summer greetings + teaching changes + my no-longer-secret chai recipe

Happy summer, y'all—

I've had a busy few months. In late spring, Blue Spirit Wheel toured the southwest, one of my favorite parts of the planet. We also released our 4th album, Planetary Alignment. And we're on the second round of CD pressing! You can download or stream it here:
http://bluespiritwheel.bandcamp.com

Then I had a very different creative project, as part of a structured improvisational production with Flight of Swallows, an Atlanta group of musicians and performers. We created Corona Borealis, which is a sonic and energetic journey through the chakras. My contribution was for the throat chakra—I did a vocal improv based on kecak (monkey chant).

The whole experience was wild, fun, and sometimes highly intimidating. In other words, exactly what my creative energy needs from time to time!

A photo from one of our rehearsals:

 photo credit: Stungun Photography at the Goat Farm Arts Center (I'm the one balancing on my hands.)

photo credit: Stungun Photography at the Goat Farm Arts Center
(I'm the one balancing on my hands.)

The teaching change is that I decided to stop teaching ongoing yoga classes in Atlanta—I travel too often for them to be sustainable.
BUT even though I'm not teaching ongoing classes anymore, there is still SO MUCH I want to share with students! My workshops offerings are listed on my website:
http://www.stephaniekohler.com/events/

Some of the workshops are asana-focused, whereas others are not. Most are appropriate for all levels.
In terms of multi-day/weekend workshops, you can think of the list as an a-la-carte menu, in that everything interrelates in some way. The idea is that you can customize a weekend's worth of teaching from me.

I'm ready to offer these anywhere people want to host them: yoga studios, private homes, community centers, you name it. One place already booked is the Lovelight Festival this August!
If you're in the Atlanta area and you and some friends want to have a gathering for just yourselves, that's an option as well.

[drumroll...]
Now, as promised, my famous-among-those-who've-tried-it chai recipe!
(Did you scroll down to read this first? Awesome. But please pretty please read the rest of the email at some point!)

Please note, there is a LOT of room for interpretation.

ingredients:
- milk and/or water
- loose tea (black or green)
- sweetener (dry or liquid)
- fresh ginger
- ground spices: cardamom, clove, cinnamon, black pepper (if you don't have it fresh, then also ground ginger)
- surprise ingredients: star anise, fennel (ground or whole)

the spice mix:
Take a small jar and fill it halfway with cardamom. Add a couple spoonfuls each of clove and cinnamon. Black pepper and ginger are pretty strong, so a little less of those. I add enough fennel and star anise to make a layer in the jar. (I only have access to whole star anise and fennel and I'm too lazy to grind them. I add the fennel as is, but I break it up the star anise.)
Once you've added everything, shake the jar. Let everything settle before you open it and sniff.

Here's what my jar looked like the last time I did this (before I shook it):

b8c2daf2-27bb-4091-bc39-07a2045b9f03.jpg

instructions:
- Mix whatever proportions you like of liquid into a pot. I use half non-dairy milk and half water.
- Grate however much fresh ginger you like into the liquid. I love ginger, so I'm heavy-handed with it. But if you're not sure, start with a little. It's pretty strong!
- Put pot on med-high heat on a stove.
- If you use dry sweetener, add it now. You can always add more later. If you use liquid sweetener, add it later.
- Add loose tea.
- Add spice mix you need. You don't need much per serving, about 2 teaspoons, give or take. Like the grated ginger, start with a little.
- Let the mixture reach a boil, then turn heat to low. Let it steep for a few minutes. Depending on the type of tea and how strongly you make it, the contents may become pretty dark. The longer it steeps, the stronger the tea will be.
- Strain it! If you use liquid sweetener, add it after straining.

Drink and hopefully enjoy! If not, adjust the proportions of tea, spices, and sweetener til you get it right. It's worth the work! Let me know how it goes...

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