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Health & Beauty

Yoga Break 9: Out Like a Lion

“March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.”

Considering that America’s favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow in February, this means that we just survived a heck of a lion: six extra weeks of wintry freeze.

It probably made you want to curl up into a ball and hibernate for the rest of the season. March is one of those months that tends to drag, and drag, and eeeeever so slowly transition into Spring. For students, midterms are fast approaching, and for the rest of us — taxes.

None of this is fun.

It’s at this time of the year that we must say, “Screw it,” and stick our tongues out at the melancholy of the world.

That’s why we’re pairing Lion Pose with Matcha Mocha.

This is functional physiology now. Serious business. Lion Pose stimulates your respiratory system for better breathing—especially on the “roar” part of the breath. Better breathing means your body will be able to process oxygen more efficiently, which it needs to carry out the necessary functions of your body, ie: metabolism.

Now, matcha is known for already boosting your metabolism. Combined with your Lion-enhanced circulation, and an extra kick of caffeine from the blended coffee—

Exactly.

So, forget lambs. We’re sending March out like lions!

March is no match for your Matcha.

Step 1: Prep the tea. Unlike previous Yoga Breaks, we’re working with a new set of utensils: the whisk, which joins your veteran teaspoon, hot water, and cup. Measure out carefully how much matcha you want for this particular instant—too much and you’ll be flying off the walls from caffeine. Less is more. If you get into the habit of being patient with your matcha portions, you’ll be well equipped to turn this into a pick-me-up at any time of day.

Note: If you’re caffeine sensitive, then this pose may be paired with Honeybush Apricot, for a lion’s mane of marigold petals.

Start with a third of a teaspoon of matcha. When the water is not-quite-boiling, pour it into the cup and whisk it to life. If you’ve never done matcha before, then that’s fine. Dig your lion claws into the ground and get ready with Adagio’s videos on how to master matcha prep.

Step 2: Take the tea and settle onto your mat, heels tucked against your haunches in preparatory Hero Pose. Support your chest—you are a hero, live with it. Sip.

What, we’re going straight to sipping? Doesn’t that usually come at the end of the Yoga Break?

Not for Lion Pose.

Your job, in this moment, is enjoy your tea. Taste every molecule on your tongue. Do you sense the bitterness of the coffee, the sweetness of the Uji-grown matcha? (There’s a fine difference between the regions where they grow green tea in Japan. Compare this sensation to the heartiness of a Shizuoka Sencha and you’ll know what I mean.) You can’t wake up your oral organs if you don’t know how to listen to them in the first place.

Step 3: Place the tea beside you and breathe deeply, as many repetitions as it takes to feel the energy traveling through your system. Drop the tongue.

That’s right.

Let it all hang out.

Step 4: Breathe. Roar quietly. Repeat until you conquer the world.

Peace and cheers.