Put Down Your Coffee & Pick Up Your Yoga Mat…

İ want to share an article from “Balancing Bodies”…

Dear Coffee Lover,

If you go straight from your bed to your kitchen and coffee maker each morning, if you freak out when you run out of beans, and if you sometimes let out a sound like this, “aaaaaah yeaaaah” after your first sip of Joe in the morning…

… then you, my friend, are a coffee junkie and caffeine addict! Welcome to the club, 3 billion strong and growing every day.

A least ½ the population is nursing a moderate-to-severe dependency on some form of caffeine. What I mean by dependency is that if you don’t have it, you’ll get a splitting migraine by noon, you’ll be severely constipated for 2 days, and you’ll be THE most unpleasant person in the office or in your own home…sound familiar?

That’s dependency.

For most, the beverage is coffee, but I also have friends and clients who suck down enough Diet Cokes, green tea or even yerba mattes to create the exact same “nervous system fry” as a quadruple Grande Americano (and yes, that IS a real drink).

Make no mistake, coffee is NOT part of a well-balanced breakfast. It’s just a pathetic substitute for what your body really wants— nutrients!

The main nutrients I have found most of my clients and friends to be lacking are the B vitamins, especially B12, probiotics for good gut flora and proper assimilation of the good foods you do eat, enough quality water, some form of an adaptogen to nourish the adrenals ex: Maca, ashwaganda, shizandra etc…What I have also discovered is three main additional and pretty massive connections that even PRECEED the issue with nutrient deficiency and in fact create it. They are: 1) Unstable, unhealthy blood sugar balance and 2) Poor sleep or sleep deprivation and 3) Over – Exertion, whether it be over-worked, over-comitted, over-training (yes with exercise – there is such a thing as too much of it!)

When any of the above are happening the below is usually what will follow:

Adrenal Depletion:your adrenal glands secrete adrenalin in emergencies—like during an accident—but when you knock back a couple of shots of espresso, you’re tricking your body into releasing epinephrine and norepinephrine, the same hormones released during a crisis.

So now, your body reacts to your morning commute the same way it would to a saber tooth tiger pouncing on your head. This is a totally inappropriate use of your body’s resources.

To put yourself in a “fight or flight” state of mind first thing in the morning might feel invigorating, but it also makes you irritable, unfocused, and somewhat frantic.

  • Increased Stress:ever notice that when you’re stressed out you can’t sleep? Logically, if you want to wake up then, you just need to get stressed out, right?This is exactly what caffeine does. It triggers stress reactions including increased heart rate, perspiration, crazy blood sugar levels, and higher then usual muscle tension (aches, pains and stiffness).Do you really need more stress in your life?
  • Bad Mood Joe:studies have shown that caffeine intake correlates to reduced serotonin levels. Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter responsible for happy people everywhere.Those with low or altered serotonin levels are usually classified as clinically depressed. But hey, at least they’re awake!
  • Vitamin Deficiency: An over-stimulated body is much more likely to become depleted in vitamins (vitamins ward off oxidative stress); ironically, the same vitamins that would normally provide an energy boost all on their own.
  • Death to Yoga:advanced yoga practice and meditation is all about balance, particularly of the nervous system. Stimulants of all kinds, and caffeine in particular, create immediate imbalances that quickly turn chronic. Not good.Caffeine in all its forms is also a strong diuretic that leads to dehydration. Since some 75+% of the population is already dehydrated, caffeine just makes things worse. For yoga students, no water = a stiff/sore body.

So tomorrow, instead of coffee try warm water with fresh lemon juice and some honey, agave or maple syrup sip ‘er back, chill out and then pack your yogi clothes, your mat and some extra zen in the side pocket and show up to a class.

I say it everyday…all it takes to start a practice is to simply show up!

It is the hardest ‘asana’ you will EVER do!

Namaste yogi’s and caffeine lovers

xo Jenn


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