Yogi or non-yogi, whichever you may be, enjoying a steaming cup of Ayurvedic tea can nourish the body and soul. Whether you sip a cup of tea to end your yoga practice, or just to warm up on a chilly day, yogi tea offers a host of healthy benefits for your body.
Yogi tea started as part of the practice of Ayurveda, or traditional Indian medicine. The select spices in the brew were intended to be healing ingredients. Typically prepared as a mixture of cardamom, ginger, long pepper and cinnamon, this invigorating tonic aids digestion, helps bone strength, soothes tired muscles and purifies the blood.
Although the heavily spiced Ayurvedic yogi tea has been around for centuries, particularly in India’s northern state of Punjab, it came to America with Yogi Bhajan in the late 1960s. Yogi Bhajan habitually served the aromatic tea to his students after yoga practice and it became known as “yogi tea.”
Although not a part of all modern yoga teaching today, yogi tea does have its place. The herbal formula helps stimulate your agni, or internal digestive fire, and also helps detox your system, two key elements of a yoga practice.
Today, the Indian word for tea, “chai,” is often used interchangeably with the term “yogi tea” in America. Despite the common swapping of the two terms, they don’t represent the same flavorful brew. Traditional chai uses less spice and more milk and sugar, while yogi tea places more emphasis on the spice.
However you choose to prepare it, this nourishing beverage will cleanse you body, mind and spirit. Are you ready?
Yogi Tea Recipe (adapted from Yoga Yoga)
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil.
Add cloves and boil for one minute.
Add peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Cover and boil for 30 minutes (or longer).
When ready, remove from heat, add black tea and let cool. Strain tea.
Add milk and honey to taste.
Follow Kirsten on Twitter @kirsten_hudson