Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Coffee and Yoga. Mind, body and spirit.

When I order coffee at a cafe it's usually an espresso. That little cup of black gold, black magic, call it what you will. If I'm feeling particularly enamoured of the idea of darkness, I'll order a double short black.

It's something that's been a treat from time to time as until recently we didn't have a coffee machine at home. We had a French press and I got rather sick of the mug with milk that was our typical morning tea.

A friend gave me a coffee machine, new old stock, 8 years old and never used. I suspect some plastic pipes inside it had perished or died, as I persevered for a few days, cleaned it, followed all the instructions and never got anything better than dark sludge out of it.

So I bit my lip, mentally apologised to the environment, and bought a wee Nespresso machine. Reader, I know I'm bad. Those pods take forever to decompose. You can't recycle them. But the bliss of popping one in, touching the button and watching an espresso materialise before my eyes, for one fifth of the cost of a cafe one! And I can have one EVERY DAY. I wouldn't walk to our local cafe every day and hand over $4.50 - my espresso was a weekend treat only.

Thankfully there are several brands of compatible pods, and the Vittoria espresso is nicely dark and deep and strong. L'Or isn't bad, either.

And my husband now makes his own flat whites for morning tea and is in heaven.

So what a tasty start to the year we've had.

Coffee cheers my spirit, in moderation is good for the body and gives my mind that little jolt to cheer it up when it doesn't feel like doing work at the computer.

Which segueways nicely into yoga. Now yoga is arguably much better for the mind, body and spirit, and I've taken that up recently. Like, last week, officially. I had been teaching myself from magazines and YouTube and websites, but I bit the bullet and joined a fitness centre that teaches yoga, pilates and barre.

I've decided I'll try and do 3 yoga classes a week, 1 pilates and 1 barre, as they are the only ones that fit in with my schedule - i.e., doing it during business hours. I have no desire to head out at 6am or fight peak hour traffic and overfull classes at 6pm when I'm getting hungry. I'm treating yoga as work - work on myself!

So far I'm loving it; I'm doing yin yoga and hatha yoga. While I do a fitness class on Fridays (bodyweight, light weights and cardio) which makes me realise just what muscles I've used, I'm getting complaints from muscles on a daily basis, but only mildly. It's all good.

I'm feeling a bit calmer - I think! The one bad thing about the yoga place is parking. It's in a shopping strip where the main car park is being redeveloped so parking is at a premium. Last Friday I was driving for 20 minutes around and around the other car park areas there desperate for a spot, almost screaming and my blood pressure going through the roof as I didn't want to be late for my class. I had allowed for 15 minutes to find a park. This rather negates all the good yoga does for my mind, body and spirit I suspect!

My neighbour put me onto the yoga centre as she has recently joined it too, so at least she'll be coming to some of the same classes and urging me to go if I'm feeling lazy or depressed and don't want to leave the house.

I've noticed another difference in my mental state - I want or NEED to do some sort of exercise every day now. Either yoga, pilates, barre or a good brisk walk. For this little sloth, that's a very good thing indeed.

And if yoga doesn't perk me up, fresh espresso will!

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