Yoga and Chakra Herbal “Teas” for a healthier lifestyle
Can you achieve balance in your life with a cup of tea? Probably not. But you can start, with that first sip, on a journey of wellness, adventure, relaxation, joy. Sitting with a cup of tea and the intention to start your life right from this moment can be quite powerful. From a simple intention can spring forth an entirely new perspective, a new reality. Why not give it a try?
In 2007 we introduced a line of herbal tisanes, our “Yoga” line, that we designed to help people as they started on their new paths. The philosophies, principles and life styles of yoga have existed for 5,000 years in one form or another and are now easily available to the average person through books, dvd’s or the many classes that are available in most towns. There has been quite a lot written over the years about the benefits of yoga and a more yogic lifestyle. So we designed these herbal blends with the aim of nurturing these healthier lifestyle choices.
Namaste is a greeting or parting phrase as well as a gesture. In Sanskrit, Namaste means, “the light in me bows to the light in you” or “I bow to light that exists in me and you and to all that is sacred in life”. When spoken to another person, it is usually accompanied by the gesture of the hands at the heart center in prayer position and a slight bow of the head and shoulders. This can also be performed wordlessly and still carry the same beautiful intention. Like the word that honors the whole person, the blend of herbs in our Namaste Tea includes barks, blossoms and leaves, the different parts of the plant that make it whole.
In Sanskrit, Shanti means “Peace”. In Buddhist practice, shanti refers to inner rather than outer peace. To help with creating inner peace, we combined herbs that historically have been noted for their calming effects on the nervous system and digestive system. To truly be at peace we need to look at all the factors that contribute to our feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Calming moments with a cup of herbal tea is always an easy place to start feeling peace.
“Chakra”, Sanskrit for wheel, is used to describe the energy centers of the body. Each Chakra is associated with certain parts of the physical body as well as our mind and spiritual development. Chakras are influenced, awakened and balanced thorough our thoughts and actions. They are aspects of our consciousness. Chakras are depicted as Lotus flowers, each with a different number of petals, and each chakra is associated with a certain color, multiple specific functions, an aspect of consciousness, a classical element and other distinguishing characteristics.
There are seven main Chakras and many more secondary Chakras throughout our body. The seven main chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the spine to the top of the head. The Chakras affect the flow of energy (prana or chi) throughout our energy system. Chakras are influenced, awakened and balanced through our thoughts and actions. They are aspects of our consciousness. If our Chakras are balanced and energy flows freely, we create a life of harmony, health and spiritual awakening.
The first chakra the Root Chakra, or Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine and forms our foundation, the seat of our life force, and is the building block on which all other chakras rest. Associated with the color red and the symbol of the four-petal Lotus flower, the Root Chakra deals with feelings of security, trust and survival as well as our connection with our physical body and its nourishment. If this chakra is off balance, we can feel powerless, tired, depressed and afraid. Our self-esteem can suffer and make us choose decisions that are not in our best interest. But when this chakra is in balance we feel grounded, strong and secure and have a sense of inner security that allows us to trust in the universe. To help people connect with their roots and with Mother Earth, a blend of bark, roots and flowers was created, which has a tart aroma and a slightly fruity taste of sweet spices.
The second chakra is the Sacral Chakra, or Swadhisthana. It is the seat of life and is located in the center of the abdomen. It is associated with the color orange and symbolized by the six-petal lotus flower. The Sacral Chakra is the seat of our creative energy and is associated with what our bodies need. An unbalanced 2nd chakra can manifest in lowered resistance to infections and viruses, tiredness, irritability, and lack of creativity. When in balance, the Sacral Chakra will enable us to accept and solve the challenges of life in a creative manner and allow us to feel compassionate and friendly and enable us to express our emotions and connect us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. The herbs in this blend combine herbs noted as overall tonics with herbs that have been used for their beneficial effects on the digestive system. The golden cup has a light earthy, spicy flavor and a delicate lemon and mint aftertaste.
The Solar Plexus Chakra, Manipura, is the third chakra and is associated with the color yellow and the symbol of the ten-petal lotus flower. It is the home of our emotions and our desire for non-dominating power, energy, effectiveness, and spontaneity. It is the chakra center for overcoming inertia and controls the effect our emotions have on digestion and the regulation and distribution of energy in our body. An unbalanced solar plexus center can result in lack of self-esteem, depression, anger and hesitancy in decision-making. A balanced Solar Plexus Chakra will activate our soul and enable us to be confident, focused and comfortable with ourselves, transforming our emotions into soulful passions that will radiate outward. Since this center is where the regulation and distribution of energy in the body is housed, the herbs in this blend have been noted as being particularly beneficial for the digestive system and the nervous system. The result is an herbal blend that is soothing and warming, which will help to create and radiate the energy of this chakra center.
Anahata, the Heart Chakra, is the fourth chakra. Located in the center of the chest, it is the joining point between the higher and lower chakras and is symbolized by the twelve-petal lotus flower and the color green. It controls our perceptions of love, emotions, compassion and balance, and is related to the immune system where is can be adversely affected by stress. When the Heart Chakra is closed or unbalanced, we find ourselves experiencing feelings of anger, jealousy, envy or fear. An open and balanced Heart Chakra will allow us to feel whole and connected to other beings, to understand unconditional love, to feel compassion for ourselves and others, to accept others as well as ourselves, and to feel the pulse that unites us with the universe. Experiencing this unconditional love can be the ultimate healing power. The herbs in this tea have been traditionally associated with love and used as aphrodisiacs. Perfect whether hot or iced, this blend brews to a pale pink cup with a floral aroma and a fruity and floral taste.
The fifth chakra is the Throat Chakra or Visuddha. Located at the base of the throat, the Throat Chakra is represented by the sixteen-petal lotus flower and the color blue. This chakra is our instrument of communication and allows us to express what is happening in our consciousness. If this chakra in not in balance we experience difficulty making decisions, expressing our personal thoughts and desires, and even physical manifestations such as swollen glands, dental problems or a sore throat. An open and balanced Throat Chakra allows us to communicate truthfully and express our feelings, as well as our creativity. It addresses our need to be heard and understood, and to transmit and receive the truth through constructive communication and conscious listening. For this chakra center we combined herbs that are tasty and soothing to the throat and added chili peppers to bring heat to the throat. The heat of the chili peppers increases the flow of blood where it can begin healing and opening this center.
Ajna, the Third Eye Chakra is the sixth chakra. Located in the center of forehead and symbolized by the two-petal lotus flower and the color indigo, it is the sight center where we find the home of the part of our consciousness that absorbs the knowledge of the outer world and externalizes the thoughts of our inner world. If we are having trouble balancing this chakra, we may find that we are experiencing headaches, nightmares, depression, or distorted concepts of reality and lack of concentration. An open and balanced Third Eye Chakra will allow us to trust our intuition, help us to focus and allow us to see an unobstructed view of reality. This blend is comprised of herbs that are used for helping the circulatory system and for relaxation. It brews to a light golden color with a heady aroma and a light floral taste with the pronounced flavor of lavender and rosemary
The final, seventh chakra the Crown Chakra, or Sahasrara, is located on the top of the head and is represented by the thousand-petal lotus flower and the colors of violet or white. It is the source of divine energy and self-realization and the union, bliss and empathy. If our Crown Chakra is blocked or unbalanced we may experience exhaustion and feelings of apathy, fear, purposelessness, or lack of inspiration. An open and balanced Crown center allows us to feel at one with the universe. It enables us to be open-minded, thoughtful and understanding and to experience enlightenment, inner harmony, and higher consciousness. This blend uses herbs for their purported circulatory benefits and their relaxing qualities as well as nutritive all-over tonics and heady spices to create a blend that is tasty and contemplative. It brews to a golden cup with a well rounded taste that is a perfect balance of sweet, spice and floral.
There isn’t just one type of lifestyle that will create overall good health. It really is a combination of things. So if we do our best to live our lives conscious in our choices, both through diet and exercise, there is a chance that we will be able to have the very best that life can offer us. I believe in the healing powers of herbs and yoga. And I believe that they will help to combat the times of stress and poor diet that sometimes comes with living in this fast paced 21st century.