Cacao benefits | Cacao experience | Ceremonial cacao | Yoga
Not surprisingly, Cacao and Yoga are at the top of the list of natural ways to reach a state of full-body bliss. Both Yoga and Ceremonial Cacao abet a natural union between body, mind, and spirit that's hard to match. Pairing them amplifies their power to open the heart, expand the mind, and land in the infinite intelligence of the body.
Here's a little insight into the benefits of Cacao and the teachings of Yoga to help us understand why.
Yoga doesn't need much of an introduction. Yoga studios have sprung up everywhere, with classes happening in almost every city around the world. Similarly, Cacao's popularity as a superfood and a facilitator for ritual and healing is spreading far and wide. Both are gaining recognition as catalysts that can help us expand our capacity to live fully, be in our truth, and reach our full potential.
Traditionally, Yoga was designed to help us understand the layers of human nature, to bring us closer to our heart, our source, and our true essence. And Ceremonial Cacao, on top of being chock full of nutritional benefits, is also known to help us deepen our heart connection and invite spiritual expansion. A potent plant medicine, it has been revered and used by indigenous cultures for thousands of years who, as archaeologists discovered, considered it "essential to the cosmic soul."
Yet, despite its growing popularity, or perhaps because of it, Yoga is often misunderstood. Today, it is mainly perceived as a set of physical movements and postures, but with origins in the Vedas, the oldest record of Indian culture, Yoga is more than the physical postures (Asanas). It is also about inner work, clear insight, expanded awareness, and getting out of the mind and into the heart space.
In Yoga, the deeper work happens through the yamas and niyamas (ethical guidelines and restraints), pranayama (breathwork), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dhurana (concentration), dhyana (deep meditation), and samadhi (bliss). At the core, the teachings of Yoga are a technology for transformation, inviting us towards the truest expression of ourselves. This draws a perfect parallel to what we receive from working with the Cacao plant medicine.
Pure Ceremonial Cacao is a plant medicine and an entheogen. Entheogens - a composite word derived from the Greek words' theos' (god) and 'genesthai' (come into being) - are a class of psychoactive compounds found in plants, pushing us beyond what is familiar into new and expanded states of awareness.
As a plant medicine, Cacao is unique in that it's psychotropic but not psychedelic or hallucinogenic. This means it can cause temporary changes in mood, perception, or behavior without taking you on a 'trip'; or, as Keith says, "Cacao will bring you to the door but will not push you through it."
As an entheogenic substance, Cacao encourages us to look within, keeps us on our path, and welcomes us home to our hearts. And it is this, above all else, that makes it a great facilitator; for when the path to the heart is open, it becomes easier to explore our essence and access the true potential that lies deep within.
Combined with Yoga, the heart-opening medicine of Ceremonial Cacao facilitates new levels of joy, connectedness, euphoria, and soul expansion. Its perfect alchemy of nutrients, neurotransmitters, and bioactive compounds makes it the ideal complement to Yoga postures, which are intended to generate heat, release blockages, and allow the body to move easily and gracefully.
Yoga also uses movement, awareness, and breath to physically and energetically open the space around the heart. As Cacao helps release muscular tension and energy blocks, it amplifies this process. Its high potassium levels and flavanol content relax blood vessels, improve blood flow, and enhance cardiovascular and nerve function.
And, of course, there is the unique combination of the cardiovascular stimulant theobromine, the 'bliss molecule' anandamide, and the 'love chemical' PEA in Cacao that makes it the perfect consort to Yoga.
Theobromine - Like Yoga, thanks to its ability to dilate blood vessels and relax the smooth muscle tissue around the heart, theobromine can provide an energy boost while inducing relaxation at the same time.
Phylathelynamine (PEA) - PEA creates a chemistry in the brain that allows for more engagement, focused attention, and fascination, similar to what we experience when we are in love.
Anandamide - Known as the 'bliss molecule,' this naturally occurring cannabinoid creates a mild euphoria similar to what we feel when endorphins are released. This provides a subtle but sure push toward reaching the state of "Samadhi" or "Bliss" in Yoga.
One of the greatest gifts of the Cacao and Yoga experience is that you don't have to "come down" after. Since the practice strongly supports integration and embodiment, it allows unconditional love, euphoria, and bliss to become an everlasting part of our state of being.
In any experience, embodiment and integration are key for lasting transformation and healing. Ceremonial Cacao creates a somatic experience, influencing the state of the body rather than just impacting the mind, as the active compounds heighten sensitivity and stimulate the senses. Pairing Cacao and Yoga thus provides a beautiful opportunity to experience being fully present in the body as we activate its infinite wisdom.
Cacao and Yoga, as tried and tested holistic medicines for the mind, body, and soul, are both wonderful tools to help us open our hearts, cut through the noise, and access our true potential. Merged together, they are a pretty extraordinary way to activate our senses, feel our body in a whole new way, and experience connection, ritual, and magic!
Are you ready to step into a supercharged, heart-opening experience that merges these two medicines of the ages? Join Keith's Cacao and Bella for twice-monthly Heart Yoga and Cacao practices starting June 15.