Yoga Tea

January 05, 2017

I'm a yoga teacher. Or, I was, before we moved to Germany and I found out my German wasn't good enough to teach here. I was offered a position at a local studio and completely bombed my audition class, which ended up with the studio owner leaving and me teaching in english for the last hour. It's been tricky because yoga uses specialized language and I don't know the right words in German. So I'm a yoga teacher without students - but I've been thinking about starting to make yoga videos and posting them. I feel like I had just found something I really loved to do (other than this, which doesn't pay me) and then we moved and lost it again. Moving here was this big adventure but it has often been overwhelming and difficult, really just because of the language barrier. I'm happy to see this part of my family more and we do love it here, but I feel kind of useless, you know? 

This type of tea has its roots in ayurveda, which is linked to the practice of yoga. You might see similar teas served at different studios, and almost all workshops worth their salt will offer a type of yoga tea. Personally, I think ayurvedic medicine is interesting, but some of it is just goofball nonsense. For example, my dosha is encouraged to eat plenty of ghee, but I have a dairy allergy. It's comparable to pre-modern medicine in east Asia and Europe - and just like I'm not going to bleed my boyfriend if his stomach hurts, I wouldn't practice the majority of ayurvedic medicine either. I think the best thing to take away from it is that you should eat foods that make you feel strong and healthy. 

There are a pile of different combinations out there for yoga tea, and this is just my preference. The primary ingredients in this tea are fresh ginger and turmeric* with a blend of other spices, depending on how you want to make it. I'm providing a couple of options, and they have slightly different benefits. One tea is combined with lemon juice, and the other with apple juice. The lemon tea is great to drink in the morning right after you wake up, and it'll help clear your skin and calm your stomach. The apple tea is perfect if you prefer something slightly sweeter, or if you want to share it with children or picky adults, and it's still great for an upset stomach. I've included a few tips at the end of this post for extra spice combos and the reasons certain things are included. This is a very simple recipe, the extra suggestions and notes are just there for your information.

I've also used this tea to make some naturally fermented ginger beer for good digestion. We loved it, and I'll share the instructions soon.

Thanks to Dearna of To Her Core for her fabulous editing guides, which helped me rework these pictures! I find bright photos a little more difficult and it really helped. I just have the editing guides (I won them!) but I've heard great things about the photography/styling guides. Dearna's super sweet and kind, too. 


Yoga Tea
Makes a large pot

1 litre water
10 cm piece fresh ginger
4 cm piece fresh turmeric*
1 cinnamon stick
5 cardamom pods, outer shell removed
5 whole peppercorns 
After cooking: Juice of two lemons and 1 tablespoon raw honey, or 1/2 cup apple juice

Add the water to a pot. Roughly chop the ginger and turmeric. Don't worry about peeling them if they're organic, but peel them if they're not. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom, and peppercorns. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. 

Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and honey or the apple juice, depending on your preference. Serve hot. You can drink this continuously throughout the day, but one cup every day will help reduce bloating and inflammation. 

The tea is best served hot but you can also drink it cold. It will keep on the stove without the additions (lemon or apple juice) for a couple of days. You can keep adding water to the same spices and repeat the process up to five times, as long as they stay covered with water in between cooking (only let it sit for a day without cooking, though). After about a week the spices lose their strength. The tea with lemon or apple juice will keep in the fridge for up to a week in a sealed container. 

Tips:
• To get the most benefits from turmeric, it should always be combined with pepper. All of the spices in this tea are great for reducing inflammation, but turmeric is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse.
• Both ginger and turmeric can help with inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis when used over time, but can also cause blood thinning, so discuss this with your doctor if you take blood thinners or if you're pregnant. 
• Too much turmeric can upset your stomach, but the amount in this tea is unlikely to have that side effect. You should have a happier stomach thanks to the ginger, but if you do find that it bothers your stomach, don't drink it. 
• You can alter the recipe to increase or decrease certain ingredients if you like it to have a more pronounced cinnamon flavour, for example. Other additions could be cloves, star anise, or fennel, but I don't like them so I don't include them.

Notes:
1. If you can't find fresh turmeric, you can either substitute a small amount of dried (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) or leave it out. Fresh turmeric is getting easier to find these days, though, and I can't recommend trying it highly enough. 
8 comments on "Yoga Tea"
  1. This tea looks so healthy and cleansing, plus tasty. I love the idea of fermented ginger beer!

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    1. Thanks! The ginger beer is going well, I'll be posting a recipe soon!

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  2. Lovely! My friend and I were just planning to take some yoga classes together and she is a tea lover too. This will be perfect! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Wonderful! It's a perfect pre or post-yoga treat!

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  3. Great looking tea and thanks for all the tips.

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  4. Hello :)
    I would like to know what is my dosha too
    But on internet the tests are always giving different answers. Do you have one which is reliable?
    Thank you so much and keep up the blog it is super beautiful

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jenny, I'm not sure if there's a specific test I'd recommend online - you'll have some traits that are more from one dosha than another, but there's always a combination. You could also be bi- or tri-doshic, which is a combination of two or three of the doshas in equal measure, and that might be why you're getting consistently different results! Thank you!

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