Yoga and coffee, of course

We’re contractually obligated to pass this story along because of the headline: “Yoga and coffee brought together in Leslieville“:

A new yoga studio in Leslieville is providing a place for yoga students to both work out and hang out.

It’s called Yogaville and it has been established with an on-site cafe.

“What we noticed was that a lot of the yogis, a lot of the yoga students after their classes, they actually spent a lot of time with each other and they become really good friends,” said Mazi Roz of Yogaville, when explaining the concept to CBC News.

“So we figured we could actually provide that space for them.”

I’m sure it isn’t the only yoga studio that also offers coffee; I do know it’s better than offering cold-press juice. And I think there ought to be more.

Posted by Steve

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Now you can drink that third cup of coffee

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m starting to think Starbucks is behind all the pro-coffee research that drips out like, well, obviously, coffee from an old-school coffee maker.

But it remains my duty to pass on info that supports the “No coffee, no prana” motto of this here site. So, here it is:

Researchers found that people who drink between three and five cups of coffee a day are likely to have less coronary artery calcium (CAC) than those who drink no coffee at all.

They also found a correlation between people who drink between one and three cups of coffee a day and a reduced prevalence of CAC, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Heart.

But try not to overdo it: Drinking more than five cups of coffee a day was associated with a higher levels of CAC, the authors report.

Calcium in the coronary artery isn’t always a problem, but at high enough levels it can be an early sign of coronary heart disease.

I love the idea of a journal called Heart. How that isn’t a New Age publication, I don’t know.

This study was of nearly 30,000 men and women in South Korea. The researchers say they don’t know why coffee might be good for you — and that (as always) further research is needed.

But back to my Starbucks suspicion. Here’s how this article ends:

A flurry of recent reports suggest that there are many reasons to drink coffee: For example, it has been associated with improvements in short term memory, and reducing the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, melanoma Type 2 diabetes and liver cancer.

Remember all that pro-wine research?

Also, on the diet front: Science tells us why Indian food is so tasty.

Posted by Steve

The ‘good energy’ of an Astanga shala

Bobbie’s written a few times about one of her early Ashtanga teachers, Dana Point’s Diana Christinson.

Here’s Diana talking about feng shui and prana and the “good energy” of a shala. Looks like it was from her conference this past weekend:

Looks like it is the first video upload to Pacific Ashtanga’s YouTube page in a year. Maybe there will be more.

Posted by Steve

Richard Freeman talks prana and apana

We mentioned when Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor were out in Los Angeles to produce videos for YogaGlo. I assume this one — link right here to a teaser — is among those.

The preview is worth a watch (just five minutes) because of Richard’s explanation of prana and apana — a nice refresher. Here’s the description of the class to give you more of a sense:

Prana governs inhaling. Apana governs exhaling. This class explores how these two primary patterns of Internal Shakti are the foundation of alignment and how they need and love each other.

The full video is 30 minutes.

Posted by Steve

Coffee culture comes to India

We had to pass this piece from the Los Angeles Times along:

Although India has long been one of the world’s major coffee producers, the country’s name is practically synonymous with tea. For most of the last century, it was the world’s biggest tea-growing nation, renowned for its Darjeeling and Assam varieties, and it’s still among the top consumers, with roadside chai stalls a fixture in every throbbing city and distant hamlet.

Ask for a cup of joe in most of India, though, and you’ll get instant coffee crystals drowning in hot milk and sugar, or served over ice with even more sugar. So few Indians drink brewed coffee that virtually all its best crop is exported to countries such as Italy, where the beans are used in name-brand espresso blends and sold at a huge markup.

Now, however, a handful of Indian farmers and entrepreneurs are trying to hook some of their compatriots on coffee by selling gourmet, freshly roasted Indian beans to a burgeoning urban middle class.

[snip]

The effort to build a domestic market for Indian-grown coffee is among the latest signs of this country’s economic expansion. It also represents a bid to lift farmers from the bottom of the supply chain and connect them with Indian consumers who have long viewed coffee as an exotic luxury item.

The shade-grown coffee bushes that spill across the gently sloping hillsides of southern India are, for most farmers, simply a cash crop, Ross said. He compared it to West African cocoa whose farmers have never tasted chocolate.

“A lot of farmers barely know they’re growing coffee,” said Ross, a 34-year-old former advertising man who launched his company in 2012. “To them it’s just another crop they sell to the West.”

Until recently, consumers in most of India couldn’t even buy homegrown coffee, at least not directly.

We certainly can attest to the lack of “real coffee.” I think the only place we had a good cup on our last trip was a Western-serving shop in Varanasi. It was a damn fine cup of coffee, though.

Posted by Steve

So, what’s your major? Coffee

That headline may one day become true. No foolin’.

Last week, the extremely good folks at UC Davis — the ones who already have studied the benefits of wine and beer — announced they plan to turn their research eye to humanity’s greatest beverage of all: coffee.

The Sacramento Bee gave this a nice, lengthy story. From the piece:

On March 11, a roster of eight UC Davis scientists will come together for a research conference run by the school’s recently founded Coffee Center. At the conference, the scientists and coffee industry stakeholders will gather to plumb such diverse topics as the genetics of coffee and the sensory perception of coffee drinkers.

It’s the first step in an effort that some on campus see as leading to a dedicated coffee research study center akin to the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, said J. Bruce German, director of the Foods for Health Institute at UC Davis. He also suggested the school could eventually offer a major in coffee science.

[snip]

Coffee is certainly a powerhouse commodity. It is the largest food import in the U.S., and the world’s most widely traded tropical agricultural commodity, according to the International Coffee Association. Worldwide coffee production is growing along with coffee consumption. In 2012-13, production is expected to hit a record 148 million bags.

Right now, the new UC Davis Coffee Center is being run on an ad hoc basis, without a dedicated home, and funded by the Foods for Health Institute. German said that the funding model will evolve once the coffee industry begins to partner with the university. After early-stage research is funded, German said, he expects the school to develop a coffee science major.

“What we’re looking to do is start a relationship with coffee and move knowledge of all aspects of coffee forward,” German said. “That knowledge will be driven by scientists and industry, and will explore issues of high priority.”

Davis isn’t the first one to the cafe: Texas A&M and Vanderbilt University both have coffee research facilities.

As you probably are suspecting, the coffee industry is behind this; those of you who know your wine-in-America history probably are having a case of the deja vus. Yes, this rings similar to what Robert Mondavi did (at UC Davis especially) in pushing research into the health benefits of vino.

More info on the coffee center can be found right here.

And we studied English and things like that in school. Sheesh.

Posted by Steve

Imagine if you were fully awake…

You’ll have to imagine, also, that you have an hour or so to do the imagining.

Here’s a link to a recent talk on the topic by Richard Freeman. The summary:

A look at the methodology of internal breath (Prana) within Hatha Yoga in which breathing patterns are revealed as a foundation for communication, understanding and imagination—a means of freeing the intelligence. The talk includes detailed explanations of the five forms of Prana: prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana as well as an exploration of the Ashtanga Yoga Invocation and the Shanti Path Saha Navavatu.

I’ve only been able to listen to bits and pieces so far, but I’m struck — for whatever reason — that at times during this talk his delivery and tone reminds of Tim Miller. Probably I’m just projecting. I’m also struck by all the wisdom, but that likely can go without saying.

Posted by Steve