In the current political and social climate, maintaining good mental health in your everyday life has become more necessary than ever. When looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety, the benefits of meditation are exclaimed all over the media. Meditation is a technique that enables the mind to achieve calm, clarity and new insights. Including its practice among your everyday habits, can positively affect the way you think of yourself and problems occurring daily.
Imagine being sat in a quiet place. Your eyes are closed, and you are focused on your breath while listening to the voice of the wind. With every breath, the mind starts to get empty and provide a clean slate. Every part of your body becomes a distinctive presence, you get calmer, and the world around disappears. A pretty nice feeling, right? Well, this is just something that you can achieve practising meditation.
Meditation is a widespread practice known to increase your capability to concentrate and focus on tasks, reduce stress, manage anxiety and depression. However, as a beginner, meditation can seem daunting, especially with common misconceptions around the practice that advise having to empty the mind. Traditionally meditation has also required setting out a particular time to dedicate yourself to focused meditation and mindfulness. So, how to overcome these challenges? Meditation and yoga combined with your tea intake are a great start for newbies, so here is everything you need to know on how to begin your journey in tea meditation and tea yoga.
A common practice in people’s everyday routine is making and drinking tea. Making tea, like meditation, is a ritual. It involves the repetitive acts of filling the kettle, placing the tea bag in the mug, pouring the hot water, and sipping on the finished product. In a busy life, there’s usually always time to make a cup of tea. It could be when you are working from home or relaxing after an intense day. As a result, tea meditation can become a ritual easily included in daily life.
If you decide that tea meditation might be a beneficial practice for you, then choosing the type of tea that is best for you is the next step. This can be a difficult task with the overwhelming variety of teas available like green tea, oolong, and the hundreds of herbal teas.
Here are a few great teas to choose from. This list is a small selection of teas, there are many more to explore, and by drinking different varieties, it may evoke new experiences and provide varying advantageous effects to your tea meditation.
- Chamomile. This tea offers not only delicious taste and comforting aroma, but this gentle herb also has a soothing effect on the nervous system. It can help to reduce stress, aid relaxation, promote sleep and treat insomnia. Furthermore, chamomile tea reduces muscle spasms, period pain and stomach ache;
- Green Tea. A classic. Used by Buddhist monks to help them in their daily meditations. In fact, matcha green tea can enhance your ability to focus, which in turn helps to clear the clutter from your mind, bring clarity and concentration on your meditation practice;
- Peppermint. An energising and invigorating tea which is best used in morning meditation to wake you up and prepare for the day ahead. Drinking peppermint tea can also diminish stress and anxiety, relax muscles and relieve spasms due to menthol present in this herb;
- CBD tea. One of many CBD products available to buy, CBD tea is a blend of beneficial herbs combined with CBD oil which acts as a boost to these benefits. It can help to maximise the value of meditation. CBD is non-psychoactive and proven to influence the receptors in the brain and increase levels of serotonin. Low levels are commonly found in people with depression and anxiety, and so CBD tea can help to improve mood, concentration, and energy levels. As an alternative, you can simply add a few drops of CBD oil, tincture, syrup or any other product to your cup of tea to enjoy CBD effects.
How To Meditate?
Now that you have chosen a suitable tea for meditation here are a few guiding steps to get you started with your meditation session. These tips are just a starting place for beginners that are interested in incorporating tea and meditation into their lives.
- As you prepare your tea, try to maintain mindfulness which means that you should take everything one step at a time while also remaining aware of the moment and what you want to achieve through tea meditation;
- Get your favourite mug and place the tea bag into it;
- Boil the kettle and use the rumbling noise it makes as calming background noise. You can use this period as a guide for remaining calm and holding still;
- After you pour the hot water into your mug, take the prepared tea to space in your house that you find comfortable and relaxing. For instance, a place near a window that provides a great view of nature;
- Appreciate the aroma of the tea and embrace the emotions and images it inspires in your mind;
- Take small sips of the tea enjoying the taste and the warmth as you inhale and exhale slowly remembering always to be in the present and not think any further ahead.
Yoga Practice & Tea
If meditation is not your style and you have slightly more free time available, then a more physical option for improving mood is practising yoga. Yoga is also a well-known practice proven to foster the healing of the mind and the body. At the same time, for some people, yoga is a distinct and fulfilling way of life.
Invigorating teas like peppermint and CBD tea are highly recommended before an intense yoga session. Tea can put you in the ideal frame of mind whilst also providing the necessary hydration to aid in exercise. It can also improve focus to successfully move into difficult yoga poses and maintain the correct form.
Once your yoga session is complete, you may experience some aches and pains in your muscles and joints. Tea can also help with this problem. CBD tea, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties to ease any aches or pains as you incorporate yoga into your lives.
How To Do Yoga?
As previously mentioned in the steps of the tea meditation, you should try and maintain mindfulness as you move your body through the different poses. Although difficult, yoga and meditation can partly be combined as long as mindfulness is your top priority. In fact, yoga poses can aid meditation by providing slow movements which allow you to concentrate on perfecting and holding the poses for a few minutes. Here are a few beginner yoga poses to get you started:
This pose is called the triangle pose. It opens the shoulders and stretches the legs, abdominal and chest muscles. Triangle pose can help to improve your digestion, alleviate constipation, enhance balance and stability. However, avoid this pose if you have an injury to your neck, shoulders, hips, and back or in case you have a headache or migraine.
This is a downward-facing dog pose, which is a great way to stretch the spine if you suffer from a bad back. It improves the strength in arms, legs and the deep abdominal muscles that help in stabilising the spine. The pose isn’t recommended if you are subjected to high blood pressure or detached retina. Also, refrain from doing this pose or if you are in the last trimester of pregnancy, have a wrist injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a recent dental bone graft.
Warrior pose strengthens the shoulders, arms, legs, back and ankles and is good practice for training your balance and stability. Through opening the chest, the pose also encourages respiration and circulation, energises the entire body, and improves focus. Avoid practising Warrior pose if you suffer from heart problems, high blood pressure, chronic illness, severe neck or shoulder pain, and knee aches.
Hopefully, this introduction to tea meditation and tea yoga has encouraged you to include these practices as more mindful options for improving your mood compared to watching Netflix or eating chocolate. No matter how hectic or busy your day is, one or the other of these practices can be easily incorporated into your schedule to provide great benefits to your wellbeing, mental and physical health.