Picture Many people ask us before we run retreats whether there will be coffee.

It’s like they think they might be doing something naughty or wrong by wanting a cup of coffee in the morning.


A part of our retreat process is to help you question these types of assumptions that can lead to feelings of guilt or shame.  We are about happiness after all!


It does not mean we are hedonists promoting everything that feels good.  We just try to help you towards a healthier line of thinking so you can make more informed decisions for yourself, that’s all.


And managing people’s coffee expectations at our yoga and raw food retreat is not hard! We drink coffee!  And, we also want to be flexible enough to try different things too.


Below are our quick thoughts on coffee.  You will see that some of us have much more knowledge than others and, perhaps most importantly, that we try not to just drink coffee simply out of habit and have had a little think about what we are doing to get to the places we are now—different places as they are!



I had a big break from coffee a couple years back when I started being 100 percent raw. My body just couldn’t tolerate it so I stopped.


When on raw food I was getting naturally  stimulated therefore coffee’s stimulating properties were almost too much to handle.


Now, since being on an 80 percent raw food intake, I have discovered the coffee bean again.  But I always question where  it comes from and how has it been processed etc.


I prefer quality to quantity.


I love it black but sometimes crave the odd nut milk latte.


I love the smell of the coffee. And I certainly have a taste for good coffee. I like trying different brews and filtration systems, at the moment I am into Flores and Toraja coffee (different regions in Indonesia). It’s a darker bean, almost black and had a more rounded earthy chocolate taste to it.


I drink my coffee black. And I generally don’t drink it first thing in the morning.


I am very aware of what its effects are on my body.


Coffee has a bad name for it because it’s addictive, can make you jittery, acidic and ‘over stimulated’. Many people ‘use’ coffee to move their bowels in the morning.


There are 2 types of coffee bean – the Robusta and Arabica bean.


The Robusta coffee is a lower grade bean produced heavily by 3rd world countries for big corporation to produce a cheap high caffeinated bean to flood the market. Starbucks, Gloria Jeans, Nestle etc. If it is Big it is using the robusta bean.


The Arabica bean is the higher grade bean, grows usually at higher altitude, and needs more refined conditions.


The caffeine content is what most people get addicted to. Caffeine effects your nervous system and your adrenals. But the most unfavouable quality of coffee is actually its acidity levels. It takes 12 cups of water to reduce the effect of one cup of coffee in your system! That’s 12 cups of water!!!


The smell and the colour of acidic urine is strong! So watch your pee and make sure you drink lots of water to dilute the effects from your body.

I forced myself to start drinking coffee when I started work to be social! I didn’t like it at first but I soon began to. I only had one cup a day.


Then one day I was not able to have my coffee at the regular time due to some routine change.


I got this massive headache that lasted all day and I did not know what it was.


I later figured out that it was this one cup of coffee that my body became addicted to. I didn’t like the idea of being addicted to something.  This was all before my days as a practicing yogi.


So I stopped for a while.  However, the ritual of a hot drink at certain times was very calming so I was just having something else like a tea or herbal tea or something.


Over time I somehow felt it was time to have some coffee again and I gradually started drinking it.  It actually gave me some sort of physiological lift.  I think it is the caffeine and it has an effect on my blood pressure.  I have naturally quite low blood pressure, which, if it gets too low can make you feel very weak and unable to do anything.  I have not had this scientifically verified or anything!  But, what I found was that without changing anything else—exercise, diet (vegetarian, a lot of it raw), that cup of coffee seemed to make a difference.


So now I drink coffee again.  I will have to look at the type of coffee now Im more informed.  You will see I am the most unrefined of the foodies here but that is where I am at.  I use an aeropress.


I remember reading Iyengar’s book, Light on Yoga, and in the beginning section it talks about having a cup of tea or coffee in the morning before your practice.  I thought, well, if Iyengar says then there you go!


However, I am always acutely aware that coffee is large source of income for millions of people in developing countries.  I know that labour conditions are not always the best for them and I hope that can be improved.


65 years after their last meeting  BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois met again, and their topic of conversation was their mutual love for coffee!