Have you ever meditated on matcha?
Meditation has been around for centuries — practiced by buddhist monks and now a common daily ritual for many successful entrepreneurs. With life often throwing us curveballs and leaving us juggling a lot of things at once, the idea of setting aside time for meditation can feel intimidating.
How matcha can help calm the monkey mind; perfectly priming you for meditation
Do you have trouble easing your mind and slowing down the pace of your racing brain when trying to meditate? One of the greatest challenges people often face when they begin a daily meditation practice is the distraction known as "monkey mind." That feeling characterized by racing thoughts, up and down emotions, and just a generally unfocused brain jumble. It can feel like the exact opposite of a relaxing experience.
Luckily, there are ways you help calm the monkey mind and tap into the spirit of meditation and mindfulness with more ease.
How Matcha & Mindfulness Go Together
Matcha tea naturally provides a combination of healthful compounds that promote tranquility yet focus — making it the perfect pairing to meditation. In fact, matcha and mindfulness have a long history together.
Matcha has been used by Buddhist monks dating back to the 9th century. Not only did the monks find consuming matcha tea to be energizing and help with their meditative experience, but they also considered the preparation of matcha to also be a calming and relaxing experience.
In the following post, we've laid-out five ways that matcha tea can help you meditate + we also put together a step-by-step guide on how you can use our organic matcha tea set to bring a little more zen into your life.
The surprising benefits of matcha for meditation – according to science.
- Healthy daily rituals prime the mind and body for meditation. Did you know that practicing healthy daily rituals, such as drinking matcha or making the bed every morning, can help improve your attention capacity? This means that drinking matcha daily and doing other daily rituals, no matter how brief, can make it easier to stay concentrated while meditating. (5) (9)
- Matcha gives you a natural energy boost. Matcha is a fantastic natural source of caffeine, but unlike coffee, it doesn't come with any of the jitters, crashes, or other downsides often associated with caffeine. Matcha caffeine is processed differently than the body compared to coffee or energy drinks. It helps you feel invigorated and energized, so you don't fall asleep while meditating.
- Matcha makes you feel more relaxed. Did you know that matcha lowers the body's natural stress response and alleviates anxiety? Studies have shown that your blood pressure decreases, and anxiety levels drop within a few minutes of taking your first sips of matcha, making it easier to maintain stillness while meditating. (1) (2) (8)
- It improves your overall mood + makes you less hard on yourself. Matcha owes its mood-boosting benefits to its unbelievably high concentration of l-theanine and flavonoids, which raises your brain's dopamine, GABA, and serotonin levels. When you first start meditating, you can be hard on yourself and upset that you can't sit still for longer than ten minutes at a time. Matcha can help you be more patient with yourself. (1) (5)
- Matcha allows you to focus and concentrate for a longer time. The large amounts of l-theanine found in matcha improve focus and concentration over a more extended time. So when you drink matcha before meditating, you are less likely to be distracted by other things like the construction noise outside your window. Plus, likely you'll be able to meditate for a long time after drinking matcha than without it. Give it a try ! (1) (5)
Did you know? Both meditation and matcha have been shown to help you get a better night's rest? So if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to consider switching from coffee to matcha as your caffeine source. (7)
More on the history of matcha and meditation
Matcha has numerous well-studied health benefits, though the specific history of matcha and meditation is a long one. (Of course, for you, we'll keep it brief)
Green tea ceremonies have roots that date back centuries into Chinese Buddhism. Still, it wasn't until Japan that matcha tea truly developed in harmony with the practice of Zen Buddhism and meditation.
Japanese zen monks first discovered matcha's value to mindfulness when they drank the vibrant green tea before long hours of meditation practice. The monks found that drinking matcha enhanced their ability to meditate and focus for hours on end.
Drinking matcha enhanced their focus and kept them awake during long meditation sessions. It wasn't long before the common Japanese people began regularly drinking matcha green tea in traditional tea ceremonies. (6)
The kinds of traditional tea ceremonies you see today.
Known as Sado in Japanese, a traditional matcha tea ceremony is a mindful way of preparing matcha. Sado, which literally means the way of tea, is a traditional Japanese ritual of moving meditation. Sado is about the practice of grace, being present, and showing respect through a series of exact movements. (6) (10)
The are two primary types of traditional Japanese tea rituals. One is called Chaji, which can last up to five hours and involves some meal or sweet treats. The second one is Chakai, a much simpler and shorter version that does not include a meal. (6)
A simple guide to using matcha in meditation at home | 8 Steps to creating a matcha tea ceremony
It's completely natural to feel a bit intimidated by meditating, but you don't have to be afraid of meditating – especially if you supplement your mindfulness practice with matcha green tea. That's why we've put together a simple eight-step guide to creating a matcha meditation ceremony with your spin on it.
Step 1: Take a few moments to focus on your breath. Breathe through your nose. Observe your inhales and exhales. Try to pick up on the different sensations you notice as you breathe. You can also try practicing Dr. Weil's 4-7-8 breathing technique.
Step 2: Then, thoughtfully open your eyes but keep your gaze soft as you layout your matcha and other supplies. This can be a bowl, whisk, electric frother, teapot, bowl, or any other accessories or ingredients you are adding to your matcha beverage.
Step 3: Delicately scoop your desired serving of matcha and place it carefully in your cup or bowl. You can do this by using a traditional matcha tea scoop, teaspoon, or small dry kitchen spoon. You can take a few moments to admire the bright, vivid green coloring and beauty. What emotion does the vibrant green make you feel?
Step 4: Once you've taken in the beautiful green powder, add a bit of water. Find your bamboo matcha whisk or electric frother, and stay in the present moment by focusing on finding a rhythm with your whisking. If your mind begins to wander while you are whisking, just come back to concentrate on your breath and take in the vibrant green matcha tea until it froths. Please take a moment to appreciate how it looks, inspecting the froth bubbles.
Step 5: Thoughtfully add any additional ingredients to your matcha tea– perhaps you are making an iced matcha latte with oat milk or like a little bit of maple syrup for sweetness. Please take a moment after adding each ingredient and think about how much energy, effort, and willpower it took for that ingredient to wind up in your kitchen.
Step 6: Take your first sip. Take a few moments to observe and enjoy as your matcha swishes around your mouth. Try and identify the different tastes and flavor tones your matcha evokes. Let images come to mind and pass. Then, if your mind wanders, come back to your breath and look at your beautifully prepared matcha tea.
Step 6: Give gratitude back to your matcha tea and those who produced it. Please take a few moments to consider all the people it took to bring you this one little cup of matcha tea that's now in the palm of your hands.
Step 7: Allow your gratitude and feeling of connection to wash over you physically. Close your eyes and take a moment to visualize your appreciation filling up from your toes all the way to the crown of your head.
Step 8: Do your best to be gentle, calm, and relaxed with yourself throughout the day. If you want to pursue a longer seated meditation practice, now is a great time to sit down and try and find some stillness.
What are the health benefits of practicing mindfulness?
So how long does it take to feel the benefits of mindfulness? It happens over time. Day by day, you will enjoy more and more of the benefits of practicing mindfulness through drinking matcha and meditation.
You may wake up one morning and take notice of this funny routine your neighbor has you hadn't stopped to notice before or check your smartwatch to see you've been sleeping better ever since you began the healthy ritual of drinking matcha and meditating.
Our favorite benefits of practicing mindfulness include better mental clarity, mental flexibility, self-control, objectivity, emotional intelligence, and stronger relationships. The more you meditate, the more likely be able to relate to others and your actions with more acceptance, compassion, and kindness. (3)
Just remember, when it feels like you have no time in the day to meditate or make a cup of matcha – that is all the more reason to slow down and do so. In the end, everything can be done better when relaxed. (11)
The bottom line - matcha and meditation go together.
It's a busy world we live in, but in your rush to cross your to-do list, you may be missing out on the present moment. Practicing mindfulness can help. (3)
Focusing on and finding mental tranquility can be difficult if you are new to meditation. Luckily, there are simple ways you can prime yourself before meditation - like drinking matcha tea! Studies have shown that matcha can help make meditating easier – especially if you are a beginner.
We encourage you to try having two servings of matcha within thirty minutes before you try meditating again. If you are an experienced matcha tea drinker or meditator, why not try hosting a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with a loved one at home?
There are dozens of ways to prepare matcha tea as a moving meditation.
We've even put together an easy 4-step tutorial on whisking up the perfect cup of traditionally prepared matcha. Like getting creative and being your barista? We also have many other matcha recipes you can try, like our refreshing matcha lemonade or the perfect matcha latte.Other articles you may like:
- Drinking matcha tea can reduce anxiety
- Drinking matcha for weight loss
- A healthier alternative to coffee
- Drinking matcha while pregnant
- How much matcha should I drink in a day?
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- Prasanth, M., Sivamaruthi, B., Chaiyasut, C., & Tencomnao, T. (2019). A Review of the Role of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) in Antiphotoaging, Stress Resistance, Neuroprotection, and Autophagy. Nutrients, 11(2), 474. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020474
- Rusch, H. L., Rosario, M., Levison, L. M., Olivera, A., Livingston, W. S., Wu, T., & Gill, J. M. (2018). The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1445(1), 5–16. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13996
- Sakurai, K., Shen, C., Ezaki, Y., Inamura, N., Fukushima, Y., Masuoka, N., & Hisatsune, T. (2020). Effects of Matcha Green Tea Powder on Cognitive Functions of Community-Dwelling Elderly Individuals. Nutrients, 12(12), 3639. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123639
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