Winter Ayurvedic grounding rituals often include warming soups, stews and drinks. Jenni Frank of Bhava Yoga in Breckenridge shares her incredible homemade chai recipe chock-full of livening spices and comforting additions to leave you feeling supported this season.
- 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cup organic whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 tsp assam black tea (depending on how strong)
- Pinch of cardamom
- Honey or coconut sugar to sweeten*
*According to Ayurvedic wisdom, honey can become toxic when boiled, so make sure to add the honey after your chai cools a bit.
- Combine water and ginger and boil until fragrant.
- Add milk and tea; bring to another boil.
- Add cardamom and boil once more.
- Strain through a wire mesh sieve.
- Sweeten as desired and enjoy!
You can also add additional spices like cinnamon, clove, turmeric and/or star anise during step 3. While this recipe is best with cow’s milk, if you do not consume dairy, you can substitute alternative milk. Beware that alternative milks already have a lot of water in them, so you may want to lessen the amount of water and increase the amount of milk.
How it Works
In Ayurveda, different spices have different healing properties, depending on your constitution, or dosha. The doshas correlate to the seasons. In general, fall and winter are classified as vata dosha, meaning there’s an excess of air and space elements present in nature. This can lead to drier skin and potential dry digestion or constipation. In the mind, vata will manifest as worry, concern and anxiety.
“In Ayurveda, we use the principle of opposites to bring balance. The best balance to cold and dry is warm and moist, like a yummy cup of chai,” says Frank. “It truly is the perfect antidote to vata season.”
Learn more about Ayurveda at jennifrank.com
Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2020-21 issue of CO YOGA + Life® Magazine.