Time to spill the tea on Jay Shetty‘s new lifestyle beverage brand, Sama! The former monk, podcast host and NY Times best-selling author founded Sama with his wife, Radhi Devlukia-Shetty with the goal to help people find moments of stillness and inner peace.

Each tea is filled with time-tested ingredients, methods, and ancient rituals inspired by Jay’s time as a monk, revamped to help you take on the modern world. All of the teas are adaptogenic, meaning they’re functional, made with all-natural ingredients and no artificial sweeteners. And they’re biodegradable, so Sama is good for you and the environment.

Whether you’re looking to relax, focus or get energized, this tea line offers something for everyone.

In an exclusive interview with Thrive Global, Shetty talks about his new functional tea line and offers practical self-care tips.

What inspired you to launch Sama? 

Our intention with Sama is to create opportunities for our community to find moments of presence, calm and stillness throughout the day. My parents are both immigrants and worked extremely hard when I was growing up. My mother would pick me up from school and when we would get home we would sit down and have a cup of tea together. We would talk about my day and what I learned. My mum would then often have client meetings in the evening as well. Even though my parents didn’t have a lot of time, I always felt their presence and their energy. To me, tea-time became a time of presence and love. 

What do you believe sets it apart from other tea brands?

For Radhi and I, Sama is more than just a tea brand, it’s a community. We believe that by simply taking the time to be fully present, you can transform ordinary daily rituals into purposeful moments that lead to stronger connections. Before Sama, we were always looking for functional teas that not only tasted good, but made you feel good too. When we couldn’t find any, we were inspired to create our own tea brand! All of Sama’s Ayurveda-inspired teas are packed with premium botanicals and adaptogens that help balance your mind, body, and heart. Our purposeful blends are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free and made without artificial sweeteners or added sugar. We’ve also set our own direct trade standards to ensure that our farmers are paid above standard and are inspired to grow the highest quality of sustainable ingredients. 

Is drinking tea part of your daily routine? If so, how do you feel it impacts your mental and physical health?

When Radhi and I first moved in together 5 years ago, we set a routine where we begin each day with a cup of tea before we meditate. We believe that taking this moment to be present each morning helps us to feel more balanced and allows us to better connect with ourselves, ultimately leading to stronger relationships and connections with our friends and family. Recently, we’ve loved sharing a cup of Sama’s Protect & Support Jasmine Peach blend in our morning routine. Because each of Sama’s teas use adaptogens to make them functional, I have found myself drinking specific blends at certain times in my day depending on if I feel like I need to clear some mental fog, or need a boost of energy, or even just some help winding down after a crazy day. Needless to say, I keep finding Sama sachets stashed everywhere in my house, office, and car!

Sama’s on a mission to help fill your day with moments of purpose, presence, and play. What are practical tips we can use in our everyday lives to connect to the present and find inner peace?

I advise everyone to start a meditation practice. One of the most common misunderstandings about meditation is that it’s all about solitude or tranquility. However, I believe that meditation can be completely different for each person – a morning walk or an evening bath or an afternoon stretch. One practice I have been loving recently is called “box breathing.” To do it, you find a comfortable seated position in your home that feels safe and soothing to you. Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four and breathe out for a count of four and continue this cycle for a few minutes. Most of our stress and anxiety comes when our body and breath aren’t in balance and this does a great job at bringing both back together. Beyond this, even just a few minutes a day of being offline and listening to your body, mind, and heart can help you feel a bit more balanced. I even find that the time spent steeping and drinking a cup of tea can be enough as long as I am truly focusing on being present in that moment.

Along with incorporating more tea in your diet, are there certain self-care habits you’ve developed that have made a difference in your life?

I always tell my clients to take a step back and pause. In this crazy fast-paced, modern world, it can feel like we always need to be online and on the go. The most important self-care habit in my life has been creating a daily routine. Each morning I start with a cup of tea, a morning meditation, and set an intention for what I want to accomplish. I use the acronym, TIME, to help me create a routine throughout the day with T standing for thankfulness, I for insight, M for mediation and E for exercise. By making sure I follow a routine I not only feel accomplished at the end of the day, but that I have a specific purpose with everything I do. In addition, Radhi and I practice “technology-free time” where neither of us use our phones. This helps us make sure we are fully present in important moments.