Chocolate has long been associated with love (because it tastes so darn good!) but for the ultimate boost try celebrating with a cacao ceremony – with or without your partner.
Now you can have your chocolate and eat it!
If you call yourself a chocoholic, the chances are you are actually a sugar addict – that is, if you are consuming mainstream chocolate bars from the supermarket. Even if you frequent your local health food store you’ll probably be receiving only up to around 80% of the potential goodies chocolate has to offer. Consuming ‘ceremonial grade’ cacao, however, will give you the full monty when it comes to health benefits – and lift-off for your love life too.
In fact, there is a bit of a chocolate revolution going on right now, with yoga and this delicious substance – raw cacao – joining hands and coaxing you into a deeper experience of your practice than ever before. And you can have it all with the highest grade ceremonial cacao.
As your blood pressure lowers and your heart rate slightly quickens, you are now in the perfect state for both physical exercise and meditation. Your capillaries have dilated, there is more oxygen flowing around your whole body and you are alert to every single sensation in your body.
The cacao ceremony
The cacao ceremony is cropping up in towns and cities all over the land, but what exactly does it look like and why should you attend one?
Typically, you’ll be passed a cup of warm cacao which will have been made most likely from a nut milk, as animal milk inhibits the uptake of the active compound, theobromine, in the body. Some like it dashed with a hint of orange essence or mint, while others favour vanilla or honey. However, cayenne acts as a jet rocket to fuel this plant medicine straight into your system, and around 30 minutes later you will begin to feel yourself opening up.
It’s subtle, not like recreational drugs which might give you a strong hit or rush. Oh no, cacao is soft and velvety, she envelopes your heart, caressing its petals and enticing them open. The heart chakra, like a rose, opens unconditionally and cacao the enchantress supports, guides, holds and loves you to the next level of your evolution.
She shows the way to more love, deepening your understanding of yourself, the world, and your place in it. You are guided by the ceremony teacher on deep journeys through your soul, going ever further into the depths of your being. It is pure bliss.
On a high
You leave the ceremony on the most beautiful and 100% natural high. Arriving home you share the expansiveness with your family, just by being in this elevated state. No words are needed, this is something that is felt and witnessed. And there is no hangover, no comedown – and an opportunity for you to recreate what you have experienced without the cacao, for she is guiding you and showing you how to do this. Cacao is a wonderfully gentle teacher; she may become a dear friend too as a lifelong relationship blossoms.
Unlike high street chocolate bars gulped down in a flash, the cacao experience is an altogether more mindful and nurturing one. There is no guilt with ceremonial grade cacao; this surely is next level stuff, and once you connect with her there is no going back to the chocolate on the supermarket shelf – lifeless after being highly processed, ruined with unhealthy ingredients, stripped of all nutrients.
This is where you belong. Jump at the chance of attending a cacao ceremony this Valentine’s if you get the chance, for if you do, you’ll be upgraded for sure. This February enjoy good quality chocolate all month without a hint of blame or shame – for you can have your chocolate and eat it!
Jo De Rosa is founder and director of Inner Guidance Retreat Centre in Lavenham, Suffolk, where ceremonial grade cacao ceremonies are held every week.
Read our Love and Yoga special.