relaxed state can apply directly to our daily lives to remove stress completely! We are removing physical, emotional and psychological stressors and breaking cycles in; anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, self-rumination, brain fog, nervousness, chronic pain; just to name some big labels! We ultimately can achieve a higher level in every aspect of life through simply lying on the ground! We feel you though – initially the AMNAP will start with you gasping for air and just trying to not die post WOD, but stick at it! Once your breathing is under control, the AMNAP will teach you highly beneficial ways of coping with stress, relaxing in high stress situations, and enjoying life to the fullest – after all every experience is a chance to learn something new, not set you back! Every experience has brought you to where you are today, and is pushing you one step closer to where you want to be! So consider all thoughts in that way. Spending 2% of your time improving the other 98% doesn’t seem like a big ask.
If you are pumped to spend longer time in the AMNAP, let us know. We really want to know what you think and how you feel about them! Ideally we all would get 20min every single day! After all, who doesn’t want to optimise themselves, get rid of stress and increase productivity levels every day? #DialogueAMNAPs
If you really want to understand what your mind is getting out of the AMNAP and where to spend your thinking time, ask yourself (and maybe note it down);
- I have read this whole blog because…
- This is why I am loving AMNAPS…
- Rate these health levels 1-10 (1 = being the worst possible score, and 10 = being amazing!);
__/10 Work performance
Then each day try and improve all of these areas 1%.
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Decker, J. T., Constantine Brown, J. L., Ashley, W., & Lipscomb, A. E. (2018). Mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises: Reduced anxiety for clients and self-care for social work interns. Social Work with Groups. DOI: 10.1080/01609513.2019.1571763
Fletcher, E. (2019). Stress less, accomplish more. London, UK: Bluebird.
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