The Vital Veda Podcast: Ayurveda | Holistic Health | Cosmic and Natural Law

Revolutionising Your Relationship with Coffee: An Ayurvedic Perspective | Myra Lewin #121

October 12, 2023 Myra Lewin Season 1
The Vital Veda Podcast: Ayurveda | Holistic Health | Cosmic and Natural Law
Revolutionising Your Relationship with Coffee: An Ayurvedic Perspective | Myra Lewin #121
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready to revolutionise your relationship with coffee? Our latest podcast episode features Myra Lewin, who shares her insights on how caffeine affects our health from an Ayurvedic perspective. Myra, a renowned Ayurveda and yoga teacher & founder of Hale Pule, offers a comprehensive look into how coffee influences our hormones, digestive system, anxiety levels, and sleep cycles. Listen in as we discuss the benefits, drawbacks, and ways to improve our interactions with this ubiquitous stimulant.

We'll dive deep into the world of coffee, exploring the addictive nature of caffeine. Myra illuminates the uncomfortable nature of withdrawal symptoms, shedding light on the hidden depths of our reliance on coffee. We also examine how caffeine impacts our physiology with an emphasis on the three doshas (Ayurvedic constitutions / elemental makeups). 

Learn Ayurveda's approach to caffeine, understanding how to make smarter decisions about our caffeine intake. This episode is an opportunity to empower yourself and make wiser choices for your health. Tune in and unlock the secrets of caffeine!

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

☕️ Understanding Caffeine Through The Lens of Ayurveda
☕️ The Prevalence of Coffee Consumption
☕️ Caffeine's Desirable & Ill Effects on the Body
☕️ Alleviating the Ill Effects of Caffeine with Ayurveda
☕️ Mindful Reduction of Caffeine Intake
☕️ How And When To Drink Coffee (If You Want To)
☕️ Ayurvedic Coffee Alternatives

ABOUT OUR GUEST: Myra Lewin

Myra embraced the power of Ayurveda and Yoga when her career as a corporate executive had previously made it difficult to manage her health.

She undertook trainings in Ayurveda and Yoga in India and around the world and as she healed her own body and mind through these ancient sciences, they became the foundation for her life.

Myra founded Hale Pule Ayurveda and Yoga in 1999 as a place for those on a journey towards greater health and genuine contentment.

Myra is the author of two books, has more than 50,000 hours of Yoga teaching experience spanning 20 years.

She has spoken at several conferences around the world.

Myra leads Yoga teacher trainings and Ayurvedic trainings and immersions all over the world and online. 

When Myra is not helping others find balance in their lives, you’ll find her knee-deep in the dirt pulling weeds, making date pecan muffins in the kitchen, surfing, swimming, hiking or doing fire ceremonies.

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Dylan Smith:

Upgrade your relationship with coffee and caffeine the health pros cons and the Ayurvedic perspective with Myra Lewin. Welcome to the Vital Veda Show. I'm your host, dylan Smith. I'm an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health educator and someone who sees patients in person in Australia and a lot of patients online, and one of the big things that I see with them is drinking coffee. Now, this podcast episode is not about not drinking coffee or to stop drinking coffee. It's to upgrade your relationship with caffeine and expand your awareness on it and learn how to interact with it in a way that benefits your health and benefits your mind not only physical health, but mental health and so many aspects of the nervous system we get into it. So this podcast episode is for people of all various relationships and consumption patterns with caffeine and different types of caffeine. It's with Myra Lewin, who we've had before on the podcast episode 17.

Dylan Smith:

Myra embraced the power of Ayurveda when her career as a corporate executive had previously made it difficult to manage her health. So she took on Ayurveda in yoga in India and around the world and healed her body and mind through these ancient sciences. That became the foundation for her life. So she then started and founded Halle Puli Ayurveda in Yoga in 1999 as a place for those on a journey towards greater health and genuine contentment. She's the author of two books. She has over 50,000 hours of yoga teaching experiencing, spanning a couple decades. She has spoken at conferences around the world. She leads master yoga teacher trainings and Ayurvedic trainings all around the world and mostly now online. And when she's not helping others find balance, you'll find Myra in the dirt pulling weed, gardening, making beautiful muffins and things which I've tasted and surfing, swimming, doing fire ceremonies.

Dylan Smith:

So you're going to enjoy this episode. It's a dynamic episode on many aspects and we want you to feel empowered and to take action. So let us know what you think. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with someone who drinks caffeine so that they can upgrade their relationship with caffeine and tag Vaitalveda, tag Halle Puli. We would love to hear from you on your journey also and your experience of shifting your relationship with caffeine in a way that isn't like oh, I can't be bothered to do that. What's the point? I am happy with my caffeine. Well, maybe there's something deeper and more enriching and more fulfilling and better for your health ahead and we speak about red flags of if you are relating with caffeine in various ways, how to go about that and take action on it. So I hope you enjoyed this episode. Leave a review on iTunes. I really want to know what you think and I really admire wants to know how you go with shifting your relationship with caffeine. So whether it's sending us an email, taking a screenshot on Instagram and sharing so that we can also share with people to inspire others.

Dylan Smith:

If you want to check out the show notes of this podcast episode, you can go to vitalvatedcomau and go to the learn section or the resources and check out podcasts. Every episode we have podcasts and this one there's like over 30 scientific references plus additional information on the studies showing the pros and showing the cons of coffee. So you can read that. All right, enjoy, myra. Welcome back to the Vital Vater podcast. It's beautiful to have you. You were about over 100 episodes ago, a few years ago on episode 17,. We spoke about food addictions, quick highs and compulsive behaviors, which was a popular topic and a popular podcast episode. It was one and that was was that your first trip to Australia?

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, first time coming. No, actually second time coming to teach and and have spent some time there since then too.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, yeah, and getting more and more close and staying closer, of course, running Hale Pule through different countries and different areas, and getting closer to Australia, because you've got quite a few Australians on your team. I think the beautiful team of wellness proponent of wellness, or gathering together to spread knowledge and empower people on how to really take take health in their own hands through very foundational, foundational interventions and techniques, is what you guys do at Hale Pule, right?

Myra Lewin:

Yep, that's right, that's right. We, really we are. Our goal is to to put on the information and encourage the experience of living fully, and using the tools of higher beta and yoga to do that and and it just makes life so much more interesting, more fun and full. Yeah, Great.

Dylan Smith:

I really love how you guys are really at that foundation. You work at that foundational level. You, you work at the root level, as over it does, but you're really correcting these fundamental patterns of living life in people for greater health.

Myra Lewin:

Yes, thank you for mentioning that. It's an interesting thing for me, for me personally. As I came into higher beta and I was getting more experience and maturing, you know, was that ego part of me that wanted to do go deeper and go into the more complex things and be teaching those things. And then I realized that you know the need, the need, the greater need and where I can be of best service is by going to those foundations and and empowering people in their homes to do things.

Dylan Smith:

That's so beautiful and I love working with you and your team because I have a lot of patients who have been done your programs and even other students of higher beta that have done yours, and I just I love how you have put so much energy towards that fundamental and solidifying it really well in people and people sticking to it and in a very sustainable way.

Dylan Smith:

So it's like great, you've nailed that foundation. Now we can you can explore this more. So it's such a beautiful thing and, yeah, I appreciate it. So our first question we ask every guest and we didn't ask every guest back in the day when I interviewed you, but kind of halfway in the podcast I started asking is the first question I ask every guest and that is what is your dinner chariot and what was your dinner chariot today? And I know it's on the morning for you, but I'd love to get into it and and, myra, I know you're very detailed in this topic and we like detail, so feel free to give detail, okay, okay. Well, the first thing that happens for me is to as I say a prayer.

Myra Lewin:

I have a prayer that I say to myself as my eyes before my eyes open most of the time. And I'm so happy to be able to say to myself as my eyes before my eyes open most of the time. And or right after, if sometimes, and and then I have some. I have some warm water, I rinse my mouth, I have some warm water. I do practice neti, where I clean the sinuses and then, and then I do a bianca, I oil my body, and that is four days a week yeah, four days a week. And and the other the other days I might do a little bit of dry brushing, but in it, but it's mostly because of time, honestly, because I wash my hair on those days and I need more time. So that works for me. And the and then I dive, I bathe, I bathe and then I clean my teeth and so forth, scrape my tongue, all those things that are really small but make a big difference in life. And then I do fire ceremony we do with you, mantra chanting and make offering into the fire for 15 minutes, and then pranayama and then meditation and then asana.

Myra Lewin:

Now, sometimes now I have a meeting in there before I start my asana because of time differences with some of the some of the team, and and. Then I have breakfast and I mean I get to go into my day. Sometimes, if I don't start to have meetings too early, I'll go for a walk right after breakfast. It's a very nice time to do that. That happens a few days and and and. Then I have lunch in midday and and dinner at around five five 30 and and take a walk after those. When I can. Most of the time I do, I like to feed the dogs in the neighborhood.

Dylan Smith:

Do you do the fire ceremony at sunrise?

Myra Lewin:

Yes, I did for that, we do. We do that. So right now that's right at the end of our meditation and it's coming earlier, so it's actually coming into the meditation time. So we'll go and just actually today we go and do the Agni Hocha and then finish our meditation there and then go about the rest of the day. So yeah, and then in the evening, living near the equator, it doesn't change a lot, but it's surprising how much it does change. It's it's about 35 minutes, Whereas you know other places it's going to be hours that it changes.

Dylan Smith:

Do you do it to the second of sunrise?

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, we do. I, you know now we have the phone in that when I started you used a paper and the best clock that you could get as the internet came about and all that, then it's. It's made. It made it easier in some ways.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, just so for for people who are listening, agni Hotra is is a fire ceremony where we're invoking the energy of the sun and of fire, or Agni, the divine aspect of fire, and a lot of practitioners or people who who do it like to do it to the second of sunrise and they have an app which tells you and I think it was you, myra, who, when you were coming to Australia, you were traveling with your Agni Hotra kit and your cow dung and and you would stop the car at the side of the road and if it was the time when you were traveling, okay, do it on the side. A lot of people do that. It was the devotional Agni Hotra practitioners.

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, it's great that people, sometimes people, get exposed to it. Once they once they did it at a gas station.

Dylan Smith:

It's a little nervous. Any other wild places you've done Agni Hotra.

Myra Lewin:

I've done it. I've done it actually on the lawn outside of an airport.

Dylan Smith:

Wow.

Myra Lewin:

So it was years back when it was a little easier to get in and out of an airport. But yeah, yeah.

Dylan Smith:

I believe Myra's done a pod or spoken more about Agni Hotra in a podcast on the Mahasoma podcast show with Laura Pool. So if you want to learn more about that, check that out. So today's topic, a topic which is very relevant for many people and that's on primarily coffee, but also caffeine, and I guess I want to address notions of is it good for health, is it bad for health? It's a very controversial issue. It's subjective as well. So, as I said to Myra before we start recording you, if you look at science, modern science you'll find studies showing that it's great, it's medicine, antioxidant, and we can go through those if we need. And then, of course, you've got studies showing that it's bad for health and impacts negatively. And that's classical modern science, where researchers are actively searching for proof in what they are trying to prove or promote.

Dylan Smith:

So you get that same with soy. You'll find all the things saying soy is good and all the things soy is bad. So it's a common thing and I just want to mention some statistics of three in four Americans drink coffee every day 74% that's massive every day, and 49% of those people drink three to five cups of coffee a day. 56% of people agree that drinking coffee benefits their health and in Australia, 75% of people use coffee daily, so very similar to America, with 28% of them consuming at least three cups a day. The people who drink the most coffee are 25 to 34 year olds in Australia, so that younger generation, interestingly, we can talk about it. I noticed in the pitta kala in that pitta age, and 27% of Australians claim they cannot go a day without drinking coffee, and this is high among the millennials and the generation Xs. So 20% of our population rely on this beverage. It's obviously a very prevalent thing and there's issues with that. So what do you feel when I mention those statistics?

Myra Lewin:

I'm not surprised. It's still pretty astounding to hear. It actually takes me to the thought that there are statistics now and I think I've only heard about the United States, which I think is much higher than that and that there's somewhere well over 60% of the people in the United States are on some kind of medication and that medication is frequently countering what the caffeine is doing. So it's an interesting thing and of course, no one has looked at that because that's not a very popular thing among the commercial organizations.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, that's a huge thing, these interactions, and I'm going to publish the studies. I'm not going to go through it all in this podcast episode. I've got a lot of the good and the bad studies, but from going through quite a bit of scientific literature, it's really clear to me that coffee is like a drug and that's what the studies show that it's good is. Actually, the studies are done on a lot of coffee in order to get these benefits so-called benefits and like good for blood sugar, diabetes, good for digestive stimulants, helps control blood sugar. After, and a lot of these things was because of the. What is the secret ingredient, you ask? It's because of this powerful antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid, which is in the green, unroasted coffee bean, so that you may have seen supplements with green coffee bean extract. That is perhaps the antioxidant, but it's weakened and it dissipates in the roasting process, in the processing process. So that's why these studies.

Dylan Smith:

It's like you need to drink some of them, I think like eight cups a day to get these benefits and, of course, within that there comes a lot of issues. So, yeah, I think the how right. How are you drinking it? Why are you drinking it? What's your intention of drinking it, but perhaps in general I mean, have you seen a lot of people at not only as clients, but you've taught a lot and you've taught a lot of people aspects of food and principles of nutrition and substances putting things into, and I'm sure you've come on Halle Poulet, a lot of people who've come from coffee background and drinking it. How's that been for you and what do you see as the biggest issues with coffee?

Myra Lewin:

Well, first of all, we noticed that when people come in to our community, they're most often because they're having some kind of a problem. They're often having hormone problems or digestive problems or they've had, they have cancer, they have there's all kinds of things a lot of anxiety and difficulty with sleep, and so when we start to talk about perhaps you want to take the stimulants out of your life if you're having difficulty sleeping and honestly, just yesterday I had somebody say to me I never thought of that and so we've been educated to be so focused outside and thinking that we have to fix ourselves there's just tremendous resistance that we see to letting go of it, and especially when all the things that you just mentioned, dylan, that you know, oh, but it does this and it does this and it does this, it does that in a laboratory or in a very controlled situation, but they're not, they're only looking at a very small slice of the effect, and we noticed that it's really it's one of the last things that people will hang on to, you know, even though they know that it's going to make a difference to not have it. And I will say that the people who do move out and move away from it, from move away from caffeine. They will tell you that there's they feel so much better and that. And so you know there's there's a process involved because it is an addictive substance.

Myra Lewin:

It's sometimes I like to ask people to go back to that very first time you had some. What was your motive? Why did you do it? Was it because an adult offered it to you? Was it because you were tired and somebody said this is going to pick you up, I mean? And so, going back to that motive, then we can sometimes see how can I, how could I deal with that in a different way? You know, that might not create as much disturbance and harm to my mind and my body.

Dylan Smith:

That's beautiful. For me it was. I don't drink coffee anymore, but for me when I started, I drank it for a few years it was just the joy of sitting and having a beverage, because that's what a lot of people did in my life, like kind of that. It's just like a nourishing hot beverage, really, and relaxing and drinking a cup, and then it didn't turn into that, it was a daily thing to start my day. It was like I needed this to to study, yeah, so it shifted, that initial intention shifted and it's nice to refer back to that People often talk about it.

Myra Lewin:

Oh, but it's the ritual and that you know I'm a person. I've never drank coffee. I've never drank caffeine, except once as a child it was given to me and then once as an adult I tried, and it was. It was clearly too much for me. I didn't sleep for days and my motive was because somebody gave it to me as a kid. But as a young adult, in university, somebody said I said I'm tired, I need to stay up to study, and so I tried that. And the thing is is that people find it. It's that they just hang on to it then, because it's like you get that nice buzz. Sometimes people will say I have more clarity when I drink the coffee than when I don't, and of course, from an Ayurveda standpoint, we understand what's happening there. You can have that short front timeframe of clarity, but then, but then the total effect of it starts to kick in and then later on you're going to be much more scattered, tending even to get foggy.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, and, as you said, I think the biggest impact or negative health impact of coffee is definitely on the nervous system. Being a stimulant, increasing sympathetic nervous system, flight or fight and very much we're into linked with dopamine, this addictive hormone, this pleasure hormone, and when the brain is bathed in dopamine it remembers it very well what gave it to us. So that's why when the caffeine rush wears off, it's like, okay, I'm stuck thinking about the next cup. Or even if you don't think about it, if you just pass a coffee shop, you're like, oh, it just triggers that dopamine light. I remember that and this is an Ayurveda. We call Rajasic that over stimulation and, like you said, that short term effect but ultimately leaving depletion in the long term.

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, we talk to people about it in terms of a cycle that you just described. You know, people come and they say, oh, I'm looking, I'd like I've learned about Satwa. I want Satwa in my life. But this, the caffeine, takes you on this cycle of Rajas and Thomas, where you get that initial hit, you get the gratification in the high and then you're going to have an equivalent low, and that's when people start using other things and more substances to try to even that out. When we allow our bodies which will then affect our mind to function in the way it's designed and stop getting in the way of that, then we're able to have this, this joyful experience that's more moderate.

Myra Lewin:

That is not the big highs and lows, and you know so some people. That sounds boring, I think. But we hear that and but, but it's. It's not about when you're experienced. That there's not boredom, there's something very different that happens. It's something we we touch ourselves deeply and touch ourselves, and the God of our heart, or the spiritual aspect of us, starts to become accessible to us. And then and there's a different way of living.

Dylan Smith:

Beautiful and I think, for those who are like, what is she talking about?

Dylan Smith:

If you did understand those three goodness, satva, rajas, thomas it's such a good way to explain it because, although I know so many people who are touching the God of their heart and enjoying bliss but drink coffee and it it's just bringing more Rajas and and that's that stimulation and if but if you are bathed in Satva, it is, as you said, as Mara said, that deeper level of experience.

Dylan Smith:

It is a more sustainable, underlying love and bliss which permeates life and without that kind of devil knocking on the door constantly or just coming in and like in this podcast episode I'm it's not the intention, is not for you to you know, completely get off coffee or like to say coffee is bad for everyone, or it's more to explain and give a broader perspective on coffee, on what it's doing and also the how, and we'll get I'm really excited to later, once we go into more of the after, we go into more of the negative effects of how to approach it and how to supplement something else or how to change your relationship with it, so that it's not something that's dependent Cause that's when the real impacts come and just just understanding it on different levels and broadening ones relationship and perspective and experience with it.

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, so yeah, I mean yeah one of the things that we see also, that is that when people come start to come off, of course it's many, many people experience a headache or Not feeling very well. This is not unusual when coming off of any kind of drug, but but what happens is that when you take it out, then you start to see just how depleted your system is, how tired you are, how Dehydrated you are because it is a dehydrating, some substance and, given that we're, the majority of our body is made up of water fluid yeah, that may be about 75% Then we're dehydrating, that we're not giving our body a very good chance to do what it knows how to do. Well, and so it's natural then To for many people to feel that way occasionally. There are people who will go off of it and they don't feel that way At first.

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, so, and and there is the difference in constitution, different, you know, different people will have a different experience with it, and For some people they can, they can go off of it and they don't have a big headache, and that it's not the majority, but, but it can be. But, and also I've had people say this is a good one. They said I can drink a cup of coffee and just go right to sleep, no problem. You don't understand that the caffeine is coursing through your system and that, and so the effect is still there, and when you think about it in terms of the aging process, it is aging you much. That that part is quite obvious. It is going to age you much faster than you would if you were without not having that kind of a skill.

Dylan Smith:

That's probably one of the biggest negative impacts of coffee on the health is the Drying aspect, or the dehydrating aspect, which never do we call Vata, and in there, whether that's aging, like that's degeneration, that's catabolism and it's extremely drying. That's why and then people rely on it for bowel motions like. That's like making the cycle even worse. It's like you're oh, I need my coffee to have my morning bowel motion, which is already usually related with too much Vata. And then it's essentially the body is becoming desensitized to caffeine and it needs more and the the mucosa of the gut becomes Desensitized and it's prolonging the constipation. It's actually making it more chronic. But you're using this stimulant to dead.

Dylan Smith:

It's like. It's like continually drying out. It's such a. It's a. Really that's one of the big red flags. It's if you're relying on it for bowel motion. And then I really like to work with people in just not having the coffee yet, first Having the bowel motion and then later have it. But there's so many things, if you know, if someone is drinking coffee, like adding ghee into it can help and, of course, managing Vata a lot.

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, it's also, you know, quite often associated with people who say that they, I have different adrenal deficiency.

Myra Lewin:

Yeah and they'll be consuming caffeine and mmm, and the discussion is always interesting because It'll start with, you know, about the bowel movement, yeah, and then then it might be about my mental clarity, and so we go to all these things that that are, that where our attachments are being fulfilled by, by the substance and what.

Myra Lewin:

What is interesting also is that if we look at it from a standpoint of freedom, then, you know, people say I can't go without the coffee in the morning, and it's, it's something that's going to, it's going to eventually cause a problem. Actually, I was speaking with someone just the other day and he's 60 years old and his, his, his wife just passed recently, and he said I want to, I want to be healthier and that, and he has five expressos every morning and so. So we had that, that conversation about you know what it's doing and why he's starting to have some other problems in that, and and he, but you could just see the pain in his face. You could just see the pain in his face, the idea of not having it, and and so he started, he associated it with his ritual, he associated it with with the taste to some degree, and then there's, there are substitutions for all of those things and but, but. The mind becomes very attached to the stimulation and and you mentioned about that, that light, airy part of us being out of balance.

Myra Lewin:

And then there's a lot of the fire element and that that becomes that really goes out of balance. And as he went through his describing his life, we could see all the places where the pitta, that fire element, was high in him things that that Brought him some accomplishment and things that brought him a lot of pain. And he's a very good person and he's a very good person and he's a very good person. A lot of pain through his life. So and we just need to recognize that it's not just those few things that we look at, it has an effect on everything.

Dylan Smith:

Hmm, I want to touch upon you've touched on a few things.

Dylan Smith:

One that's on the fire, of course yes big fire, biggest acidity and, and really the worst thing is when they're drinking on empty stomach, like some people I see, like literally the first thing, like sometimes I don't even like brush their teeth, like it's just first thing coffee and you're fasted overnight, you have an empty stomach and then you have that it's even more acid. So huge amounts of acidity and With things like heartburn, gastric reflux, and there's all studies on that that's shown. And you also mentioned the withdrawal symptoms. This is a really fascinating one because I love I find it quite amusing in a way.

Dylan Smith:

But also it's how the coffee drinkers get surprised when they have, when they stop coffee and they get these like oh, wow, I didn't realize how addicted I was to coffee. I see that at meditation retreats. When they're advised to stop and they do stop, like wow, like I'm getting all. They come see me for pulse consultation the morning, then allowed to drink caffeine till after, like wow, I didn't realize, like I got a bad headache. I must be addicted to this. Something's must not be right. So it's a really nice one to see people realize.

Dylan Smith:

And other things like Nausea and depression, anxiety and fatigue these are all common symptoms. The other one you mentioned, which is Massive one, is the adrenal fatigue, because what I see it as and that's another big red flag is, if you're using coffee for energy Because this itself is creating an imbalance You're using a stimulant to I see it as like squeezing the adrenal glands to borrow Energy which it doesn't actually have, and you start borrowing it from Thyroid or from the reproductive hormones, other hormones, and you get into this vicious cycle of Long-term depletion just with what you just said and looking at the whole picture.

Myra Lewin:

When you look at the whole picture of it and the effect on us and we haven't really talked about the mind that much yet it you know we think about other drugs being so bad and that, then that, and sometimes they know they might. You know alcohol and you can go out, crash a car. You know we think about heroin or or or cocaine and those kinds of things. And yet when you look at what it's doing to you and you say, well, I'm not gonna, I'm not going to damage society as much. But we damage society just by not being our full self. I mean we're shorting it, we're shorting our contribution.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, it's super interesting what you said about freedom, and I think it's a really interesting thing to people to ponder who are drinking anything in it or consuming anything in an addictive way, but, as you said, may not think it's bad, like you see that with coffee, so many people are just drinking. It's like cool, I'm not, it's not considered a drug or it's not classified otherwise, so but it's like, yeah, what? To what level of freedom do you have If you can't go without it and you need it? There's an interesting thing there of like feeling liberated and feeling sovereign in can you proceed in life? Yeah, yeah.

Myra Lewin:

And I just want to say again, following on what you mentioned about the acidity, and that you know we have people who come to us and they come and they join our Ogney Therapy Program where they're going to learn about their digestive capacity and that, and they have all sort of colitis or they have Crohn's or they have IBS and they're drinking coffee, or sometimes drinking tea, or tea and coffee and to not, and so they're taking medication so that they can keep taking, so that they can keep having the caffeine.

Myra Lewin:

So often we just take the caffeine away and those conditions improve dramatically, if not go away. Usually there's some other food items and other things that need to change too, but it's, they're a very significant part of that and it's important. As human beings, you know, we've been given a great capacity to live in life, you know, and we're supposed to be the ones, the ones who have greater capacity than the other creatures on the planet. But when we're in a state of bondage, being attached to things like this, I think it really lowers our offering, our being in life.

Dylan Smith:

This. I think for those drinking coffee, which is probably most people listening to this, I think the key thing for you to give attention to and consider and invite to your life and your party is the prevention aspect. Like you just mentioned, someone with ulcerative colitis okay, that's kind of a deeper stage in the disease process. That's, I guess, a more deeper example of someone having a highly acidic, fiery disease and they're keeping it going by having the medication to balance the symptoms of what the coffee would be causing. But a preventative step would be okay, I need to reduce putting more acid and more fire into my body to prevent my ulcerative colitis to be turning into something deeper, like needing surgery or needing something severe. And that's then gonna say, okay, the doc's like you gotta stop the coffee. Finally, he tells them.

Dylan Smith:

So I think for those who aren't having any manifested disease yet, it goes back to the thing of okay, you're depleting your adrenals. In the long term, you're depleting the dryness in your bowels and the mucus lining of your bowel. You're reducing that. So please consider to just prevent it from getting to a stage where a disease does manifest. You know, like having to really reconsider. It's not worth trying to maintain that coffee and we're gonna speak about, you know, steps moving forward and practical things of if you want to reduce and or either stop or reduce coffee or just shift the dependence on it and the frequency of it, how you can do that. And I wanna just touch on body types and constitutions, cause it is valid and you touched on it, so I mean we can. How about we go to the Ayurvedic thing and talk about the three dosages? Just very briefly, maybe if you could introduce the three dosages and then link the caffeine relationship with that.

Myra Lewin:

Okay, okay, yeah. So we look at the five elements in Ayurveda, and these five elements that are described, we call it the Doshas. Yeah, and so the Doshas itself is not an entity. The Doshas is just a descriptor of what those elements are doing in us, how it's functioning, and it's related to the function of the entire body, mind and spirit and our experience in life. And so there's this earthy part, the Kaffa Doshas, which is earth and water elements. Well, think about that, you know. It says physical mass, and it's the water, the fluid in the body. That's a lot of us, you know, and in terms of our physical experience. And then there's pitta, which is the fire element, and that's fire and water. But the water is primarily in the form of the acids that Dylan was mentioning, primarily around the small intestines and that. And so this is how we transform things. You know, I was like to say, if you cut yourself, you know how, just a few hours later, or the next day, it's already knitting back together. That's pitta doing its job. It's amazing, isn't it?

Myra Lewin:

And then there's vata, which is the light, airy part of us.

Myra Lewin:

It's the air and ethers, and sometimes we call it the wind element, and the wind element, then, is light and it moves right. So this is the part that's responsible for our heartbeat, for our circulation, our creativity. It's a very important part, but, given its light nature, it's very vulnerable to things and it's also responsible for the nerves. And so if you think about this in terms of you know people who have anxiety or mental difficulties with stability, then if you can think about the qualities of air and space relative to earth, for example, well, we need enough earth element to keep us in our bodies and keep us going with our human experience, and without that, or if there's too much of it, we just get very scattered and we're all over the place. So everything we do, then, has an effect on the amount of these elements in us, and we each have a unique amount of it that we're conceived with and just hearing those doshas you can perhaps see what's more dominant in you or different times of your life.

Dylan Smith:

When it's more dominant For example, maybe you're moving house then the vata will, that hypostimulated movement will be high. Or you're in a very hot climate and your pitta, the fire, is high. Or you're feeling very cold and some lack of movement in life, some stagnation in your path. The cover is high. So, considering when those are high, or maybe they're with you all the time, rather than just a transition, then how is caffeine and I'll leave it to the listener like, how is caffeine going to affect each of those doshas? Of course, hearing those doshas you can see how caffeine for vata can create more stimulation, more hypermetabolic activity, more anxious energy, nervous energy, jittery, and then eventually leading to over-stimulation, over-depleted the pitta. It's going to increase that acidity, that fire, that anger, frustration, if any. Those parts are dominant in you as a listener. Consider the caffeine's effect that way. And then with the kafa, the more stable, more hypermetabolic, who aren't really fussed by stress, they're so stable and centered then maybe they can tolerate caffeine more than the other types.

Myra Lewin:

We can say it's an interesting thing because people will say, oh, but they can tolerate it. But what are you doing, tolerating? And then and maybe the effect is less, like the fellow I mentioned I spoke with just yesterday we just again need to recognize that there is an impact and make sure that your choice is informed, and also with the folks that have a lot of kafa in their constitution. Then, when the kafa is in balance, we don't really need it. That's the thing.

Dylan Smith:

So that's right. Okay, let's get into for those who want to perhaps continue to drinking it and those who want to take the edge off it, those who want to start reducing it. All catering to all people, right. So, as I said, one thing which has become popular and I love to hear your view first, perhaps, of this popular edition of fat people are adding what's called bulletproof coffee, made famous by Dave Asprey, but, yeah, adding butter or ghee or coconut oil for some people. So how does. What are your thoughts on that?

Myra Lewin:

Well, again, it's going to. It will give some soothing in the system, just some soothing to that acidity. But you just kind of have to ask yourself what you're doing, you know, because you're kind of you're pushing your body in one direction and then you're going to say, oh, but not so much, you know, and so it's mixed messages, and I think there's a price to be paid for that, certainly in the longer term. The other thing, too, is that it allows you to keep something going that isn't you know, that isn't beneficial. Now, if it's something you say, well, I'm not ready, I'm not going to give it up, and that well, as you mentioned, reducing the amount is a good start. That's a great place to go, and there are other things that you can consume, depends.

Myra Lewin:

Some people feel like they're looking for that bitter taste, and so there are some barley drinks, there's some other herbal drinks that have that bitter taste, remembering that a little bit of bitter is good for pitta, for that fire, and a lot of bitter is not good. It's going to cause the problem that you might have thought you were avoiding. Some people like the sugar or they like that the sweet taste with the bitter, and so certainly there's. You want to make sure that you're using some kind of a natural sweetener in that, but and some people say that it helps them to lose weight or it helps them to not gain weight, and again, so what you're doing I think this is another piece that we haven't talked about that the taste buds are affected dramatically by this right Because it's very strong, and when people take coffee away or take the caffeine away, they find that the taste buds blossom into something where you feel and can taste the subtle aspects of food or even of other drinks.

Dylan Smith:

We've definitely seen that with people. It's beautiful. Yes.

Myra Lewin:

And that's something that's really enriching in life and can be. It's fun to watch people have that experience. But in terms of reducing the amount, I think reducing the amount in one day is a good idea and then some people I recommend people go gradually. That they not go over a key and stop all at once, and so then you start going to every other day and see that's usually a big step for people and just wind it down gradually from there.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, that's why I'm wanting to bring this in of how to take the edge of caffeine, Because, as you said, and Ayurvedic clearly says it in Shastras, is to not go cold turkey, to wind down, and that's really where the supplements or the substitutes rather come in and we're going to go like you mentioned some. But I just want to finish off with the fat Because it's interesting, because in Ayurveda ghee is known as an Anupana, which means a vehicle of administration, so to allow a natural time release of herbs into the body. So interestingly, people having this experience of adding ghee to the coffee, it kind of allows this more slow delivery of the caffeine to the bloodstream which, can you know, buffer. None of this is a solution and a reason to continue coffee, but I just wanted to give a whole perspective. But this is it offers some protection from adrenal glands and for these very high crashes or strong crashes, and also may help with blood sugar issues and replenishing the liver, protecting the liver, protecting that pitta, the dryness, as I said, the acidity.

Dylan Smith:

And there are also some things like herbs in Ayurveda, like we can start simple, like cardamom seeds. That's why cardamom is always with chai, with black tea. It calms the nerves. It can offset that bitterness, that stimulating effects from caffeine, and even has a cooling nature which can also balance that way. And then there's even other herbs we have, like bliss original, like herbal formulas which we make to give for people to put in their coffee. It reduces that raja, that stimulant, and even that tamas that if they're feeling dull and dependent, it can help.

Dylan Smith:

So another thing I like to say is hydrating if you are drinking coffee, like making sure you're sipping hot water around the coffee drinking and just really replay it because it's so drying and you've got to do extra things to do it. Yeah, as you said, how and when you drink, let's go into that. People are going to continue. We'll get into the quick the virus. Like hardcore she's like no, I should be drinking, but I want to just get there gradually. So the first thing is when people are reducing, as you said, to reduce the frequency. But what about, like when to drink in the day, if they're going to continue drinking, as in not empty stomach, like we said?

Myra Lewin:

Yeah, yeah, I mean I think that we encourage people to just to go, maybe to a mid morning, you know, and see if they can get away from the first thing in the morning and see, and then, of course, to stay away from later in the day because, yes, the effect of sleep.

Myra Lewin:

And if you think about it, if you go, if you have it between in the dosha, considering the dosha times of day, you have it in the kafa time, which is about six to 11, then you are six to 10,. Excuse me, yeah, anyway, in there. That will that. That also will probably serve the best.

Dylan Smith:

Yes, I always say, I say you know what, not more than one before 10 am. And I like to say to my clients because I don't tell them all to get off, I'm not as hardcore as you but I like to say, at least one day a week, miss. Because if you're, you know, not every day, that's when that habitual dependency becomes an issue. And with the quitting, like as you said, like don't force quit. I think that makes issues. When people are forcing and like it's like okay, I'm thinking about it so much but I'm stopping, that can cause other cravings. And to come up, and I think it's important. And you said like there's so many good replacements these days. There's a dandelion chicory barley. I mean, I'm not a coffee fanatic but from what I remember it tastes pretty similar. And and I think another big one which my teachers used to always talk about is people are craving that hot milk. I just want that nourishment in the morning.

Dylan Smith:

So I find if they have a hot milk with spices or with some herbs, that really helps, it satisfies that ritual. So I really encourage people to have substitutes, have replacements and what. What is your thought about like the difference with, say, black tea or chai with caffeinated chai to coffee? Do you see much of difference?

Myra Lewin:

And green tea is another one, and I don't, I don't differentiate at this point, and I'll have to say that 15 and 20 years ago I would have people said, oh, I have a little green tea periodically, and everything. I wouldn't say anything at all. These days, the, the excess Vata in people and the suffering that's going on then, and that's why I have moved a little bit more toward and at least give yourself the opportunity to experience life without it and see, but in general, I find that it you know that people will you sometimes go to teas, to caffeinated teas, to then come off gradually. And that works. For what sometimes?

Myra Lewin:

For people, and I find that that's probably the easiest thing for people to say, oh, I'm just going to have it once a week, yeah, so they have a little green tea once a week, and part of it is the mind is that they think they're doing something that's good for them and it's good, that's fine, you know that it's okay. But to have them be able to experience a deeper sleep, to be able to experience the things that happen that are getting disturbed by by the caffeine, I think is is an important, an important piece, but it is also an individual thing. But what we try to do is just make sure that people understand what's happening inside and that potentially there is that effect on the mind and how well your mind functions, you know, I guess the question would be does the consumption of caffeine move Prana? Does it move our Prana being our life force?

Dylan Smith:

I would. It's interesting, but I don't know, it's not going to be that specific. So it's not going to enhance the Sattva and Prana quite connected, right. So it's going to just irritate the.

Dylan Smith:

Prana, it's not going to allow it to flow into the brain. And when you said the mind, and I just think of brain drying out and that Vata in the brain and that neurodegeneration, so I think I think it comes down to you know how everybody likes to look at the root. So what, what is it that? Okay, you've heard this podcast, you realize, okay, it's not good, but I'm kind of, to be honest with myself, I it's a habit, I'm kind of like addicted I'm, I know, kind of enjoy it. But people perhaps are scared to step into the unknown and, oh, what is my life? Look without it Does. And this is what we're saying as well.

Dylan Smith:

There's this whole Sattva, which is that pure, unconditional, loving experience of life, where you love everything and have this reciprocal love flowing, is it's enhanced without this strong majestic substance.

Myra Lewin:

It is, it is. I mean, there's a, there's, there's a much greater space for, for peace and harmony in life, and and and it's. It's a lot of fun, and sometimes we, we we've grasped onto the, the hyper stimulation we think to have fun, but that fun actually maybe it's about ease, you know, just having that ease in whatever we're doing, whether it's our work or or being with our family, or and and that or. I was thinking about the when we go back to the flow of Prana. If you think about your Asana practice, you know I've seen people who consume a bunch of caffeine and then go do an Asana practice and I wonder, well, what's happening there, because our Asana practice is meant to be to increase the flow of Prana and then and and to give our mind perhaps to, to focus that mind, or for a little while. That'd be such a good study.

Dylan Smith:

If anyone listening does that, please like let me know. You can email us or or I don't know. Do it to Instagram story and tag Rattlevader and Halle Poulet and just yeah, try it with before or after. Even I in Australia it's mostly I see people are doing yoga without caffeine, which is great. They're feeling it, and then they have the caffeine, they start the day. So if you're doing it before, let us know. I'm curious to see the difference for when you try it without caffeine before. But yeah, I can. Just as you were saying that I'm just thinking of like agitated, free yoga practice not able to fully settle and sink into that's not fun.

Myra Lewin:

And there are. Again back to the coming off of it, there are a number of approaches that people find that work best for them, and I think that's what's important is to when you understand a little more about the pitakafa and how that might be affecting your mind. So again for the example that I had the fellow this week. He said oh, I tend to do things all at once, I'm just going to go cold turkey. And so I had to say to him no, no, let's go gradually. Just see if you could do that for yourself and could help him understand that it was that excess pitakafa that was driving him to want to do it all at once and that when things, other things, calm down, that he might not feel like he has to do it that way.

Dylan Smith:

Beautiful and if people need support, look up Halle Pulei. They have an Agni Therapy program which is popular, and I think it's what Halle Pulei and your programs would be really beneficial is just understanding nutrition and, essentially, substances, the relationship between substance and what we put into our body, the substances. I think that, even though I don't know maybe you don't have a lot about caffeine or you don't talk about it, but even if you didn't, you would still the point of our letter is to understand the principles of any substance so that you can come across it and, knowing the laws of nature, knowing the doshas, understand how that will interact with you.

Dylan Smith:

So we don't have to go into detail about coffee itself, but knowing more about this will allow you to navigate it in a more sustainable, healthy way.

Myra Lewin:

So we have a caffeine guide that we provide to people and we have a lot of discussion in our communities about it and giving support in those ways and just understanding that we want to guide people to make the wisest choice possible for them.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, and it's your choice. That's the lesson.

Myra Lewin:

It's your responsibility.

Dylan Smith:

So you can you're a grown up and, of course, if you need to get deeper in consultations, you know, as Vidal Veda, there's Halle Poulet, everybody practitioners all around but especially if you recognize that maybe this is linked to something currently that I'm experiencing in my health or you're able to detect after hearing this knowledge, maybe there's something in the future that I should put my attention towards preventing.

Dylan Smith:

So, yeah, the reality is, I think overall, as I said, it's more like a drug than a food. Maybe the green bean extract has its place as a drug in the pharmaceutical industry if that's needed, but it's not going to last long. Yeah.

Myra Lewin:

Cool.

Dylan Smith:

Is there anything else?

Myra Lewin:

That could prompt a whole nother discussion about the herbs and the use of herbs and douan dain.

Dylan Smith:

Yes, that's true, and extracts as well. So that's great. Anything else you want to add?

Myra Lewin:

I guess I'd like to mention about that we're in relation to all this. We have an immersion coming up in Sydney on the 17th of November and in Vondai, and we'll be talking about Ayurveda for longevity, the use of rsiana which are rejuvenatives, you might say and about graceful aging. So if you're interested in this, even if you're a caffeine drinker, I think you might find something very useful for you there.

Dylan Smith:

Yeah, I remembered that. Thank you, glad you reminded me, because the really wonderful thing about Halepule is it's very community-based and there's, as you said, there's discussions online about caffeine and people's different transitions and issues that the people experiencing hearing other people and to have that in person is so valuable and I think that's going to be really special in November in Sydney these gatherings and meeting other people and just moving into a more healthy collective, because right now, the collective consciousness is drink coffee, for example. That's one thing. So community is so valuable, it's so important for health and you don't have to go radical. It's just increasing your the sattva, the pure, unconditional, loving health in your life, bit by bit. So, yes, that's great. So for that, for some people want to join, that is Halepulecom the best way to see the Australia visit. Great events in Sydney, australia, november. Wonderful Thanks, myra.

Myra Lewin:

Thank you for having me. It was great fun and I really appreciate the opportunity to share many perspectives about it and to hear that information so it's great.

Dylan Smith:

Okay, thank you. Thanks, I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode. Remember we really want to hear from you. So when you shift your relationship with coffee, different actions you take, please let us know. I want to see how you feel and the results. You can tag Vital Veda, tag Myra Luen or just email us.

Dylan Smith:

We've got another podcast episode on coffee and quite a different one. It's an interesting, very interesting podcast with a very interesting person. It's called Coffee, whiskey and Lord Shiva integrating over the tantric algorithms with artificial intelligence, dna, energy. And also on Mahasivarachry, the great night of transcendence, with Dr Sumit Kesharkar, who talks about his daily routine of drinking coffee every morning. He talks about a different perspective on coffee. So you can check that out.

Dylan Smith:

But these are so many good other episodes on the Vital Veda podcast where we cater to everyone and we consider all beings, all demographics for more walks of life, all in the name and the subjects of health, spirituality, consciousness, relationships, love. So check out those episodes and enjoy. And again, if you want to listen to the previous episode we did with Myra, that's episode 17,. Food addictions, quick highs and compulsive behaviors and that's more on our food issue, as you heard that Myra is very interested and very deep in that work. So if you listen to this whole podcast and you're still listening, thank you deeply from the bottom of my heart. I can't do this without you. We've got so many good podcast episodes coming for the rest of 2023 and into 2024. So subscribe and stay tuned. And if you want to book a consultation with me as a very practitioner, if you want to refine any conditions you heard about, I work with them all you can go to vitalvedacomau forward slash bookings for online consultations and some in person, but primarily online. Okay, my friend, until next time, much love.

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