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Confessions of a YogiLatte
by Ally Hamilton

 

 


Editor's Note from Brooke Nisbet: I must admit that I love coffee... so anything putting coffee and yoga together is notable in my book! The author is yoga instructor and studio owner, Ally Hamilton. In this piece, she reminds us that sometimes the simplest thoughts or gestures on your part, may turn out be something important or special to someone else. So, be mindful of the energy you spread.

I accept the fact that you may judge me, but I drink coffee and at this particular moment I have no intention of stopping.  I was on a successful coffee fast for over a decade when evil forces disguised as the guy behind the counter at The Coffee Bean sucked me back in, and I could not be more grateful. This happened about 18 months ago, when I was seven months pregnant with my daughter, and I was chasing my then 2.5 year old son around while my husband was in Berlin working for a month. Oh, and I was teaching 10 yoga classes a week, and felt, well…exhausted.

I stood there with my son and my belly and ordered a chai latte. It was about 11am, and as I was moments away from running all over the playground, I thought a little boost was in order. Although I knew the answer, I asked Evil Forces if there was a decent amount of caffeine in the chai. He said yes, but he could make me a “dirty chai” if I wanted more. I didn’t ask what was in it, I just nodded. And I drank that dirty chai and I felt the strength of at least two super-heroes coursing through my veins. Or, maybe it was the shot of espresso which is what makes the chai “dirty” which I found out the next day when I went back for more. I had a moment of anguish when I realized my coffee fast had been unknowingly broken, and then, in a way only someone who has been 7 months pregnant can understand, a moment of “fu#k it, too late now”. I remembered my doctor had said one cup a day was okay, and I figured desperate times and all…so, I was and am back on the sauce.

Lest you think less of me, I will share that I eat local organic fruits and vegetables, no gluten, and no processed food. But here I am over a year later, with an almost four-year old, a tiny toddler, a new yoga studio, and a full teaching schedule. So if you want to judge me for the coffee, bring it on, suckas, cuz the yerba matte ain’t gonna cut it. Now I begin my day by grinding organic beans and making a delicious cup of coffee so I can be a happy functioning mommy at the crack of dawn. And at 11am, at which point I’ve already had half a busy day, I can usually be found (gasp) at the Starbuck’s drive-thru for my guilty pleasure, a latte (yes, if you’re counting, hit two of the coffee magic) . Why the drive-thru? Because that way I can get my boost without having to take my two kids in and out of their car-seats on our way to the beach, the park, Main Street, or wherever it is we’re headed. Here’s the funny thing. Because I go at about the same time every day, I usually order from the same guy. I had been referring to him as “our friend” to my son for months, as in, “mommy is getting a latte from our friend, and then we’re going to play”…and one day I asked him his name. Now when we pull into the drive-thru, my son yells, “Hi, Damon!!!” and Damon, who turns out to be an incredibly nice human being, knows my drink before I order. He knows my kids names, and I know he has a niece and nephew but no kids of his own yet because he hasn’t found that special someone (single ladies, take note). He knows I teach yoga, and I think he may eventually come to class. I share all of this with you because:

1. I think it is only fair you understand the killer core sequence is being powered by caffeine, and

2. These little connections in life which are so easy to miss can really enhance the experience of any given day

We are energetic beings and we are always spreading energy wherever we go. One of the great gifts of practicing yoga is just becoming more and more accountable for the energy we’re spreading. You could make someone’s day, and possibly even save someone’s life by offering a genuine smile at the right moment, and on the flip side, you could probably ruin someone’s afternoon (or however much time they decide to give it), with a thoughtless comment. So, really, this isn’t about coffee at all, it’s just about being awake.

 

 

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About the Author


Ally Hamilton began practicing yoga during her senior year at Columbia University. During the course of her 22 years of practice and 17 years of teaching, she has studied with Dharma Mittra, Bryan Kest (at whose studio she taught for over five years), Jorgen Christiansson, with whom she began practicing Ashtanga in 2001 and later assisted, Baron Baptiste, Max Strom, and Saul David Raye. In September 2009, with the help of her husband, she opened her own yoga studio in Santa Monica, Yogis Anonymous, and has built a vibrant community around some of the best teaching talent in Southern California. She has also pioneered the use of technology in yoga with a first-of-its-kind online yoga video website which provides live-streaming and on-demand yoga videos featuring top yoga instructors from around the world. Off the mat, you'll most likely find Ally chasing after her five year old son and two year old daughter.

Learn more: yogisanonymous.com/live

 

 

 

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