yoga teacher trainingBy Faye Martins

Many would-be yogis balk at the idea of giving up their favorite morning wake up ritual, sometimes even more so than the prospect of having to go without meat. Is coffee really the anti-thesis of everything yoga stands for, or could they coexist peacefully in the life of an individual serious about their yoga practice?

Many people who enjoy yoga on a daily basis tend to enjoy their coffee too. Pay attention at a morning yoga class and you’ll likely find this fact confirmed by a large number of disposable beverage containers from a popular coffee vendor. Some say that coffee consumption must be stopped in order to reap the real benefits of yoga training while others say that coffee is to yoga what peanut butter is to jelly: better together.

The pendulum sways from one side to the other regarding coffee every few years. On the one side, coffee is vilified as a source of needless stress, racing thoughts, thudding heartbeats and excessive levels of cortisol in the blood. On the other, it’s praised as a fine elixir containing high amounts of antioxidants that is capable of curbing excessive appetites and giving a healthful energy boost that carries on throughout the rest of the day. It’s very hard to determine the safety and efficacy of the drink with such varying information. Both sides seem to agree on the fact that coffee alleviates post workout pain, which may be of benefit to yogis.

One thing made very clear is that drinking whole bean coffee is completely different than ingesting pure caffeine, which should be avoided at all costs. Just say no to energy drinks and sodas, which increase stress without giving any positive, protective benefits. Coffee is a whole food that contains a good blend of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are in balance with the amount of caffeine contained within. Energy pills and drinks strip the caffeine away from these positive substances and make it possible to ingest much more of it in a smaller amount of liquid.

Like most things, coffee consumption appears to be a very personal thing. Some people do very well with coffee while others are extremely sensitive to it. Individuals should pay close attention to the signals their body is giving them in regards to coffee consumption. If the body feels tired, heavy, jittery or lethargic coffee should be avoided.

Another issue with coffee consumption is balance. Everything, including coffee drinking, should be done in moderation. If we take one lesson from yoga and apply it to our daily lives let it be the importance of balance in all things. Coffee can be great when mindfully consumed but anything in excess tends to promote the opposite of its normally positive effect.

A great many yogis report a peaceful coexistence between their daily yoga practice and coffee, while others say that coffee stands in the way of yoga practice and eliminating it from their diet is a choice they couldn’t be happier about. By listening to the body, yogis can determine for themselves whether or not coffee should be a part of their daily routine. What’s bad for yogis, should be left to the individual to decide.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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