YOGIC COFFEE- THAI COFFEEASANA


 

As I wake up to the hazy fog of soft white sand and Andaman Sea, I remember that last night I saw the sign. As I ate some spectacular spicy green curry at the beachfront restaurant a few bungalows down from mine, I saw the beautiful sign. The splash of the painted words on the faded piece of driftwood are perfectly etched in my mind…”Fresh Brewed Coffee”….a beautiful sight to my western eyes.  You see, here in Thailand, most coffee is made up of that powdered stuff in the jar mixed with almost but not quite warm enough water, and on a good morning, if you are lucky, you’ll receive with it a tiny packet of dry cakey cream-like substance.

So I roll out of bed, throw on my t-shirt, jump off my veranda   onto the beach, and head straight down the sand to the “Blue Moon Restaurant”, home of the fresh brewed coffee sign. As I crawl up the vintage stairs, I am greeted by the smiling face of “Gangster”, or “Gang” as he calls himself. We say our good mornings Thai style, and he excitedly spouts out the sacred words….”fresh brewed coffee?”

I, of course, instantly agree, and settle myself down on a cushion by a low table and take in the morning seaside view. Gang appears what seems to be some time later with a big toothy grin, a bit of small talk, but as of yet, no coffee. He passionately apologizes for the wait, but explains that this coffee takes time….it is something quite special, extraordinary, fresh brewed, and not just the regular cup of coffee. I smile, and salivate in anticipation.

 

 

A few long minutes later, Gang suddenly disappears, and then reappears a moment later with a wooden tray laden with a small teak cup, a bowl of fluffy brown sugar, a little dish of fresh cream, and a miniature wooden spoon. He carefully sets each item of the tray before me in a neat little row; coffee, spoon, sugar, and cream. In my excitement, I grab the spoon, and begin to dive into the fluffy brown sugar bowl.

 

“Oh! No, no,” Gang spouts out. “You must smell it first, take in the coffee!”

And so of course, not wanting to offend my host, I set down the spoon, hold the warm cup to my nose, and take a big whiff.

“ Smells good?”, he asks.

 

“Oh yes”, I say, as I take in the aroma of freshly brewed beans.

 

“Good”, he says, “now the sugar.”

 

He watches me closely as I dive again into the sugar bowl and pull out a heaping mini spoon of caramel goodness. I dump it into the cup, and begin stirring it vigorously as I simultaneously reach for the cream pitcher.

 

“No!” he frightfully expounds as he moves towards my hand with the cream pitcher in it. “Not yet! First you must let the sugar set. Stir gently, like this!”…… and he carefully takes the wooden spoon from my hand and begins to delicately stir the sacred brown liquid in a circular motion. “It takes a bit of time to get it just right,” he says.

When he is sure the sugar is dissolved, he looks me in the eye and says, “Now you taste, to make sure it is right before cream.”

I take a small sip…. all is good, so I give him the thumbs up and reach for the cream pitcher. I pour a bit in, and reach for the spoon with my other hand.

“Oh! No, no, no, no….. don’t stir!”

 

 I barely pull my little spoon from the cup before it is too late.

 

 “Let it float and swirl,” he says. “That will be a perfect cup of coffee. “

Gang smiles. I smile back and take a long awaited sip.

 

“Good?, he says.

 

“Awesome!” I reply.

 

Gang doles out one more  toothy smile, and again disappears like an ocean wave, leaving me alone by the sea in contemplation with my sacred cup of coffee.

 

“Wow!”, I am thinking, as I take a nice long sip and taste the brew. This is maybe not the best cup of coffee ever, maybe not close to the top ten, but it is most definitely the best coffee of the Thai islands so far.

 

As I sip deeper into the cup, I realize that while this may not be the best coffee ever, my experience of “having coffee” has been changed forever. I have just been led through the perfect sequencing of the yoga posture coffee….Coffeeasana!

I am now completely in the moment, in non- judgment, in patience and meditative awareness, in complete relaxation in my comfortable seat of  “having coffee”. Exactly how did I arrive here when my original intention was to just grab a quick cup of fresh brewed Jo?

 

 As I examine my experience of the detailed instruction and patience of my teacher as he mindfully led me through the sequencing of Coffeeasana, I stretch the soulfulness of my mind, and strain to recall the exact essence of the words and actions that led me to be in this beautiful moment. I smile as I recall Gangs toothy smile and soulful words. I bow to my teacher in gratitude. I am reminded that while fast food yoga and the quick buzz of a posture is all the contemporary rage, and rightfully has its place in the western world; as humans, teachers, and students of yoga, we often lose the true essence and benefits of our postures; both asana and life postures; by reaching to drink in the shallow end goal rather than tasting and taking in the depths of sequence and process……yet another LIFEYOGA lesson!

 

As I drink the last bit of my bountiful cup, I leave for my teacher a token payment, a smile and a Namaste, and head back down the beautiful Andean beach to grab my husband and child, and take them out for a quick cup of fresh brew! 

 

For information about the upcoming LIFEYOGA ADVENTURE THAILAND click here  http://lifeyogaworld.com/lifeyoga-retreats/adventure-thailand-oct-14-27-2012/

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