You’re probably thinking: why am I reading this? I know how to breathe, I do it everyday and don’t even think about it, it’s not even conscious. Hold up. That, right there is the problem. “It’s not even conscious”. Without delving wildly into the minefield that is the mindfulness taboo (don’t be scared, it really is very easy) we are here to teach you about breathing. Consciously.
Try it now. Breathe normally. How does that feel? You tried a bit harder didn’t you. Now this time, really think about sucking the air into your lungs. Better? Breathing properly helps with sleep, digestion, energy, sport, your heart, nervous system and your brain. So all the good bits!
Types of breathing:
Ujjayi Breathing: Uijayi breathe activates the first and second chakras, and used regularly in yoga practise. It has also been referred to as the ‘ocean breathe’. It’s a diaphragmatic breathe that fills the lower stomach, then flows up to the rib cage and ends in the upper throat. Inhale & exhale both through the nose, whilst making a constricted sound in the throat (imagine your breathing onto a mirror to steam it) Measure the breathes equally in time to suite your rhythm, so as not to cause stress to the body or mind. Ujjayi breathe activates the first and second chakras.
Deep hold breathing:
Find a place where you can preferably sit or lie silently to 5-20 minutes for maximum results.
- 1. Inhale, to the count of 5
- 2. Hold breath, to the count of 7
- 3. Exhale, to the count of 9
Repeat 10 times until you feel a sense of deep relaxation.
- Find a comfortable meditative pose.
- Hold one hand on your chest and one the other placed on your stomach.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and feel your diaphragm expand, drawing in air and inflating your lungs. Your chest should not be rising.
- Take 10 deep, calming breaths a day to notice restoration in your sense of wellbeing.
In order to breathe mindfully you need to attempt to begin tuning into your body natural rhythm, this may be hard at first, but eventually should be calming and not feel forced or stressful on the lungs or diaphragm. The aim is to not be practising shallow breathing, which has been linked to anxiety. All natural forces have rhythm, become one!
Congratulations. You can now breathe your way into good health.
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
― Sylvia Plath,
Have you met your matcha yet?
It’s February 2018. Times are hard. Beards can hide all manner of sins and women are busy being women. It can feel utterly impossible to seek out your matcha made in heaven.
No-one knows if love is down too tinder algorithms, matcha-matics, or doing your best matcha-rena in the bar on Saturday nights. Finding the one is not easy.
But what if you had to look no further? This Valentines day, (no offence St. Valentino), we are practising the art of self adoration. You don’t have to be single to get on board with this. Singletons, married, or still finding your feet- you’re all welcome to try. Wear your best top, light the expensive candle, and use the bath bomb you’re saving for a ‘special occasion’.
You are the special occasion & today is the special day. Life is far too short to not find yourself attractive. The more attractive you find yourself, the more confidence you will radiate. Fact.
All that really matters, is that you love yourself very matcha. Everyday. Treat yourself frequently, and invest in your body. A great way to do this is to start drinking matcha green tea regularly as it is packed full of amino acids, dopamine & L-theanine that makes you feel gooey, wonderful & full of love.
Words of advice on self love:
- BEAUTY. When you look in the mirror, however often this may be, SMILE. It might make you laugh, but thats a good thing! Study have shown that individuals who smile are instantly more attractive.Think about the super-sonically smiley person who you know, aren’t they wonderful?
- BOSSING IT. Believe, boss, behave. To love yourself, you have to believe there’s a reason to. Write a list of 5 things you like about yourself, this is very hard in a world where self promotion is frowned upon. You can throw away the list (or burn it) after. But, starting your internal computer to look at the positives in yourself is a step in the right direction. Bossing it, male or female, job or hobby, make sure you’re bossing it. Feel like you’re doing your best, and trying 100% will boost your confidence and radiate through to others leaving colleagues and friends thinking; “Wow, isn’t he/she extraordinary today.” Behave? This ones hard. We’re referring to behaving in the non-literal sense, like, doing positive things and activities, e.g., dancing, singing, learning a new skill, helping a friend move in, instead of negatives activities, eg. Drinking, smoking, not tidying, talking behind peoples backs. If you feel like you’re doing positive things, and speaking about others positively, you will be oozingingly in love with yourself. <—- This is the best thing you can do for yourself.
- FAMILY. Embrace and think mindfully about where you come from, and what make you, you. Noting down all the aspects of ‘self’ is a useful tip when thinking about who you are and where you come from. Example: Student? Teacher? Mother? Sister? Intern? Yoga lover? Cat obsessed? Workaholic? Artists?
- OTHERS. Caring for others, and showing strangers attention, and loved ones affection is certain to boost your mood too! Join us, the positivi-tea brand, and spread the love today. Make someone else day, to make yours.
That’s quite enough matcha puns for now. Bamboo whisk yourself off your own feet! 🍵
#Selflove #Matcha #Galentinesday #Valentinesday
Happy pancake day!
We’ve entered the pancake pandemonium stage here at the matcha headquarters. We spent the morning creating these sultry little beauties for a more health conscious pancake day.
Pancakes – 100g Spelt Flour, 1 Free Range Egg, Oat Milk, 2 Tbs Baking Powder
2 x Tsp Organic OMGTEA Matcha Powder
Organic Pro-biotic Yogurt
Fruit syrup (If you’re feeling a bit more indulgent)
Whisk the eggs, spelt flour, oat milk & baking powder in a bowl until mixed
Pour some coconut oil in a pan and heat
Pour the mixture into the pan to create light fluffy pancakes and flip your way to a healthy shrove Tuesday!
Pre-mix the organic matcha and yogurt and mix until the vibrant green is revealed
Pour the yogurt over the pancakes
Add blueberries (we used these because they’re full of antioxidants) or any other fruit you might fancy
Finish, with a sprinkle of matcha powder through a tea strainer
Open your favourite book & enjoy.
TIPS TO AVOID SUGAR CRASHES & BINGES:
Feeling sick after gorging yourself with an abundance of sugar, milk, eggs and lets be honest, chocolate spread after pancake day? Us too. It’s time to change our ways!
It can feel impossible to dodge the sugar bullet train that is the 21st century. Everything is laden with preservatives, sugar, chemical, MSG, colouring and flavourings and who knows what else. How are we supposed to avoid it? We’ve got some smashing tips for you lovely matchaholics to test out:
- HYDRATE. water. water. water. Hankering for a doughnut? Down a pint of water, it will calm your taste buds, and distract the cravings in your stomach, as well as naturally hydrating you, which is likely to reduce your cravings for food substances as 9/10 us tricky human beings are more thirsty than we are particularly hungry, our brains sometimes get confused.
- CUPBOARD CONTROL. If its not in the house, chances are, you won’t be bothered to actually put your shoes on, change out of your onesie and face the shame of making an unsolicited trip to the off licence to buy a bar of chocolate.
- STARRY EYED. Star jumps, squats, sit ups, running up the stairs 3 times. Kick starting your metabolism. You can’t be peckish when you’re exercising, it just happens after you stop. Maybe
- SECOND GUESSING. Ask yourself? Be honest, shamefully honest. Do you really want to eat it? Is it going to do anything good for your body? What nutrients is it giving you? The answer is probably always nothing.
- MAKE IT UP WITH A MATCHA. Matcha helps boost metabolism, shift excess pounds, break down foods, and ease weight loss efforts. As long as you are enjoying a varied and balanced lifestyle & diet, you’re doing great. Its impossible to eat and exercise well 100% of the time. Aim for an 80% success rate with eating well. The occasional choppy binge won’t harm your arteries or instantly make you gain weight.We’re not saying don’t eat sugary snacks every so often, after all, there’s nothing better for the soul than light indulgence with friends and laughter. So laugh on, nourish your body, and get whisking.
A message from our Founder, Katherine Swift:
Ethan Blackmore is my nephew, he was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which is a congenital defect that meant the left side of his heart did not form properly in the womb. At 3 months old, he had already had 2 heart surgeries; Leanda and Chad his mum and dad lived in a unit at the hospital in Melbourne until Ethan was ready to come home. Up until 2015, Ethan has had 6 heart surgeries and thankfully since he has not had anymore.
He is the most inspirational little boy in the world to me, the way he has dealt with each step of his condition has been truly extraordinary. I feel truly privileged to be his aunty. However, it is only a matter of time before Ethan’s heart will not be able to cope with the pressure.
Ethan is now living his life to the fullest doing things no-one ever expected him to do, swimming, playing cricket and all the things a 10-year-old boy should be doing and he’s sharing all this with his two younger sisters and his cousins. Ethan has regular check-ups and since his latest surgery, he is impressing doctors with his progress.
However, Ethan will have to have a heart transplant. At this stage, we do not know when, but it will be during his childhood.
To help children like Ethan please text WEAR18 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 and wear red today.
#WearReadDay #heartdisease #ExtraordinaryMe
He is the most inspirational little boy in the world to me, the way he has dealt with each step of his condition has been truly extraordinary. I feel truly privileged to be his aunty.
Daily Victories – Yoga Poses to Tackle Seasonal Stress
Calling athletes, action seekers, adventure reachers, sofa dwellers, and Saturday morning walkers. We have decided to share with you our favourite yoga poses to tackle seasonal stress. It is important during the colder, busier, more frantic months to keep active, and keep your heart young. Practising yoga is a wholesome and healthy way to do this. You don’t have to be incredibly fit or flexible to carry out the ones listed below. They will help you reduce stress and anxiety and open up the air channels.
Garudasana Pose – Eagle
This pose requires a high level of concentration and balance. Focusing on keeping your balance and not falling over will totally distract your mind from whatever was going on beforehand. Pick a non-moving point in front of you to focus on. The movement loosens up hip and shoulder tension. For a real tension buster, try and move your arms as far away from your face as possible. Tightness in the shoulders is a big tell-tale sign for emotional stresses, notice when this happens and stretch your shoulders and neck as often as you can. Remember to switch legs to feel the twist and reflection on both sides of the body.
Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend
Uttanasana is superb for silencing a loud thought parade, centre your nervous system and spinal chord and even induce calm, free feelings The sacral chakra is utterly balanced in this posture which can lead to excessive emotional feelings and mood swings when its overstimulated. Although its a simple pose, it can feel almost childlike, simply allow yourselves to hang there and maybe sway side to side if it feels right. Remember your hands don’t have to touch your feet or the floor. Hold onto your elbows if you can’t get low enough and let your head hang – leaving zero tension in the neck. Never push your body to pain when practising yoga. Remember to breathe.
Adho mukha śvānāsana – Downward Dog
You’re essentially trying to turn your body into an upside down V- shape. Tilt your hips towards the ceiling and look up your thighs and as high toward your belly button as possible. Downward dog stretches the entire back line of the body and opens your shoulders. The motion of hanging your head upside down forces the blood to rush to your head and increases endorphins into the brain and aids in detoxification. Lastly, your lowered gaze in this pose centres you with the earth, unleashing a more spiritual and measured way of thinking.
It is important to remember not to feel competitive when it comes to yoga. All our bodies are different, our limitations are different, your arms may be longer than the lady in the splits at the front of the class, or your hips might be more flexible than the gentleman to your right struggling with his downward dog. Yoga makes you feel extraordinary. Embrace that feeling with the people around you.
The OMGTea Team x
Serenity. Bliss. Pleasure. Calm. Composure. Patience. Tranquility. Mindfulness.
Have you found it yet?
What about now?
Did you ever really have it?
Or maybe, it is transiently lost.
Mindfulness has become a battlefield. There are apps, there are books, there are websites, there are even instructor led mindfulness classes. Mindful is an overarching term for being utterly self aware and in some ways, emotional mature and responsible. Practising mindfulness has been found to reduce stress, relieve symptoms of anxiety and triggers your inner computer so you are more likely to complete tasks and reach your goals. Here at OMGTea we want to share our natural calming mindfulness tips with you:
- TIP #1
Doodle, colour or draw. Getting creative releases endorphins and turns those childhood brain cogs that used to draw magnificent castles and dragons. Unleash your inner child and put pen to paper again. Most stationary shops sell adult colouring books, so you don’t need to feel quite so childish.
- TIP #2
Stand up, put your shoes on, (and hopefully your coat) and step outdoors. The outdoor world in which we live in has been subject to much unwarranted negativity since the arrival of 9-5 jobs, bustling cities and stressful lives. “I have to go out”, “I’ve been out all day”, “I had to leave the house at 7am.” The syntax used to describe our beautiful, natural, utterly stress dispersing earth is almost totally negative. You may have been away from your house all day, at the office, on the train, in the shops. But ask yourself this: Have I spent more than an hour outside today? If the answer is no. Take the dog, or a bike, or just your feet and an iPod and go and look around outside where you live. This technique works for city dwellers and country bumpkins alike. Walk, cycle, mosey, browse, wander, watch the sunset in a field and discover the benefits of your newly free mind.
- TIP #3
Outward not inward. When will I get paid? What is my husband getting me for Christmas this year? Have I lost weight? I need to get that new conditioner, my hair is a state.
Pause. Change the ‘me, me, me’. Doesn’t Sally look fabulous this year, maybe I’ll go round and help her with her makeup before her date? He/she has had trouble with her washing machine lately, shall I ask him/her for a laundry date in town? I hope my husband knows how much I loved my present last year. I hope the cashier has a lovely day.
When we start to adapt our thought patterns to positive and helpful notions about other people, it stops our mind from worrying about ourselves and our overwhelming problems. This being said, if you are struggling with a persistent problem in your life, a problem shared is a problem halved. Talk to your loved ones about them and you in equal measure. They will appreciate the extra attention, especially during Christmas.
- TIP #4
Brew it. The art of creating cup of tea is a ceremonious practice in many cultures around the world. Settle into the practice and focus on each step. What colour is the teabag? What does the powder smell like? (We’re hoping clean and green…) What colour is the steam of the kettle? What noise does the kettle make when it hits 100C? How does the porcelain feels against the skin of your lips? What flavours can you taste? Sweet, floral, earthy, savoury? Wether its Matcha, English Breakfast, herbal or even coffee. Do it slow and reap the benefits. Trust us.
- TIP #5
Breathe in. Breathe out. Our breathing can quicken and stifle when we experience panic and worry. This feeling constitutes as the air coming up from our upper lungs instead of our lower lungs and can leave us feeling dizzy, sick and short of breathe. Your muscles tense up, your heart rate quickens, and your blood pressure is heightened. Not ideal. But the good news is, we can switch this up and stop it happening so often.
The 478 breathing technique makes it simple:
- Start by making a loud sound when exhale completely through your mouth.
- Inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Then hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth to the count of eight.
There you go. Even if you can’t tackle all of them, if they seem overwhelming or if you simply do one, you are already on your way to a freer mind and a reduced stress level to strut into the new year with.
Got any tips? Send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org and have your say on mindfulness with the hashtag #GratefulMe to remind us to be Grateful for the little things everyday.
Disclaimer: We must remind our lovely readers that we are not qualified medical professionals but it doesn’t take a medical degree to prescribe the notion of positive thought. Practise at your own risk.
Ladies Who Launch!
We are so excited to have been featured in Prima Magazines November issue! The article celebrated business women who’s companies are ethical, and help others, and contribute to the British economy. Katherine Swift has been recognised as one of these inspiring women. You can read a sneak peak of the article here. Buy Prima magazine in store today! Thank you to Prima.co.uk x
Love, The OMGTEA Team x