Written by the wonderful Victoria Adams, a yoga teacher and health coach.
I am not a big coffee drinker. I only ever remember to drink the herbal tea I’d made by the time it’s gone cold. For most of my adult life, I’ve stuck to water, freshly-extracted juice and - in my broker days - wodkaor wine. But then there was OMGTea: the Matcha that tastes amazing and has improved my health and happiness tenfold. It has been good enough for Zen Buddhist Monks for over 800 years, and fancy enough to grace the drinks menus of countless coffee shops and even cocktail bars. Drinking Matcha will mirror the benefits your Yoga practice offers, as well as enhance them. Here’s why I am drinking it, and how OMGTea has shown me how to love Matcha...
How Matcha will help you if you’re stressed and overworked
My former job left me wired enough from stress. I didn’t need coffee to give me that get up and go in the mornings; my adrenal glands were already pumping out adrenaline and cortisol on overdrive. I stayed away from caffeine and other stimulants as much as possible because they stress the adrenal glands and used yoga and meditation to ground me. This is where Matcha comes in - it is fantastic to drink for those who are over-stressed, tired, and quite likely adrenally-fatigued.
How Matcha can enhance your Meditation and Yoga practice
Buddhist Monks drank Matcha because it actually enhanced meditation, allowing them to relax the mind but remain energised. It offers the body a boost of energy without jitters, anxiety or that inevitable crash - call it a "clean pick-me-up” if you wish. It does not cause disruption to my stress hormones or the mind chatter that I am working to quieten during yoga practice.
I’ve noticed a huge difference since incorporating good-quality Matcha into my own diet and wellness menus on the retreats I run. My sleep has improved and the way I practice yoga has changed. I relax more quickly in both body and mind, my entire practice feels more grounded and even my flexibility has improved.
Guests who have enjoyed Matcha on the retreats are reporting: “I now have a delicious ritual where I drink Matcha before practice - I am practising more frequently and enjoying it even more”
Katherine Swift, OMGTea's founder calls it “liquid meditation”. Why does Matcha aid meditation and yoga? Read on…
The Science behind Matcha’s benefits on Stress and the Nervous System
The components in Matcha work synergistically with the small amount of caffeine it contains to reduce physiological and psychological stresses. Matcha is rich in the amino acid L-Theanine. It boosts alpha brain waves to promote a more alert state of relaxation, which keeps you calm, focused, and energised for hours. L-Theanine enhances yoga and meditation because it creates an effect similar to that which meditation itself can produce - calming the nervous system (rather than over-stimulating it, like caffeine does) and regulating our blood sugar levels - good enough for Tibetan monks and modern-day yogis alike.
So, in a nutshell, whether you are practising yoga or meditation, working like a Trojan or go fishing at the weekends, your body and mind will be more grounded and better able to handle whatever is thrown your way, with more ease and efficiency. Enlightenment and levitation have not yet been scientifically proven, but watch this space ;)
Yoga Asana for Busy People
There are a few very simple postures you can enjoy at home to either calm or energise you. Give these a go:
Supported Supta Buddha Konasana- this is a gentle hip opener that relieves stress and is a fantastic posture to help reconnect to your breath. Also helps relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause.
Urdhva Dhanurasana- backbends are energising for your body and can also lift your mood!
CRIB SHEET - How Matcha mirrors the benefits of Meditation and Yoga Promotes a new state of mind as L-Theanine boosts alpha-wave production.Promotes a new state of mind as L-Theanine boosts alpha-wave production.
- Promotes a new state of mind as L-Theanine boosts alpha-wave production.
- Energises and reinvigorates without over-stimulating the adrenals
- Calms and relaxes, promoting the efficiency of thoughts and a more alert mental state.
- Relaxes muscles and helps burn fat thanks to its high antioxidant content.
Looking for something healthy but sweet to complement your next cuppa? Instagram @victoriaadams