Yoga is a perfect art. It leads to physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It takes many years to master the poses and a lifetime (or two – or three) to become a truly realised yogi.
But if there was one thing that could, possibly, make yoga even more perfect – it would be chocolate.
And now, just in time for Easter, we hear that ‘Chocolate Yoga’ is a thing!
How is this a thing?
How does stuffing yourself with chocolate align with the healthy ethos of yoga?
Although the mass-produced, high-sugar-content chocolate you buy at the petrol station isn’t exactly a health food, pure, raw cocoa is known to have a whole host of health-enhancing qualities. Prized by the Mayan people, who lived in Central America around 3,000 years ago, chocolate was drunk by everyone for its healing and medicinal qualities.
According to Chocolate Yoga, based in Byron Bay in Australia, “To the Ancient Mayans Cacao was believed to be “the food of the Gods” which not only opened the door of the heart, but also the door to greater consciousness.”
As most chocoholics will tell you, chocolate is also a superfood, as well as a potent stimulant.
How does it work?
There aren’t that many classes yet in the UK, but Yoga teacher Alice Bowmaker is running monthly workshops in East London combining yoga and chocolate.
Mursalimova says, “There are many parallels [between chocolate and yoga] — from experiencing a naturally elevated mood after indulging in a piece of delicious chocolate, to the feeling of lightness and radiance after a restorative yoga practice,”
“For me, mindful movement, power of breath, and organic vegan chocolate are a perfect match.”
The sessions begin with a self-loving yoga practice, a session on how to be in sync with the energies of the moon, and finish off with a ‘glorious chocolate meditation’.
Chocolate meditation uses Buddhist techniques of mindfulness to focus your attention on the present moment and to completely immerse yourself in the sense of taste to absorb the spectrum of flavours and sensations of chocolate.
The combination of stress-relieving meditation and the anti-oxidant qualities of chocolate help to improve mental wellbeing and enhance the mood.
How to do D-I-Y Chocolate Yoga
Now that we know that Chocolate Yoga exists, it’s safe to say that we’ll be trying it out for ourselves, very, very soon. As in now.
If you can get hold of some cacao, rather than chocolate (even very dark chocolate), the effects will be more potent. Cacao is similar to cocoa, but it’s heated at much lower temperatures, meaning it retains more of its health benefits.
I put cacao nibs on my muesli in the morning – they’re just cacao beans chopped into small pieces, and taste a bit like chocolate chips – but packed with nutrients and antioxidant powers!
Try following up an energising yoga practice with a frothy hot chocolate drink, sweetened with a natural sweetener, and sip it slowly, savouring each mouthful.
Or, on Easter Sunday, indulge in your own Easter egg and follow Mursalimova’s advice:
“Chocolate meditation allows us to experience the broad spectrum of taste sensations and enjoy every piece.”