Teas and Yoga
Tea and Yoga – A Natural Marriage of Wellness
As an enthusiast of both tea and yoga I’ve enjoyed the pairing of the two since my earliest days taking yoga classes. I remember being surprised when the teacher served tea after my first class. It was a fantastic way to transition from the calm of class back into the busy hustle and bustle of life. I’ve found tea to be a wonderful anchor that reminds me of the calm learnings of yoga in my everyday life. Tea always helps me feel more centered and at rest thus bringing me back to a time of conscious stillness.
It’s also super good for our bodies! Unlike coffee, which has few health benefits, tea (even most herbal teas) is packed with nutritional goodness and can help our bodies relieve stress and even improve cellular functioning. Pairing tea with yoga is a smart move and one that strengths the body while continuing the yogic learnings of health and wellness on a physical, spiritual, and body level.
Before a strenuous workout I’m a fan of drinking my Men’s herbal tea blend (it’s good for women too). I created this blend with cinnamon, ashwagandha, and other herbs to support the heart and help with blood flow. The ingredients are traditionally thought to help with replenishing the body and mind. I like to go on a hike now and then as well as do my daily Chi-Gong practice and I find it easier to climb the mountain, and take a yoga class, when I drink this tea. It can be good before or after a workout.
In kundalini yoga it is common to serve a chai like spice tea after your yoga practice. For this I recommend either Yogi Bhajan’s traditional tea recipe or simply a basic chai, not the processed sugary chai that most tea/coffee shops sell. If you’re interested, check out our delicious traditional black chai or even our special-order, custom label Yerba Mate Chai. You can drink chai straight up or with a splash of milk. For those who want to get away from dairy, add hemp, oat, or almond milk and sweeten with a local honey as honey can help build the immune system.
Bikram and Iyengar Yoga
If this is your yoga of choice then I’m going to encourage you to check out my Rejuvenate tea blend. I crafted this tea originally for the Petit Ermitage Hotel in West Hollywood, California. The green tea base will give you just the right amount of energy from caffeine and it can help replenish your body with ingredients like Schisandra Berry, Ashwagandha, Peppermint, and Bee Pollen. This enlivening tea is all about building you back up and leaving you feeling invigorated and rejuvenated.
When I do yoga in the morning, I want something strong and flavorful! There are two routes to go here…caffeine or no caffeine. If caffeine is your choice, then consider my delicious Lemongrass Ginger Orange Peach tea! Ginger can be super good for the blood and the gut, green tea is high in anti-oxidants with a medium caffeine level, and the fruit flavor infusions make for an aromatic and pleasing beverage.
If the non-caffeinated route is your choice, then I recommend an herbal tisane like my Red Rooibos Hibiscus Rose tea. This had-crafted blend tastes smooth and full bodied. Rooibos tea is traditionally thought to help with bone strength and allergy elimination. It may even help reduce pain, balance blood sugar, and support heart health. I LOVE this tea and particularly enjoy its lively color and taste.
If you’re an afternoon yoga person then I strongly urge you to look into one of my all-time favorite herbal teas “Licorice Mint”! Like most anyone, I love some caffeine but that’s not always the best choice and far too many people are caffeine “junkies”. People who don’t like licorice love this tea. Licorice Root is super good for the entire digestive system and Peppermint can act like a natural stimulant, that’s why we use it in toothpaste and mouthwash. The naturally refreshing qualities of this simple drink can help pick you up from the midday doldrums without having to rely on caffeine.
Another choice is to look into my “Mood Enhancer Energy Boost Blend”. This gorgeous hand-crafted blend has a small amount of caffeine from a Green Tea base and other herbs like orange peel, hawthorn, nettle, and peppermint, to name a few, that can help with brain functioning and cognitive thinking. It’s yummy and healthy that can lift you up from that afternoon doldrum while supporting your mind!
If you’re an evening yogi then the traditional caffeinated teas (green white, or black) that are often offered at many studios might not be the best idea. For a delicious evening tea, I recommend trying a Honeybush or Red Rooibos like mentioned above. One of my favorite night time teas is my Red Rooibos Africana, a yummy rooibos with Blue Malva flower and vanilla. These “red” teas (not actually a tea at all but a tisane or herbal tea) are smooth, flavorful, quite tasty, and very pleasing to the eye.
Whatever you fancy, tea and the natural healing qualities it can offer, may be used to improve your yogic practice on a physical, mental, and even spiritual level. Teas can help replenish and rejuvenate you while supporting our immune system, create a strong digestive system, and even reduce inflammation and soreness. Tea, whether it be true tea from the camellia synesis plant or an herbal blend, when combined with yoga is a natural pairing of goodness on every level. From Kundalini to Iyengar, tea can fit into all yogic traditions and practices while making for a pleasant and tasty marriage.