Tea & Chat!

 

I am sitting enjoying a spot of tea with my dear friend Holly.   I recently returned from a visit to China where I enjoyed the ritual of the Chinese Tea Ceremony.  The fact that it is called a “tea ceremony” already had me engaged.

Not knowing fully what to expect as it was my first time, I sat and waited for it to begin.  The host dressed in traditional Chinese dress, calmly explained the process and the various types of tea I would enjoy in the time I sat with her.  We started with black tea, which is usually rinsed on the first pour before refilling and pouring.  She spoke softly.  The appeal of the ceremony is the level of relaxation it brings as you sit listening to the host’ soothing tone, learning about the benefits of drinking the tea, and finally the smooth exquisite taste of the tea itself.   I tasted numerous varieties.

The quality of tea showcased is the best available, subtly committing you to the sale at the end, which like every food and beverage tasting today, ends in the gift shop.  After such a wonderful experience, my purse strings were much lighter as I craved the smoothness and richness of the tea I tasted.

China is full of tea houses and most of the hotels serve afternoon tea.  It is a favorite pastime and you become knowledgeable about what you like, enjoying the regular experience and relaxation of afternoon tea.   It occurred to me that we don’t find the time to do this nearly often enough.  To me this equates to the experience and benefits of yoga and meditation.

This is all about new experiences and connecting with friends and family.

Enjoy!

Beyond the mat meditation pose

 

 

 

 

Tea and chat!

I love yoga and have been taking classes for over 20 years. What is it about yoga that I like? Well, I started doing it as a form of exercise before it became trendy attending classes two days a week with a friend. You become addicted to the feeling of community and I soon realized that it goes beyond the mat; it’s about lifestyle, health, meditation and people.

Years ago, a very inspirational teacher, Susan, introduced me to meditation. She started her classes with 5 minutes of silence, or as she called it “centering ourselves”. It was the most brutal five minutes; my mind raced, I shifted and moved and couldn’t stop thinking, because I was trying so hard. It became easier after a few weeks; but I wasn’t ready to commit to it. Susan was a great spiritual teacher and I learned many things from her. It wasn’t until years later after reading a book about the science behind the benefits of meditation that I decided to commit. I was inconsistent still for many years, but 3 years ago committed to a daily practice of 15-20 minutes. I have been doing it ever since and will not skip it.

This has helped me in my outlook on life, my job and also with my family (especially that 13-year-old teenage daughter). I am calmer and truly believe that it helps open the mind allowing for the flow of ideas, creativity and better judgment. I take the opportunity to share my experience with my friends and team mates who are stressed or seem to be searching for something else. So I am also sharing it with you. Start a meditation practice today, even if just for 3 minutes of stillness. It helps.

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Up for a cup of Tea?

I am sitting enjoying a cup of Ginger Root tea with my brother as we plan the agenda for January and our featured blogs.  We can’t believe we are in a new year already and in National Hot Tea Month, January 2015.

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