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September is National Yoga Month, and for the team at Pekoe Sip House, an ideal time to celebrate the connection between tea and the practice of yoga.
Traditionally, tea is served after class to help the mind and body process the yoga practice and prepare for the transition into a busy day. During this time, we mentally and physically move from an individual experience on the mat to the social experience of sharing tea. One of the most popular types of tea for this purpose is called ‘yogi tea.’ Pekoe House Chai is very similar to yogi tea, incorporating traditional Ayurvedic spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves into an Assam black tea base. To serve as yogi tea is served, sweeten this spirited black tea blend with milk and honey.
Tea has a place before class as well, which can be equally vital to a healthy and mindful practice as the post-yoga tea ritual. In addition to hydrating the body, tea provides a steadier and more focused energy boost. A wholesome tea in its pure loose-leaf form has excellent health benefits – certain teas can reduce inflammation, aid digestion, and ease pain. Tea and yoga individually will enrich your life – just think what the combination of both can do for you!
Here are five beneficial yoga styles for tea lovers.
ACTIVE YOGA PRACTICE
Enjoy black tea before an energetic practice, such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa.
The caffeine in Pekoe Sip House black tea blends can improve circulation, so they are great for more athletic yoga styles. Ashtanga and Vinyasa move continuously from pose to pose, coordinating breath with movement, and building internal heat. The resulting sweat detoxifies the muscles and organs. Prepare your body for physically active yoga with Coconut Black Tea, a hydrating blend of black tea that can improve circulation and stamina. As a bonus, black teas can help burn calories and may reduce cardiovascular problems.
After Class: Focus on rehydrating your body with low-caffeine White Peony Tea, which contain cardio-protective and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
MEDITATIVE YOGA PRACTICE
Enjoy green tea before meditative yoga practices with long-held poses, such as Hatha or Kundalini.
A calm and meditative mindset is key to a rewarding Hatha yoga experience, and the practice of Kundalini yoga often incorporates chanting and meditation. To prepare the mind for a yoga style that materially incorporates your mental state, select a tea that will increase focus and attention. Research links polyphenols in green tea to increased cognitive function, making green tea a go-to choice for meditation sessions.
Sunny Green Tea, made with papaya and pineapple, will treat your tastebuds while providing nourishing all-day energy and focus. Green teas, like our Superfoods Green Tea with goji berries or powerhouse Matcha Green Tea powder (read more about Matcha’s unique health benefits), are also rich with antioxidants called catechins, which are known to fight heart disease and cancer, and contain anti-inflammatories.
After Class: Pekoe Revival Tea is a wellness-boosting herbal blend with naturally caffeine-free Rooibos tea, peppermint, ginger, licorice root, and cloves. Reward your body after a clarifying practice with a healthy and flavorful loose-leaf tea that also aids in respiration and digestion.
HOT YOGA PRACTICE
Enjoy mint tea before entering a heated room for Bikram.
A temperature of 95-105 degrees is typical during the practice of Bikram yoga. This heat promotes flexibility, thereby preventing injury, as well as detoxifies muscles and organs. Mint tea activates cells’ cold-sensitive receptors to create a mild cooling sensation, which helps you endure the heat long enough to reap its powerful benefits. Try a simple loose-leaf, organic Peppermint Tea, or take your tastebuds on a journey across the sea with our Moroccan Mint Tea (a mixture of Gunpowder green tea and spearmint).
After Class: Augment the detoxification of the body with our body cleansing and mind soothing Nettle Detox Tea. This detox tea is an herbal blend with blackberry leaves, rosehips, alfalfa, juniper berries, licorice root, jasmine flower, and sage. In addition to cleansing the body, Nettle Detox herbal tea may aid in respiration, which is useful after 60-90 minutes in a hot room!
GENTLE AND RELAXING PRACTICE
Enjoy herbal tea before classes with passive or relaxing yoga poses, such as Restorative or Yin.
In Restorative or Yin yoga, the muscles are passively but deeply stretched through long-held poses. Naturally caffeine-free Evening Solace Tea layers digestion-soothing peppermint tea and a hint of vanilla over calming chamomile tea, making it an ideal pairing with relaxing classes.
HEALING YOGA PRACTICE
Enjoy ginger tea before yoga classes focused on injury recovery and joint health, such as Iyengar.
The alignment of the body is key in Iyengar, requiring a slow and deliberate pace, and more time spent holding each pose. This healing practice promotes joint health, and uses props and technique to help those who are older, have injuries, or are new to this style of yoga. Before rehabilitating underused or injured joints, nourish your body and preemptively reduce soreness with our No Pain Rooibos Tea, which incorporates anti-inflammatories turmeric and ginger. This pain-relieving super tea has notes of lemon, cinnamon and apple, making it a delicious and Ayurvedically sound option for aiding recovery before and after exercise.
After Class: Treat yourself with a Gingerly Vanilla Latte. Sweetening pure, organic Ginger Root Tea with organic vanilla agave and steamed milk, this drink tastes like a frosted lemon cookie and is perfect for cooler days.
If you’ve visited one of our three Boulder tea cafe locations, you’ll have noticed that Pekoe Sip House encourages guests to Sip. Relax. Enjoy. In this equation, “Sip” is a metaphor for the less hectic. We encourage people to sip drinks to create quality time – time to catch up. Not on the to-do list, but on the important things that are not on the to-do list. Daily, we see parents spending one-on-one time with their child, old friends swapping stories, and early risers thoughtfully enjoying a personal pot of tea. These activities enrich our lives beyond measure, and at Pekoe Sip House we take joy in providing a space for these important moments.
The pick-me-up we offer through our loose leaf teas, tea lattes and coffee drinks is uplifting while being nourishing. We revive and renew. Our “buzz” has staying power because it beckons the energy that is not only inherent in a healthy lifestyle, but more importantly is latent inside ourselves. Yoga and tea are complementary practices – one could even call them rituals – that cultivate a healthy, focused, and self-aware mind and body.
When you approach tea as you approach yoga, you will find a balance between enjoying everyday pleasures and creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle. To do this, simply be present in each moment, with intention held loosely in your mind, and bring awareness to each sip as you would to each breath.
SIP TIP: Our Everyday Wellness Tea Sampler is an excellent tea set to gift yogis seeking to add the ritual and health benefits of loose-leaf tea to their practice. In every cup, yogis will find the energy and nourishment needed to feel their best, on and off the mat. This package contains several teas mentioned in this article, including Pekoe Revival Tea, Superfoods Green Tea, Nettle Detox Tea, and No Pain Rooibos Tea. It also includes energizing Power Sage Berry Tea with Yerba Mate to try before Ashtanga or Vinyasa, and delicately beautiful White Tangerine Tea, a low-caffeine blend with orange peels, marigolds, and tangerines to try before or after a Restorative or Yin practice.
Shop teas for yoga, and make your next session an inspired one.