I have to admit, I have not given up my morning coffee before my morning ashtanga practice. I switched to espresso last summer and felt that the four little gulps may theoretically do more for my bandhas (aiding in inducing elimination), than hindering it by filling my stomach with fluid. It’s about 4 ounces, if that.
Of course espresso does have caffeine… which stimulates the nervous system. This should serve as a strong argument for eliminating coffee before the morning practice, since the goal of the ashtanga yoga method is to calm the nervous system. However, my love for the taste of coffee has made this sacrifice a difficult one for me. I have switched to half-caff for a quite some time. Yesterday, I even had decaf.
Well, for some reason, I was compelled to try going without today. Instead of sipping my espresso as I got ready for mysore, I put my morning espresso in a thermos to enjoy after my practice.
I rolled out my mat hoping to find a little lightness and lift in my practice. Much to my surprise, the amount of thoughts whirling through my mind was exponentially greater than usual. I found myself forgetting poses in the sequence and having to either ask what was next or go moved on only to go back later to complete the skipped posture. By the time I got to the seated sequence, I was frustrated to no end. Things only got worse from here.
When I was met with my continued inability to lift up and jump back, not to mention the catching of my feet on the way through to seated (BOTH WITH BLOCKS), I was completed defeated. This was NOT the lightness and lift I’d hoped to see. Of course my hamstring continued to tug at the attachment — AND at my heartstrings. And all I could do was cry. I mean BREATHE!
I don’t know why I am surprised. I kind of makes sense when you think about what coffee does. But do I really need it?
One might argue that all of these issues I’ve noted appear to indicate a requirement for morning coffee – at least for me. Nevertheless, I am entertaining the notion that if I stick with (or “without”) it, I might find that I am able to cultivate my own ability to focus and generate strength without my daily fix. It’s a learning process but I think it could be good… after the initial adjustment period.
While I adjust, I may have to put a little note on my key chain to remind me not to forget my phone. Because poses weren’t the only thing I’ve forgotten today.