On the International Yoga Day, we look at the health benefits of combining this ancient tradition with our favorite tea
For thousands of years, yoga has healed the minds and bodies of those who not only practice it but have chosen it as their way of life. Drinking tea is also a ritual with an ancient history and with many benefits – it cures various diseases and eases our mind into relaxation. On the International Yoga Day, we want to talk … about yoga and tea and especially about how tea can be combined perfectly with your yoga practice.
What is the theme of the International Yoga Day 2021?
21 June is the date that the UN has chosen for International Yoga Day. Peopke arund the world celebrate it since 2015. The Day will be marked at a time when COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend lives and livelihoods of people globally. Beyond its immediate impact on physical health, the COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated psychological suffering and mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, as pandemic-related restrictions continue in various forms in many countries. This has highlighted the urgent need to address the mental health dimension of the pandemic, in addition to the physical health aspects.
The message of Yoga in promoting both the physical and mental well-being of humanity has never been more relevant. A growing trend of people around the world embracing Yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated and to fight social isolation and depression has been witnessed during the pandemic. Yoga is also playing a significant role in the psycho-social care and rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients in quarantine and isolation. It is particularly helpful in allaying their fears and anxiety.
Why should we combine yoga and tea
Both yoga and tea bring to our time ancient rituals that have not lost their relevance. In the 21st century, many sports activities force you to exceed your own capabilities and achieve efficiency parameters, many of which are not tailored to your individual abilities.
Wheras the power of yoga is to encourage yogis (people who practice it) to consciously press the pause button. To turn to themselves, leaving the outside world on the doorstep of the yoga studio. To follow their own rhythm and perform yoga according to their own abilities, as far as it is comfortable for their body at that specific moment. Thus, yoga not energises and makes us stronger, but also promotes self-knowledge.
Tea also encourages us to slow down, concentrate in the moment and seek our inner balance. When we choose a tea we need at a particular moment, we show self-knowledge and practice self-care.
Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit and has 38 meanings, according to the best connoisseurs of Sanskrit. Its most popular meaning is “gather” or “unite” – so yoga symbolizes the union of body and mind.
Practicing yoga and drinking tea helps us to be more aware, at least at certain times of the day. Even if you have not yet felt what exactly this means, in time you will learn to notice these moments and thus practice mindfulness.
Yoga and tea are based on the holistic approach to self-care. After a yoga session, our body and mind feel calmer and more relaxed. The combination of light to medium body streching and breathing awareness calms our mind. Practicing yoga at the beginning of the day fills us with positivity, takes our anxiety away and makes us expect anything that this day might bring our way with a strenght.
Both yoga and tea are associated with transformation. When we practice yoga, our body becomes more flexible and healthy, we learn discipline, focus, perseverance and concentration in the present moment. This way we lay the foundations for a better future for our body and mind. Tea, on the other hand, is the transformation of the dry leaves into an aromatic beverage that we also prepare and drink at the moment. And we do so not only for a mere enjoyment but also to feel better, healthier and calmer, in harmony with ourselves and the world around us.
Tea ceremony with yoga
Teas from the Camellia sinensis family helps us concentrate and calm down at the same time. They contain the unique amino acid L-theanine, which calms us without causing drowsiness. It comes in large quantity in white and green teas.
Many Zen Buddhists prefer white tea for their meditations when they must remain awake and concentrated for a long time.
And matcha, on the other hand, is the preferred tea in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. During this ceremony we enjoy the peace of the moment. Harmony, respect, purity and peace are the four components of the Japanese tea ceremony. They are in tune with the basic principles of mindfulness and conscious living both during the yoga practice and in life. If you perform a short tea ceremony before or after your yoga session, it will only increase the effect of your practice, whatever it is.
We say whatever it is, because today there are numerous yoga practices. All of them include from light to medium physical activity, breathing exercises and mind relaxation. The health benefits are numerous. Yoga involves body twisting and stretching. Together with the complex and intensive breathing techniques that contribute to the good physical condition, it creates discipline. It also helps balance energy and emotions.
Which are the best teas to drink before yoga
Logically, we can ask ourselves when it is best to drink tea – before or after our yoga session. If you like teas that contain caffeine, such as all Camellia sinensis teas, the energizing properties of caffeine and, accordingly, the reduction of its intake are important at different times. Therefore, we can choose tea according to its caffeine content.
If you practice yoga in the morning, asanas may be like a natural dose of caffeine for you. You will feel refreshed, you will wake up your body and calm your mind. As a result, you may not need a large dose of caffeine. But if you still prefer to start your day with a cup of warm, strong tea, you can choose the black “English breakfast”. A cup of black tea contains about twice less caffeine than a cup of coffee, and is good for the heart. Don’t forget that you can also enjoy black pu erh tea like our “Fitness”, which, in addition to containing caffeine, boosts metabolism and can help lose weight.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”Thich Nhat Hanh
Before an outdoor yoga session, especially in summer or a hot yoga session, you can enjoy a cup of “Egyptian mint”, because mint will activate the cold-sensitive thermoreceptors and thus create a slight feeling of cooling.
For a practice with a stress on meditation, green tea “Chinese Sencha” is the best option because the polyphenols in it increase cognitive function. Remember that this is our Tea of the Month of June and you can still buy a box of 20 sachets from our Premium Collection with 15% OFF!
Bonus benefits of drinking tea before yoga
The results of many studies show that after a stressful event, the stress hormone cortisol levels fall much faster after drinking black tea. When you enter the yoga studio, one of the challenges is to stop the thoughts in your head and turn to your feelings. Tea can help you. It invites you to awaken all the senses – sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch to enjoy it. This will also help you mentally prepare for yoga.
Making and enjoying a cup of tea helps us relax. It is like a meditative practice. The different teas’ aromas have a stimulating effect on the pharynx and helps us breath deeper. And the warming effect of the drink also contributes to relaxation and preparation for yoga or meditation.
Which are the best teas to drink after yoga
If you drink tea after yoga and / or meditation, it will prolong their relaxation effect. Tea as a natural relaxant will also help you make the transition to your hectic daily life. After yoga, we recommend green tea as a refreshing drink. It brings a softer influx of energy due to its lower caffeine content and relieves inflammation and pain due to the antioxidants in it. Keep in mind, however, that green and white teas are excellent choices before yoga and meditation. The caffeine content in them is less than in black tea.
If you practice yoga in the evening, choose herbal teas to calm your nerves and improve your mood. Have you tasted the three amazing herbal teas from our Box Be Calm?
How to serve your tea after yoga at home
Everything matters, so think of tea as a continuation of your yoga practice. Arrange a special corner in your home where you can practice yoga. Clean it of furniture or many objects. You can decorate it though with flowers or a favorite artpiece. You should feel comfortable in this corner. This is your special area where the stress of everyday life cannot enter. Play quiet meditative music as a background. Light up an incense stick. The scent of sandalwood, for example, has a strong grounding effect. Open all your senses. Brew a really good, quality tea and pour it into a beautiful porcelain cup.
You can find tea in yoga studios as well
Many yoga studios serve tea after the yoga sessions. Drinking tea after practicing yoga asanas and meditation helps you return from the moment of rest to the real world, which in many cases can be chaotic and stressful. In many studios, tea has already become a tradition. The ever-increasing research on the various health benefits of our favorite drink, on the other hand, makes it a mandatory companion to the practice of yoga. It is yet another element that contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
And we can say that the tradition of combining tea and yoga is not new, especially in India. Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. There are different types of teas for yogis like the famous types of Yogi Tea. Perhaps the most common consists of black tea and traditional Ayurveda spices. These include cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, supplemented with milk and honey.
Yoga keeps our body strong and flexible. This way we can maintain a good shape until late in live. When we integrate yoga’s various aspects – asana (body posture), pranayama (breathing exercises) and philosophy, our body, spirit and mind benefit. If we are disciplined and take care of our body regularly, not only or body but also our spirit will benefit from this. Combined with one of the healthiest drinks, tea, yoga can be our elixir of longevity. Tea has no calories. And if it is really high quality, such as our teas, it brings a number of benefits to the body.