Why I am studying the way of tea...

I have developed an interest in tea more recently. The rituals involving tea are longstanding and stretch around the entire globe across many cultures. As a person who studies human sciences particularly in terms of health and wellbeing, I was drawn to the art of tea and how it plays out in human behaviour, interactions, connections and wellbeing.

During my search for information about the way of tea I have attended talks by authors who have lectured and written extensively about tea and the health benefits that are said to be experienced. As well as the spiritual connection that the practice of tea preperation, drinking and meditation can encourage amongst many of us and support a sense of calm and gaining clarity. I have been fortunate to visit Japan and practice a tea ceremony and learn the intricacies of the way tea should be served and how tea gatherings should be conducted. This was an incredible experience in the Asakusa region of Tokyo and was led in a private class with a 1st degree chado instructor. Experiencing such an intimate and indepth step by step instruction of a tea ceremony is something that has excited my interest in tea further and encouraged me to keep learning. I am also a member of the tea book club which is led by tea specialist Kyle Whittington (www.kyle-whittington.com) who is a Chanoyu practitioner of the Ueda Soko Ryu. He is not only passionate about tea, but works hard to share his knowledge of tea and connect tea lovers across the globe.

I learned so much from these experiences and I am aware that there is so much more to learn. What interests me in just observing those who are well practised in making tea are the graceful pauses that are made throughout the procedure and the space that is given to be with the breath and in the moment. It doesn't feel disimilar to the true practice of yoga and has had me intrigued by the potential mind-body benefits of this practice. Something for me to delve into further!

I look forward to learning more about the way of tea and to share this knowledge with others. I have been so fortunate to practice and share yoga and am so mindful of the benefits it can offer not only to mylself, but others who join in its practice and I am sure that the way of tea has a similar gift to offer that I am excited to explore.

I look forward to sharing tea with you!