We’ve really enjoyed hosting cacao ceremonies at the studio and all the bookings suggest that you’re enjoying them too! But if you didn’t manage to make it to one of these lovely workshops before lockdown, or you’re just curious about how cacao comes into play with yoga and meditation, then here’s a little insight into this warm, chocolatey drink.
What is cacao?
Unlike cocoa, cacao is the raw, unprocessed seed of the Theobroma cacao tree, often sold in powder form and dissolved into a delicious and warming drink. Essentially, it is the natural form of chocolate. If you’re trying cacao for the first time, you might be a bit taken aback by the spicier, slightly bitter taste, without the milk and sugar used in the chocolate bars we know and love.
What are the benefits of drinking it?
People have been aware of cacao’s medicinal properties for thousands of years. Evidence from the sites of the ancient Olmec, Maya, Inca and Aztec civilizations that populated South and Central America shows cacao being used in a healing manner. The word cacao is even derived from the Olmec and Mayan languages, where it was heralded as an elixir of life, consumed in a ritualistic setting for health purposes.
And science backs this up; In its original state, cacao can be a source of some really healthy stuff! It is rich in theobromine, iron, and antioxidants, which have been proven to prevent health risks such as anemia, cardiometabolic diseases and cholesterol.
As a source of fibre and protein, cacao is a delicious way to get some goodness into your diet. It’s full of natural compounds that may increase your production of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, which in turn can improve brain function, focus and even lift your mood. The high magnesium and flavanol content found in cacao is also known to energise and alleviate fatigue.
But what has this got to do with yoga?
The energising properties of cacao can also make it a tasty aid in more spiritual settings. Often consumed alongside practices such as dance, meditation and yoga, many people speak of an inclination to open up, guided by the subtle energy of this warming drink and the safe, meditative space around them. Known to release feel-good emotions, the experience of cacao in this way can be really uplifting, inspiring freedom of movement and expression that really opens you up to your surroundings and yourself.
Even if this isn’t your exact experience, cacao can still make a delicious companion to your practice. Warm with a mug of this rich and tasty drink, you might just find a little more energy and a tad more space as you meditate and move.
If you’re keen to experience and explore cacao in this way, then do check out this special Sunday workshop coming up on our schedule, ‘An energising hour of movement, meditation + cacao’.
Before we begin, you’ll be sent instructions on how to prepare your cacao drink, but please note you are welcome to use any warm, chocolatey drink of your choice.
Instructions are below as well for making a cup of delicious ceremonial cacao...
We will also be hosting the hour via Google Meet instead of our usual Youtube Livestream, to give you the chance to interact (if you would like) with other partakers in the class. For more information or to book on, click here.