Getting up before dawn is not something I do naturally. Before I started practicing yoga, I used to love seeing the sunrise after a night out partying. In fact, the first time I joined a 7am yoga class, I had actually stayed up all night before. Left to my own devices, I'd wake up later and later each day. Bad luck to be an Ashtanga Yoga practitioner and teacher!
Whenever I get the chance to study with my teacher, R. Sharath Jois, in Mysore, I find myself getting up long before the sunrise. It’s never easy. This year I was assigned a 4:30am start time.
At this early hour, while the mind is calm and the physical practice gives way to the spiritual practice, it's very hard for me to wake up. The solution? Homemade vegan chai!
I like my chai strong and spicy, so be warned if you follow this recipe. If you drink coffee, you probably won’t be too shocked by the caffeine. If you’re used to a Starbucks chai or a little bag of tea, however, this will feel like rocket fuel. (Perfect for waking up at the crack of dawn!)
Makes 4 large servings or 8 small servings