Mindful Tea Practice Uses Senses to Calm

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This mindful tea practice engages the senses to help us anchor in the moment. Using our senses is a simple way slow down, notice and be present.

Tea rituals have been practiced for centuries using Matcha in Japan, Yerba Mate in South America, and Masala Chai in India. In this mindful practice, we encourage you to use your senses to experience each stage of your teatime, from choosing a tea to steeping it to letting it cool and finally, drinking it.

Materials

  • A favorite mug
  • A favorite tea. Try camomile or lavender for calming, ginger or peppermint for energizing
  • A tea kettle or microwave to heat the water
  • Honey, milk, cream or any other ingredients you might want to add to your tea

How to Make Your Tea

  • Clear a space on your counter or table for your mug, spoon and tea
  • Boil or warm the water
  • Place the tea in your mug and carefully pour the water over your tea
  • Allow the tea to steep as for as long as necessary for it to come to its full flavor

The Practice

  • Find a comfortable place to sit with your tea resting on a surface in front of you
  • Take deep breaths in with longer exhales while you allow the tea to cool. Notice the steam rising from the tea. Let your eyes follow the steam as it travels up.
  • When the tea is cool enough, place both palms on your mug and notice the warmth radiating into your hands 
  • Bring your hands to your heart and transfer the warm feeling into your body by breathing deeply for a few breaths. Feel the warm sensation
  • Before tasting the tea, bring your face over the mug and feel the steam as it passes over your face. How does this feel?
  • Inhale through your nose to sniff your tea. Notice the smell and whether or not it invites your taste buds to taste the tea. Does your mouth water? Do you feel urgency or resistance to tasting it? Just notice.
  • Take a sip! Use your tongue to hold the tea in your mouth for a moment. Allow there to be a beginning, middle and end to the taste experience.

The Science Behind the Smiles

Research has found that drinking tea lowers levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Drinking green tea appears to lower the risk of developing depression and dementia. Mindfully experiencing teatime through the fives senses is way to ground and calm, activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Sources

The Science of Tea’s Mood-Altering Magic (Nature)

What Your Nose Knows: Sense of Smell and Your Health (NIH)

How to Tap Into Your Five Senses to Find Peace and Be Present (Shape)