Yoga and tea are ancient spiritual disciplines and therapies that work on creating harmony between mind, body and spirit. In the aaaah!… good stretch of the muscles and steeping of the tea leaves in hot water, lies an entire philosophy that is inspiring the world to change the way we live and think.
The principles of yoga are parallel with the art of tea. They both are addictive practices that alter the very way we feel, think, understand and experience life – a life beyond the good and the evil. I believe my tea journey wouldn’t have reached this present if my fifteen years with Ashtanga yoga, hadn’t morphed the confluence of my asanas into something more personal.
Yoga has so much to give us beyond its science of asanas. In the subtle moments of deep self-connection and introspection, it’s transformative powers inspire us to embrace change and grow to new heights. In case you are on a path to achieve modern day enlightenment and are in search of living a more deliberate life, here are six lessons that have helped me trust in the practice and in the answers that arise from it.
1. Alignment – One of the best lessons you can learn from yoga is to master the art of staying calm and not give a F. Yoga emphasises the most on the importance of correct body alignment, to hold an asana and do it correctly. This is a prerequisite for all the good energies to generate and flow, and bring us to a meditative state that we are seeking. Yoga teaches us how to live in harmony with life’s asymmetries, by subconsciously making us understand the significance of our health and well-being.
2. Courage – Off the mat, yoga teaches us our capacity to build strength and withstand life’s obstacles. Asanas are not exercises. They are very subtle methods of manipulating our energy in a certain direction. If practised correctly and mindfully, yoga can break down all the negative thinking patterns, psychological, emotional and physical barriers that inhibit us from thriving and feeling bulletproof.
3. Consciousness – The longest journey is the journey inward. Yoga helps to develop a connection with our soul, and it makes us experience the spiritual energy that is a pathway for higher awakening, consciousness, intuition and healing. Yoga and tea are forms of meditation and they make us realise, that mindfulness does not have to be complicated. Just ending a yoga session by lying down still and deep breathing in Savasana, followed by a cup of tea, simplifies the whole concept of “mindfulness”.
4. Feel less pain – Letting go and moving on is the hardest asana. In yoga, we are taught to “let go” when we are sitting calmly, deep breathing on the mat and even when we are trying to nail a headstand effortlessly. Releasing all the tension and breathing through the noise of it all, is the smoothest take-off. Yoga, just like tea, shows us that we have the power to silence the chaos within. Both the practices help us comprehend the true reality – that just as pain compounds with time, so do positive thoughts.
5. Evolve – Once you get into yoga and tea, you are a student for life. The science of asanas and the history of different kinds and styles, make our bodies limitless. Awakening our senses and opening our minds to receive information is the mantra that creates the “zest” factor in our lives. Yoga teaches us how to open to the world and stay receptive to all its possibilities and opportunities.
6. Self-love – Yoga makes us sensitive and helps us listen to our body’s messages and emotions. It forms the connection that we are looking for. Right from what we should and shouldn’t eat, how we must deal with toxicity, to serious decisions about what we want and do not want in life – the practice of yoga creates a sacred foundation within ourselves, where there is more acceptance, freedom, love, peace, joy and light. It’s a total upgrade!
Inspired to read more about the uplifting effects of yoga and tea? Here are 5 reasons why Rangsaa is your best post-yoga drink.
Illustration credit: Erika Lourenco