Pairings of Yoga & Tea (by Emily Roth of Namaste Yoga)


 

Most yogis know yoga and tea are two peas in a pod. The practice of preparing tea dates back for thousands of years and has been used to cure ailments, cultivate community and provide deep moments of mindfulness.  Once you warm up your knowledge around teas you will quickly realize how each variety can provide unique healing properties. If you're looking for a way to anchor your practice with a tea ritual then read on to find out which teas are the best fit for your practice.

Black Tea and Vinyasa Flow

Fine black tea is the perfect match for a sweaty, powerful vinyasa flow class. Vinyasa is a term used to describe moving continuously through a sequence of poses. Often Vinyasa classes tend to reflect this in the way students move quickly from one pose, or asana, to the next with very few breaks. 

Caffeinated tea is perfect for keeping energy up. It has a compliment component, Theanine, which has been attributed to increasing GABA, lowering stress and taking the jagged edge off caffeine that you normally get with coffee or energy supplements.

Research also shows black tea is responsible for improved circulation and respiratory function without putting stress on the heart.  A great black tea to try is this Apricot Tea by Far Leaves Tea. The lightweight, sweet taste of apricots and Ceylon tea make for a perfect iced beverage this summer.

Vinyasa Flow and Black Tea

 

Mint Tea and Summer Practice 

We know it can be hard to practice in the blazing summer heat. Try a sequence that uses cooling breath work and less challenging poses matched with a mildly stimulating, cooling mint green tea.

Green tea is famous for its endless health benefits, one of which is helping tap into fatty acids for energy use, prolonging your endurance and resiliency in hot weather. Mentholated peppermint works to alert your body's cold-sensitivity leaving you refreshed and grounded.

An awesome tea blend to stimulate and cool your practice down with is Moroccan Mint Tea served with a slight amount of organic cane sugar.

 

 

 

Brain Boosting Blend and Meditation

What goes better with tea than a healthy meditation practice? The process of making tea alone can be a mindfulness exercise but if you're looking for a longer journey then consider a very slightly caffeinated, herbal blend. The caffeine will help to keep you alert while the blends of special herbs ground, open and support you as you tap into your inner being.

Simply brew, sit comfortably, set a timer and close your eyes for 10 to 20 minutes.  Our favorite is this Mind Focus Tea filled with gently stimulating herbs, roots, legumes, and tea from around the world. Interested in a non-caffeinated option? Try this Herbal Chai Tea with flavors of ginger, pepper and cinnamon.

 

Relaxing Herbal Tea and Restorative Yoga

If you've ever felt challenged to chill during restorative yoga, consider drinking some mellow herbal blends before class. Restorative yoga is a class entirely dedicated to relaxation and gentle movements supported with props and your bodyweight.

Tea blends that include plants like chamomile, lavender, ginger and valerian root work magic on the mind and help relax the body without drowsiness. Research has shown that one flavonoid in chamomile, apigenin, binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, causing a relaxant effect similar to prescriptions like Xanax - but without any nasty side effects.

Our go-to restorative tea is this beautiful Rest Well Organic Blend which is a sure fire way to mellow your mood.

 
Emily is dedicated to the mission of bringing yoga to everyone and believes a healthy body and mind is key to a successful life. Her favorite place to drink tea is in the Namaste Berkeley tea lounge where Far Leaves Tea is served!  Read more of Emily's work on the Namaste Blog: www.ilovenamaste.com/blog.  Namaste Yoga + Wellness is proud to serve the East Bay yoga community and beyond with three locations in Oakland and Berkeley. 

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