Ever since I discovered adding pumpkin spice to hot chocolate, I can't stop drinking it! That one little addition changed the entire drink for me. Drinking chocolate goes back thousands of years to at least the Mayans. Spices were added and often it was served cold. For a long time, drinking chocolate was an acquired taste because no sugar was added to the bitter drink. Eventually, someone realized adding honey made the drink more palatable. But then why drink it if it tasted so harsh?
It was used to cure digestive ailments and given to soldiers as a nutritious part of their diet. It was considered sacred and used in ceremonies. It was expensive and coveted by the elite. Chocolate was considered to be a food of the Gods.
The sanskrit word rasa translates to essence, taste, juice referring to that of life rather than an actual taste in the mouth. The essence or taste an emotion leaves behind; the sweetness of life.
So why drink the bitter chocolate?
Our path here on Earth, this journey called life, is not always rasa. "Life happens. Chocolate helps." We do not always taste its sweetness; some days are very bitter. Yet we recognize the underlying and ultimate sweetness of life. We continue on because tough days will be followed by sweet days. Our time here is like the chocolate: sacred and coveted.
"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet." Emily Dickinson
Some days we come to our yoga mat having dragged ourselves there. We cannot help but eventually feel the rasa of the practice work its way into our head so, by the time we leave svasana, we have reconnected with an essence of joy.
Remember it only took one little change, the adding of honey to the chocolate, to make it sweeter. What if your life only needed one little change from you to make it sweeter? What do you think that change might be? Are you open to that change?
Since much of yoga has to do with balance (and I do mean just physically in the poses), this quote seemed appropriate: "A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands."
"When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow."