Tea for the Spirit - By Lydia Hol

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

The first time I started drinking tea was when I lived in Dublin, Ireland while on a University Exchange. I wore long johns underneath my regular clothes every single day (I’m not kidding you!) for 4 months. I could never seem to get warm in the damp Irish winter. You often hear talk about ‘tea time’ in the UK, and I soon realized what an important ritual this was. Just as southern countries take an afternoon rest called ‘siesta,’ I think ‘tea time’ is the UK equivalent. Enjoying a steaming cup of thick black tea mid-afternoon was one of my

favorite new rituals, and something I took with me back to Canada. The ‘to-go cup’ is unheard of, in Ireland tea is sipped and enjoyed, the time being used to chat with friends, read, or just as a reminder to slow down.

 

I love how much tea has become part of the culture at Live Yoga. I joke that it is the only way we get people to come to class, knowing they will get a cup of tea at the end!

At Live Yoga, we love our "tea time" and we offer it for many reasons: to promote community; share news; get to know the studio's friendly faces; and as a chance to settle before heading back into the busy world. In addition, there are the wonderful health benefits of tea which I would like to share with you:

One of our most popular teas is ‘Rooibos’. Rather than a tea leaf, rooibos is actually a South African herb. It has been confirmed by many studies that rooibos tea is capable of reducing cancer, heart disease, and aging. As it is completely caffeine-free, it can be drunk throughout the day to help relieve headaches, insomnia, stomach cramps, allergies and much more!

Another tea we often serve is ‘White Tea’. Health benefits of this variant include cancer prevention, lowered blood pressure, lower cholesterol, strengthened bones and teeth, and a powerful tonic for the heart.

Spiced teas containing cinnamon, cardamom, chai, ginger, and other ‘spiced’ ingredients are always favorites, especially our ‘Yoga Blend’ tea. Drinking these types of spices in teas are antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory. They also promote a state of tranquility and calm, instilling emotional harmony.

A couple more tea tips for you:  

Did you know the most amount of caffeine is released from the tea leaf in the first 30 seconds after adding hot water? If you are wanting to limit your caffeine intake a good trick is to pour out this first bit of brewed tea and add more water for a flavorful but less caffeinated cup.

Used tea leaves can be re-used in a variety of ways. You can use them as a deodorizer in your fridge, or as fertilizer in your garden.

Ever wondered what we do with all our used tea leaves at the studio? Our wonderful teacher Cindy takes the home weekly and composts them in her garden!

Looking forward to sharing a cup of tea with you at the studio soon :-)

“Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!”

 ~Author Unknown