Herbal tea and daily yoga - our ultimate guide to staying zen
There’s no shame in admitting it, when we’re having one of those extra-stressful days it’s incredibly easy to let the day’s fears and worries pile up. This can leave us feeling absolute, for want of a better word, rubbish. And that’s ok, we’re only human after all. Whether it be at home or at work, these kinds of days are bound to crop up from time to time.
Once we’ve admitted this to ourselves, the next step to take is to try and find the best ways to cope with these struggles that life throws at us. For us, that’s where herbal tea and yoga come in. So, without further ado, below you’ll find our handy guide for practices that you can easily integrate into your daily routine, to help keep you sane.
There are few practices out there that reap quite the same number of rewards as yoga does.
The word ‘yoga’ actually comes from the Sanskrit word for union, “Yuji”. This idea of ‘union’ forms the core principle of the exercise - through a combination of meditation, slow controlled breathing and strong yet flexible body poses, yoga aims to unite one’s body and mind.
While this ancient practice (it is believed to have first originated 5,000 years ago in India) may have been adapted here and there over the course of its history, yoga still retains this fundamental cornerstone of union as its key principle.
The benefits that it brings include improvements in everything from your flexibility and balance, your muscle strength and tone, to your energy levels and your respiration. It can also help you to maintain a balanced metabolism, boost your cardio, aid your body’s circulatory health and, generally, help you to achieve a greater level of overall fitness.
In addition to these, its benefits of the mindful kind include yoga’s ability to establish an improvement to your quality of life as a whole. Sounds lovely, right?
Many mindful benefits that come with incorporating a regular yoga practice into your life have been proven by science. These plus points for the exercise’s influence on the mind include improvements in your ability to manage your stress levels, keep you calmer, improve the clarity of your mind, help you to relax, reduce your brain’s levels of anxiety and help you to sleep better.
According to the NHS website, there may also be some evidence that practicing yoga can help to improve the health of individuals suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains in the body and even depression.
Interestingly, there have been a variety of studies conducted that have demonstrated how practicing yoga regularly directly decreases the amount which the body secretes the hormone cortisol, which is the hormone that is primarily responsible for increasing our stress levels.
So, we think that it is absolutely imperative that you dedicate a bit of time - if you’re a busy bee, even just 10 minutes at the end of the day will suffice - to practicing a bit of yoga, letting your mind unwind and relax, and taking a moment to feel the weight of the day lifting from your shoulders. We promise that you’ll feel a lot better for it.
Below, we have detailed some ideas for a few different yoga routines that you can incorporate into your daily routines, in a time of your day that suits you. These routines are designed to be an easy, effortless addition to your lifestyle. That’s what yoga’s intended for after all - it’s all about meeting your needs and enhancing your life, rather than providing a burden of any kind (that’s what we have marathons for!).
Options for classes include mixed-ability classes - at a fitness level which the majority of people would feel comfortable with. Or, if you feel like getting up and down from the floor might be uncomfortable for your body, there are a variety of yoga classes which are chair-based too. It’s all about keeping your body doing what is comfortable and makes you feel good. There’s no excuse not to give it a go!
Yoga comes in a huge variety of different styles, each with their own slightly unique form of practice or focuses within their techniques, and altering levels of strenuousness. Examples of yoga types include Ashtanga, Lyengar and Sivananda. All types bring fantastic health bonuses, so choose whatever style is the best suited for you. It’s not a race or a competition, take it at your own pace, as it’s all about helping to improve your personal level of fitness.
If there’s not a class near you, or if you’d like to try it out in the comfort of your own home first, you can transform your morning routine or your evening wind-down by introducing a set time within it to practice yoga through a free YouTube class. There are some fantastic instructors providing yoga courses online. These include Yoga with Adriene, SarahBethYoga, YogiApproved.com’s channel and Jessamyn Stanley.
YouTube has over 2 million yoga videos available on its platform. So, we can say with complete confidence that you’ll soon be able to find an online class that you love.
Now that we’ve provided you with all the info that you need to incorporate yoga practice in your routine, we would like to take these easy, relaxing lifestyle tweaks one step further. Below is our next tip for achieving the ultimate in at-home zen experiences - delicious home-brewed spiced tea. This delicious herbal homebrew recipe has the perfect balance of nutrients, lots of natural goodness and wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s another brilliant way to add an extra bit of positivity and wellbeing into your day-to-day routine.
The balance of ginger, turmeric, lemon and honey all pack a fantastic punch and, as well as the fantastic flavours within them, these ingredients all possess great health benefits. Whether it be the bioactive compounds in ginger, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric or the hearty dose of Vitamin C provided by lemons, this delicious cup of tea provides the perfect warming post-yoga drink.
Ginger Turmeric Yoga Tea
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time to create the perfect brew: 35 minutes
Serves: 3-4 hearty mugs
- Water, 1 litre
- Fresh ginger, a 10 cm piece
- Fresh turmeric, a 4 cm piece (or, ½ a teaspoon of dried turmeric also works well)
- Cinnamon stick, 1
- Cardamom pods, 5 with their outer shell removed
- Whole peppercorns, 5
- Lemon juice, from two lemons and raw honey, 1 tablespoon. Or fresh apple juice, ½ cup (depending on your preference)
- Peel the ginger and turmeric (if they’re organic, you don’t need to peel them). Then roughly chop. Boil your iKettle to 88º then, once boiled, add it to a large pan. Add in the ginger and turmeric pieces, as well as the cinnamon stick, cardamom, and peppercorns. Transfer the pan to the hob, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let it gently simmer for around 30 minutes - 1 hour.
- Once the mixture has brewed and all the flavour has seeped into the water, remove the pan from the heat and stir in your choice of lemon juice and honey, or the apple juice. Use a tea strainer to filter out the lumps as you serve it. We recommend having a mug straight away while it’s still nice and hot.
- You can keep helping yourself to this tea as you go throughout the day, but your body will receive a big dose of health benefits even if you only have one cup.
- We recommend drinking it hot, however, it’s also delicious cold. If it’s cold out, it makes for a yummy spiced iced tea too.
- So long as you don’t add the lemon or apple juice, the brew can stay in the pan on the hob for a couple of days. You could even keep topping it up with water and the same spices - the process will repeat perfectly for up to five times with the same mixture (just make sure you keep all of the ingredients fully immersed in water when you brew them).
- However, make sure that you only let the brew sit for a day without cooking.
- Once you’ve added the lemon or apple juice, the tea will keep in the fridge for up to a week in a sealed container.
One of our favourite things about this recipe is its versatility. If you’re anything like us, we love to experiment with different flavours and spice profiles in our brews. You can use this core recipe as a base point, from which you can try lots of different ideas and points of inspiration that you might have.
If you would like, depending on your tastes, you can experiment a bit with this recipe by trying different things like increasing or decreasing different spices, or adding in different spices, like cloves, star anise, or fennel. It’s a super versatile recipe that tastes delicious both as it is or with the fun that comes with making a few of your own tweaks, the choice is yours!
If you’re a regular herbal or spiced tea drinker, we have the perfect piece of kit to take that wonderful, peaceful me-time treat to a whole new level. The beauty of the iKettle is that it can boil water to the exact temperature at which green tea tastes best (without that nasty bitter note that can be caused when the water gets too hot). By heating the water to 85°C exactly, the iKettle ensures you get the perfect flavour for your green tea. Tea breaks will never be the same again.
The iKettle is the perfect piece of kit to help you stay zen while you prepare this refreshing brew. It provides its users with the ultimate high-tech way to improve their routine and make a cuppa with ease. When you hook it up to your WiFi, your phone acts as a remote control and enables you to boil the iKettle remotely and use voice activation technology (it pairs with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Siri) to elegantly simplify your life.
Its super sleek design makes it the perfect luxe addition to any pristine, minimalist kitchen. Its ergonomic design, perfectly suited to meet its function, makes this the ultimate in modern, sophisticated kitchen kit. If this reads like the exact addition that your trendy kitchen needs, check out our online store, where you can browse our product range and order an iKettle to perfect both your tea breaks and your kitchen aesthetic. Cheers to that.