A recent fad hitting Surrey is Napercise, offered by David Lloyd Health Clubs. But is this a new phenomena? Most people think that relaxing is very simple: just lay back and close your eyes. But if the mind is too active, or the body holds tension, resting and relaxing can be very difficult. And how effective is this nap if you are already exhausted and your mind is replaying the events of the past or focusing on what needs to be done tomorrow?
Yoga Nidra or yoga sleep, on the other hand, has been practiced for centuries. It is: "A sleep with a trace of awareness. It is a state of mind in between wakefulness and dream." (1) The body is restful, while the mind remains active. Students are guided into a relaxed state which leads to restfulness. It is said that: "1 hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of conventional sleep". (1)
But Napercise does take yoga Nidra to a new level, in that instead of relaxing on yoga mats, you relax on a single bed, (provided by Dreams)!! And rather than ensuring those in bed are warm, the temperature of the room is dropped to encourage calorie loss too! We haven't yet been to a class but would love to hear from someone who has. Do you get a duvet? Do you get guided to sleep with some form of yoga nidra? Does an alarm clock wake you? Will they roll this out to couples and supply double beds? What if you have a snorer in the class?!
David Lloyd say: "The aim is to target exhausted parents. 86% of parents admit to suffering from fatigue, with 26% regularly getting less than 5 hours sleep a night. With 19% of tired parents admitting to having had a kip work, 11% having found themselves drifting off while driving, and 5% having forgotten to pick up their child from school due to their tiredness." (2)
The Napercise classes consist of 45-minute sleep sessions. Spin-bikes are swapped for single beds, and upbeat workout tunes are ditched in favour of atmospheric sounds. The studio temperature will also be dropped to a level that promotes calorie burning during sleep. "Napercisers" will be invited to curl up in one of the beds and indulge in some restorative mid-afternoon shuteye, before continuing on with their day.
The development of Napercise is inspired by past academic studies into the important health benefits that napping in the day can bring (3). This includes helping boost alertness, alleviate feelings of anxiety or stress, and improving your mood.
Kathryn Pinkham, Dreams Sleep Expert and founder of the Insomnia Clinic, commented: “Sleep is a lot more important than people realise. We tend to focus on the short-term effects such as being tired or lacking concentration, but it is also essential for our long-term physical and mental wellbeing too. In addition to a lack of sleep bringing with it a higher risk of developing anxiety or depression, when we are sleep deprived we lack the energy to exercise regularly, and also the mental clarity to make good decisions about the food we eat, which could negatively impact our physical health in the long-run."
David Lloyd say: "Filling an exercise studio with beds might look unusual, but if it proves to be a success, we’re definitely excited at the possibility of rolling out the programme to more of our clubs down the line.” This sounds very interesting!
Contact David Lloyd for Napercise or Body Soul Yoga for some traditional Yoga Nidra sleep after your yoga workout or join us on Monday lunchtimes for Restorative Yoga!
2 - Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of David Lloyd Clubs in April 2017. 1,000 British parents of 0-18 year olds surveyed.
3 - Source: ‘Benefits of napping in healthy adults: impact of nap length, time of day, age, and experience with napping’, University of Pennsylvania -http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00718.x/full