To Coffee or not to Coffee

Lately, I’ve been having a small cup of coffee in the morning before beginning practice. I had been practicing a bit later around 7:30-8, but have lately started getting up at 5:30 due to schedule changes, job demands etc. When I did my later practice it never really felt necessary to have coffee until after my practice, but as I’ve been getting up earlier and feeling groggy, stuffed up, and all around heavy the little caffeine boost really seems to help me get going and get on the mat. I know that Sharath and Guruji both consume coffee, so it seems fairly accepted in the Ashtanga world…I also know that many other bloggers also consume it. I’m curious what others have discovered in terms of its benefits and detriments…I used to feel coffee before practice made me stiffer, though I don’t notice this at all in my early morning practices. Perhaps because I’m already so stiff.

Thoughts?

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16 Responses to “To Coffee or not to Coffee”

  1. cj Says:

    I gave up caffeine especially coffee 3-4 years ago. I gave it up because I was more on edge I guess. Giving it up I noticed a big difference, I slept better, and more importantly now I don’t feel tired when I wake up because I don’t need anything to get me started, my body seems to be used to that.

    I cheat and sometimes have diet coke when I go out to the pub but I don’t drink so I figure it’s my form of rebellion, I’m a bit of a nancy :)

    cj x

  2. Ursula Says:

    I drink coffee in the morning and during the day. During the day it is a very bad habit. It would be better to take a break, nothing else. I know times in my life where I drank tea in the morning. This was good, too. At the moment it is caffee. Yeah, I know there are perhaps more healthy beverages.

  3. shantidave Says:

    CJ,

    I don’t think I could continue to live on this planet without coffee….sounds sad doesn’t it. I understand why you would give it up, and I have given it up before for months at a time, but I really enjoy it and giving it up permanently is out of the question for me.

    Alcohol would be easy for me to give up and I rarely drink, but coffee…hell no!

  4. shantidave Says:

    Ursula,

    Thanks for your response. I’m about to have my second cup….first one was before yoga. Two is where I stop though. I’ve gone through periods of drinking tea too…but I just simply like the coffee more.

  5. yogamum Says:

    Coffee: good.

    I know Guruji recommends it, so that’s good enough for me. I like tea but it just doesn’t seem to give me that same boost.

    I drink 1-2 cups a day.

  6. travelingyogamama Says:

    Hi yoga budy,

    I think almost anything is fine as long as you can find a balance. Although I have had coffee before a morning practice and it gave me the shake its probably my chemistry.

    my blog

    http://travelingyogamama.wordpress.com/

  7. Scavenger Says:

    I drink only 1 or 2 coffees a day. Try some yerba mate.

  8. LittleFfarm Dairy Says:

    Try a cup of RedBush tea (Rooibos) without milk. But don’t get yourself involved with doing other stuff as you drink it: use it as a meditative path to your practice, sitting quietly & contemplatively, inhaling the steam from the tea as you drink. You’ll find this relaxes & unwinds your mind – & so as well, your body. Thus, rather than winding yoursef up to practice, you are grounding your energies & may find an overall improvement as a result. No point in getting wound up!

    Downshifter’s Blog:

    http://littleffarmdairy.wordpress.com

  9. shantidave Says:

    Well, just got back from morning mysore and w/o coffee beforehand, though I am enjoying my luxurious cup right now…ahhhh! I noticed a decrease in endurance, though that could just be the fact that I didn’t sleep well last night.

    I am NOT intending on quitting coffee, just debating as to whether or not to have that morning cup before practice. I can practice either way, though I have seen some stamina endurance benefits when having the cup.

    yerba mate never did it for me, though when I take a break from coffee I sometimes have that instead. I know it is healthier, but it just doesn’t do it for me like my java.

  10. Susan Says:

    Drink the damn coffee. Drink it before practice. It’s good. Drink it after practice. It’s good. Drink it during the day. It’s good. Don’t drink it after 3PM, then it’s bad, very very bad:)

  11. shantidave Says:

    Yogamum and Susan,

    i can always count on you two to validate my coffee habit…thanks so much…i won’t have any after 3pm.
    :)

  12. Susan Says:

    Yes:)
    No guilt!

  13. Carl Says:

    Dave, why can’t you give up the caffeine? I’m an occasional soda drinker and discovered accidentally that it really does affect my sleep. I even experimented to prove it to myself. Get better quality sleep and your body can rest and heal itself better.

  14. Antionette Regulski Says:

    I have been a tea drinker for over 20 years and this is the most delicious tea I have tasted.

  15. carl Says:

    as ex-heavy coffee drinker, i now enjoy a large hot cup of green
    tea in the morning with a little raw sugar.. wash down a few supplements with it, and seems to have some minor benefit
    in voiding bowels before leaving home and bladder at yoga
    before practice.. sometimes a soy latte on way home..
    that seems to do me now..
    otherwise i like red grape juice and clean cool water :)
    the tea doesnt seem to effect my asana, or the meditation
    at end of the practice, about two hours after green tea..
    coffee like green tea has antioxidants..
    moderation in everything,
    including moderation..
    namaste

  16. Amy Says:

    I’ve been reading that coffee is good for the practice. I attended my 1st mysore. I’m a tea drinker but I thought I would give coffee a try since I needed the wakeup boost. I think I’m not going to drink coffee again. I found it uncomfortable and my stomach couldn’t adjust to the coffee. I think it is best to choose what is most comfortable with you. Listen to your body..

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