Coffee detox

by Christina on February 2, 2010

I ran into my teacher as I was locking my bike for practice this morning. Riding up the elevator together, I decided to risk disapproval and ask him his view on pre-practice coffee (throwing in the Sharath coffee endorsement: “no coffee, no prana”). 

No…“not good,” he said.

Hmm, but I *love* my morning hour of coffee and reading!

He said, “just try it without.” Replace coffee with green tea. And not just for two days – it has to be for at least two weeks to really get it out of my system. 

“And anyway,” he said, “coffee tastes way better after practice.” I then cringed as I confessed to also having coffee after practice. He shook his head, “no, that’s too much!” Too much. 
So, tomorrow I will start a two-week pre-practice coffee detox.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Ouch !


amanda February 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

i only drink coffee after practice. it's not so bad. good luck! 🙂


Christina February 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Thanks amanda, that's good to hear! At least I'll have something to look forward to as I'm struggling through.


Frank February 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm

I used to have coffee before practice, especially on weekends (living above a coffee shop makes it rather easy!). However, when I started dropping back & standing up on my own, I noticed my heart rate skyrocketing, needing to catch my breath more than felt comfortable. So I tried practicing without the coffee. Sometimes I still want an injection before I even get out of bed, and often I do still feel a bit dazed when I begin practice, but by the time I'm done with sun salutations (and certainly by the time I get to the Prasarita Paddottansanas), I feel much more awake and energized. Indeed, I salute the sun, and it salutes me back!


Christina February 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

That's a good point, Frank… I think coffee before practice does impact my breath and heart rate, and makes it harder to maintain long, slow ujjayi breaths. We'll see how this goes!


CJT February 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm

So, I stopped drinking coffee about 9 months ago (cold turkey). It's all tea for me and I'm drinking far fewer ounces of tea than I ever drank of coffee. I never drink it before practice (even the tea) because any caffeine will have the tendency to get your heart racing. Especially since it's the first (and probably) only thing in your system at that time of day. You would never know it based on appearances but I feel so much better without the coffee. In two weeks, you'll be totally over it.


Christina February 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Good to know, Craig, thank you! I like the idea of not being dependent on a substance.

What kind of tea do you drink, and is it caffeinated?


Anonymous February 2, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I now pledge…

I will switch to green tea for my morning pick-me-up

Joyfully, as his suns speed
through the glorious expanse of heaven,
brothers, run your course,
joyously, like a hero towards victory!

I remain an alien doing ashtanga


Leslie February 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I usually just have a small glass of water or juice + water before practice. However, since it's been so cold in my apartment in the mornings lately (no heat – just space heaters during the day) I've switched to hot apple cider and that's really nice.

I drink way too much tea (black) during the day though. I should cut back too.


Christina February 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm

mmm hot apple cider sounds good! and wow, I love that you live with no heat – so minimalist!


Arturo February 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Hi Christina, nice to find your blog thu Grimmly's. i also studied in Philly (Penn)


Christina February 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Hi Arturo, great to hear from you – I was just looking at your blog! Can you tell me more about this CRON diet? I'm so curious!


StorytellERdoc February 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

good luck with your coffee withdrawal. every few months I cut back to one cup and day (from three at a max) and even that gets me a little headache and sluggishness. Nicely written post!


Christina February 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Thanks! I decided to start tomorrow, and have today be my "control" day…

I think 1 cup a day is a good goal!


Josh February 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I don't drink coffee before early morning mysore. And yes, that first cup of the day is pure bliss afterwards. But I drink a small cup before Sunday's class because it's later in the day and otherwise I'd be like a junkie coming down from a two week meth bender.

IMO there's no need to quit coffee entirely, especially since it's empirically verifiable that tea is a totally lame substitute. In that spirit, I will do my best to peer pressure Craig back into the coffee-drinking hordes.


Christina February 4, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Totally agree with no need to quite coffee entirely!!! I did "day 1" of green tea first thing in the morning (practice was not the greatest), but my coffee was soooo delicious afterwards.


Arturo February 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm

hi Christina
actually i would suggest that you subscribe to the newsgroup emails (in digest form is best, so it comes only once a day) of the calorie restriction society and of the calorie restrictions support group in yahoo. a great majority of the membership is medically trained – researchers, nurses, MDs and others. the main lists post a lot of scientific data. the CRWay and Dr Walford's book "the longevity diet" are good reads. it's all about longevity and health. i stumbled upon it because i wanted to lose 10 lbs so i could bind in marichyasana D. i was overweight all of my life until about 10 years ago. anyway, it's a long story. it's not really a diet, but about tracking your nutrition daily with software and making better choices in what you eat. hopefully we'll discuss this more as we go along.


Anonymous February 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

After two days of green tea and no coffee :
1. green tea is NOT the new coffee
2. my heart not racing during practice
3. smoother thinking during practice not jumpy
4. I am tired


Christina February 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Hi Adam! I'm pretty sure Anonymous is Adam, no? I know we are going through this together 🙂

I agree completely with your 4 points, and will add the following:

5. green tea makes me nauseous (going to try it a few more days, maybe I just have to get used to it).
6. my breathing is slower and deeper
7. I stay in poses much longer (because I am less impatient, and because my body feels lethargic and doesn't want to move)
8. my back is tighter (this could be from 6 days of long practices in a row, or it could be because coffee somehow helped loosen me up beforehand?)
9. coffee after practice makes me SO happy


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