Please join Kaycee Green and I for a blissful Guatemalan Cacao Ceremony followed by a gentle, heart opening yoga practice, chakra meditation, and Reiki group healing. We feel so blessed to bring this offering to the Chico community.
Cacao is chocolate in it’s purest form. It has many spiritual and physical benefits- aiding in meditation, and assisting in opening the heart center, helping facilitation a deeper connection to oneself as well as creating a magical group energy. It’s no coincidence that chocolate is given as a symbol of love; a warm cup of ceremonial cacao can help to open and heal the most tender heart. Cacao is totally safe for most people, but as with anything so powerful, there are some contra-indications to be aware of. First, let’s start with the benefits and how cacao actually works inside the body.
(Excerpts taken from http://cacaoceremonies.com)
“When you consume cacao prepared for ceremony using high quality raw cacao beans, all the mood enhancing neurochemicals in cacao become particularly active. There is increased blood flow and nutrition to the brain, heart and skin, the whole body is nourished, awareness and focus is heightened and sensations are intensified.
“Cacao contains the neurotransmitters serotonin, tryptophan and dopamine which assist with feelings of wellbeing, resilience to stress and anxiety and contribute to healthy motivation.
“It also has the neuromodulator phenylethylamine (PEA) which helps the body create feelings of excitement and euphoria. It also assists us to pay attention and stay alert. With healthy amounts of PEA we stay focused, time slows down and we are not distracted by hunger or excess stimulation from the ‘outside world’. PEA also increases the effectiveness of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter related to joy.
“Anandamide is a type of lipid (oil). The word ‘ananda’ (from which this chemical was named) translates from the Sanskrit language as ‘bliss’. This naturally produced chemical (which is part of the endorphin group) is most concentrated in the body after moderate exercise – also referred to as the runners high. Anandamide results in feelings of bliss and euphoria, but also plays a vital role in moderating pain perception and the memory of pain, as well as assisting in regulating appetite and mood. Cacao contains both anandamide and anandamide re-uptake inhibitors, which are molecules that slow the break down of the anandamide. This allows the anandamide to remain longer in the brain and with it the associated blissful feelings.
“One of the most utilised major minerals in the body is magnesium. Magnesium assists in all metabolic processes. It helps relax all the muscles in the body and is thereby essential for the effectiveness and vigor of the pumping of the heart muscle, the management of stress and exercise recovery, the motility of the bowel, regulating the muscles pre-menstruation among many other functions. Magnesium is also utilised in almost all key functions in the brain, including those involved in memory and concentration. Cacao is the highest natural food source of magnesium.
“Cacao is also one of the highest sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants clear corrupt cells from the body. The specific antioxidants in cacao are Flavonoids, from the Phenolics group. Primarily, this class of antioxidants are important as they both trap free radicals and chelate redox-active metal properties. This results in a reduced risk of cells in the body, such as lipids (fats, and fats often lining the artery walls) undergoing oxidation (corruption).
“The flavonoids also support clearing of the blood vessel walls, flexibility of the arteries and a thinning of the blood, all contributing to a reduction in blood pressure and build up of fatty deposits (plaques) along the artery walls, as well as a reduced load on the heart muscle.”
Please read the contra-indications/ conditions list below to see if Cacao Ceremony would be appropriate for you!
*Fasting (take smaller dose)
*Migranes (take smaller dose- Cacao contains caffeine which can aggravate migranes)
*Pregnancy or breastfeeding (safe in half ceremonial dose, very commonly used in Guatemala by mothers and midwives during long or difficult labor)
*Anti-depressants (USE CAUTION/ Not Recommended- Many Anti-Depressants do not mix well with the Tryptophan and MAO inhibitors in Cacao)
*Heart Conditions (USE CAUTION- Cacao can increase heart rate and blood flow by up to 40%, and is a vasodilator)
*Low body weight or Children (Not Recommended, or very small dose)
*Chemotherapy (Not Recommended)
Preparation/ What to Bring
Please avoid large doses of caffeine before the ceremony and eat a light breakfast beforehand.
Wear comfortable yoga clothes and a warm wrap or cozy blanket for meditation.
Bring your favorite mug 🙂
Bring water to drink during ceremony
Optional- Bring your favorite power object or meditation object.
We feel so humbled to be able to share this heart expanding experience with you. Please reserve your space at http://www.yogacenterofchico.com/YCC-Workshops.html