Yoga is like a chai tea with my husband on the weekend. Every time created and experienced differently. Sometimes it is truly a hug from the inside out. A cherished moment when everything feels just right. The balance of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and black pepper and just the right amount of black tea. The perfect weather and the tea served at just the right temperature to create that special moment to share. So delicious. Some days it’s rushed with so much to do, so little time. More like a job I know I need to check off my list to step forward in the day. When approached whilst thinking about those thousands of things, the chai never tastes nor is experienced in the same way. When approached with gentle care and love, I can feel it spreading warmth across my entire body and soothing the soul.

Over time I have learnt a relationship with yoga can be quite the same. An important ritual but different every time practiced. Some days an effort and some days opening for the heart. Sometimes the feeling of perfect balance but other times, tandasana is even a challenge. It may be approached with different mindsets and as a result you may either soar or feel fear in all directions. If acknowledged and aware, this is all still yoga and all okay.

Just like my chai isn’t always “perfect” and is never the same, yoga and chai will always be an important part of who I am now and what I want to share with others.

The not so perfect chai recipe (as taught by Mahesh- Indore, India)

For two to share

  • 2 tsp good quality black tea leaves
  • 4 cardomon pods
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 thin slices of ginger
  • A pinch of pepper and cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups water

Place all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove and slowly bring to the boil. Once boiled, allow to simmer for a further 2 minutes. Strain spices from liquid by either using a sieve or by pouring into a coffee plunger. Share into 2 of your favourite mugs or cups. Breathe in the aromas deeply and feel completely relaxed. Sweeten if desired with your preferred sweetener. In India, it’s always served super sweet using jaggery and in very small terracotta cups.

Optional play time: Try adding a broken vanilla bean, a little more or less ginger, rose water or make it caffeine free by using dandelion tea.

~ By Adrienne Niven ~Chai