Yoga Break 3: Lapsang Souchong & Power Planking

By Natasha Nesic


As promised in Yoga Break 2: Downward Dog, now's the time to get planking.

Planking--holding oneself in a straight position on the ground, like you're a bodyblock of wood--was once such a huge fad that it generated its own Wiki page.

However, the original plank is a functional movement. Superfreaking functional. It's the base for any straight-body exercise that requires deep abdominal engagement: pushups, pullups--even burpees! Think of yourself as a house, and the Plank as the key element to creating tall, strong beams (muscles) that support your inner structure (skeleton).... Read more >

Summer Tea Fun for Kids

By Heather Edwards


Want some new and exciting ways to keep the kids occupied this summer? Think tea! Here are a few ways that teas and tisanes can infuse their summer fun.

Budding actors in the family?

Stage a condensed version of "Alice in Wonderland Tea" with a tea-party intermission. This is great for children older than eight to produce, with roles for any age to play. Let each child choose a role, and have a "narrator" for the story in between dialog. Add a director who can arrange the "seating," a costumer who can make or borrow hats and aprons and other ideas for costumes, and a set designer... Read more >

Tea-Based Cocktails for Summer Barbecues

By Sara Shacket


As the temperatures climb, it's time to fire up the barbecue for outdoor gatherings. Whether you are having 2 or 20 people over for a summer get-together, don't forget to add in a few tea cocktails for a festive and refreshing way to enhance your summertime fun.

Pimm's Iced Tea Cup

One of my all-time favorite cocktails is a Pimm's Cup. This summer staple uses Pimm's No. 1 Cup, a British liqueur created in the mid-1800s by James Pimm, who marketed his namesake herbaceous elixir as a health tonic. This gin-based liqueur grew wildly popular in the UK, and the cocktail is still popular... Read more >

The Benefits of Tea: Pleasure AND Health

By Heather Edwards


The pleasures of tea are immediate, satisfying, and unusual. What other drink stimulates the brain while it relaxes the body? What other beverage offers such a wide range of flavor, fragrance, and delicious taste for the palate to enjoy? These are reasons enough to drink tea on a regular basis, but is it good for our health?

The answer is pretty much yes, and in a few cases, maybe no.

Modest quantities of true tea (Camellia sinensis) are indeed healthful for most people. Drinking anywhere from one to four small cups (4 oz.) of tea per day is an ideal way to keep our minds alert... Read more >

Reading Tea Leaves: An Ancient Art Form

By Samantha Albala


Tea leaf reading is a tradition that likely began soon after the discovery of tea by Chinese Emperor Shen Nun in 2737 BC. Once a cup of tea is enjoyed, a ritual is performed involving tapping into the subconscious and letting the tea leaves left at the bottom of the cup tell a story about the tea drinker's present life and upcoming future. It is speculated that before the discovery of tea, Chinese monks analyzed the designs and cracks that formed on the inside of bells for similar purposes.

One origin story suggests that after sharing a pot of tea, a group of friends discussed their... Read more >