A long time ago, while doing my yoga teacher training, I did something I never thought I would do. I stopped drinking what’s known here in Britain as ‘builder’s tea’ – black, sweet, milky and caffeinated – and switched almost exclusively to herbal. I now make my own blends and have a cupboard full of herbs and teas from all over the place. As a yoga teacher, I love to combine these wellbeing techniques, so here are some ideas for herbal teas that blend with your yoga practice.
Yoga and tea – a match made in heaven
The wonderful thing about blending yoga and herbal tea is that there are so many similarities between them, so the benefits of one can really complement the benefits of the other. Depending on what blends you are drinking, like yoga, herbal tea can combat stress, reduce inflammation, help you sleep, calm your mind and aid digestion.
But a little care must be taken as you don’t want to pair the wrong tea with the wrong yoga practice – it wouldn’t be sensible to drink black tea after your evening yin yoga session for example as it will keep you awake! You need to think about the base herbs that go into the teas and what their effects are on the body and match that with whatever type of practice you are doing.
Herbal teas that blend with your yoga practice
Before you take a fast-paced yoga practice like vinyasa or Ashtanga, you might require a bit more energy than usual, so something with caffeine – like black tea – would be perfect. Not only is black tea stimulating, it also improves circulation helping you to not get lightheaded after rounds of vinyasa.
First Harvest Teas have a blend that would be perfect for this and just happens to be my personal favorite type of tea – Invigorating Chai from their energising collection.
After you have done any kind of hot yoga, you are going to want to cool the body down afterwards, and any tea with peppermint will do that nicely. You might also want to include herbs that will ease aching muscles – like rosemary, marjoram, cinnamon and ginger – and reduce inflammation – like turmeric, aloe vera, lavender and marshmallow.
A fantastic blend from First Harvest Teas that would be ideal is their anti-inflammatory tea Garden of Youth. Just the name and I’m like – I’m in! 🙋♀️
For the practice that you might do at the end of the day, or want to be particularly relaxing, like yin or restorative yoga, you will want to change this up. If you are focusing on relaxation – I particularly love pairing my herbal teas with this kind of yoga – you want herbs like lavender, chamomile, valerian, catnip and lime blossom. An ideal end to the day for me would be a beautiful relaxing yoga practice, a lovely blend of tea and then into bed!
First Harvest Teas make the perfect blend for this too – Garden of Tranquility which includes some absolutely beautiful herbs and florals. Ahhh…zzzzzzz…..
Meditation is a bit different. Yes, it’s relaxing, but you don’t want to be so relaxed as to fall asleep. That’s why we focus so much on posture when we do formal seated meditation. Your central nervous system wants to be in perfect balance between relaxed and alert, so your posture should reflect that. Ideal herbs for tea blends for your meditation practice include green tea, jasmine, tulsi, basil and lemongrass.
Finally, if your focus is on breathwork, you are going to want to make sure you have lovely clear airways, so medicinal herbs like eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme, and sage will ensure that you are free to breathe deeply when you need to.
So there you are – some ideas for herbal teas that blend with your yoga practice. If you would like to learn more about First Harvest Teas, go to their website – www.firstharvestteas.com.
I always love to offer blended teas for my retreats and special events. It feels so welcoming to be offered a steaming cup of hand-blended tea that you can keep next to you as you are led in yoga or meditation. These little touches are what make a retreat a really special event. You can find more about my upcoming retreats here.
Herbal tea is absolutely my perfect way to start the day – that little bit of mindfulness as I make up the tea helps me to set myself up for the day the right way. For some other tips for morning rituals, get my FREE download – ‘10 tips for your morning ritual, that won’t add hours to your day’ here.