Two weeks into starting my Bikram practice, I drank a cup of coffee every morning. In fact, I had to have that cup of coffee in order to feel functional at work. I drive about an hour to work both ways and I need to be alert in order to arrive unhurt. (cha ching! Love those rhymes!)
When I used to wake up at around 5 a.m. to stumble over to the local gym, my “reward” for getting that workout out of the way was a nice piping hot cup of coffee. Honestly, I don’t know how I was able to get through the constantly mind numbing loud music and joint jarring days of cardio at a health facility that was as beautiful as its people, but was the opposite of a fitness community center. Whenever I raced back from the gym, I always made sure my coffee beans were ground and my coffee was brewing before I did anything else. Before I started practicing Bikram yoga, I didn’t question my caffeine addiction because it was the legal, safe drug.
As I became more of a Bikram fanatic, I stumbled upon Esak Garcia, a Bikram yoga instructor, doing a demonstration on YouTube. I am not allowed to embed it here, but just look for him on Youtube. Anyways, I read a small part about preparing for a workshop/seminar he was going to lead and he discouraged the intake of caffeine in order to improve asanas. It was uncanny that I started to feel as if I didn’t need caffeine to stay awake during work and one day, I found myself turning down an offer for a cup of coffee.
Instead of coffee, I drank a cup of hot herbal tea in order to feel energized in the morning. I noticed a distinct difference in my ability to stay in tune with the class and to persist in following the instructor’s words, rather than sitting it out for the fifth time.
Sometimes, I walk past a Starbucks and I smell the fresh coffee wafting in and out of the perpetually opening double glass doors. I am curious about how I will feel if I drank a cup of coffee again, but I feel so good, I don’t really miss my caffeine addiction.
For the record, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having one to two cups of coffee a day, as long as one stays well hydrated. I just think that it took some time and practice to realize that I really don’t need it as a crutch to get through the day.
Tomorrow, I will blog about how Bikram yoga has changed my psychological state.