Yet more proof: ‘No coffee, no prana’

This time, you could change Guruji’s famous — and wise, and true, and important — saying into: “No coffee, some pain.”

Here’s why: A Norwegian study has found that coffee helps reduce pain.

Let’s say that again: A study has determined that people who drank coffee experienced less pain than those who didn’t.

Can I get a Hallelujah?! Here’s from the study’s abstract (there’s a link to provisional findings at the above site, too):

The present study sought to determine if subjects who had consumed coffee before performing a simulated computer office-work task found to provoke pain in the neck and shoulders and forearms and wrists exhibited different time course in the pain development than the subjects who had abstained from coffee intake.


Forty eight subjects all working fulltime, 22 with chronic shoulder and neck pain and 26 healthy pain-free subjects, were recruited to perform a computer-based office-work task for 90 min. Nineteen (40%) of the subjects had consumed coffee (1/2 -1 cup) on average 1 h 18 min before start. Pain intensity in the shoulders and neck and forearms and wrists was rated on a visual analogue scale every 15 min throughout the work task.

During the work task the coffee consumers exhibited significantly lower pain increase than those who abstained from coffee.


Subjects who had consumed coffee before starting a pain provoking office work task exhibited attenuated pain development compared with the subjects who had abstained from coffee intake. These results might have potentially interesting implications of a pain-modulating effect of caffeine in an everyday setting. However, studies with a double blind placebo controlled randomized design are needed.

OK, OK, so it is pretty preliminary. But we will take anything that helps reduce pain and anything that helps promote coffee drinking.

We have no illusions that having an Ashtanga-focused blog is going to fill the world up with Ashtangis. But we can hope to promote coffee drinking!

On to that second cup now.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

8 thoughts on “Yet more proof: ‘No coffee, no prana’”

  1. Hmmmm……as an advocate of tapas, I wouldn’t have thought you would want to dull the pain of your practice with coffee!
    Whatever next? Soon you will be taking coffee before your rolfing session!!!(lol)

  2. Excellent news, indeed. I’m having my post lunch coffee (affectionately known as “round two”) now.

    I have to practice at 4:30 if I want to practice before work, so I set the coffee pot timer to be ready upon waking and drink at least a cup before hitting the mat. Then I finish off the pot post-practice.

  3. hmmn. um… i’m disturbed to see your celebration around justification for pain relief. It’s kind of scary to me the degree to which something that “relieves pain” is somehow automatically granted friend status. It doesn’t mean your practice is better, just that you’re not feeling the pain… your eagerness to promote coffee drinking doesn’t seem to come from the spirit of yoga, or guru devotion, but from the spirit of clinging and aversion. It’s a bad sign.


    1. Hi Raven.

      I’d humbly respond that you may be missing the relatively tongue in cheek nature of our ongoing posts about coffee. We recognize the joking nature to Guruji’s pronouncement (which Guy Donahaye just highlighted) and just try to have a little fun with it.

      That said, we do plan to deal with the coffee addiction / karma in future lives. 🙂


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