Chef Yoga: The Power of a 10-Minute Daily Practice

The following is an excerpt from a collaborative book project I had the opportunity to be part of called, "Practice: Wisdom from the Downward Dog." Copies of the book are available for sale and can be signed upon request! Message for details!


Five more minutes...


I’m practically staring at the clock as I move through the kitchen, waiting for the back door to open.


Five more minutes until my prep chef comes in, and then I can take a break from prepping produce from the farm for our house-made veggie burgers. The seasonal veggie burger has been selling out every other day—which is so great—but also means more production for me and my team.


I really shouldn’t take a break today. I’m running behind on my prep list and there is still so much to do. It’s already well after lunch...


But if I don’t take this ten-minute yoga pause, I’ll be running behind in my self-care. And I’ve learned, the hard way of course, that even ten blissful minutes of self-care makes all the difference in the world for me. This daily ritual, much like my morning ritual, has become non-negotiable. But it wasn’t always like that.


____________


It’s October and the fall harvest is abundant and strong. We’ve been so busy this month opening the cafe and are working long hours, but we hardly notice. We are having so much fun getting to know each other and meeting our new customers. We knew the first few months of business would be filled with long days and tests of patience, so we made a commitment as a team to prioritize our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. A pact to check-in with each other and put our health first so we can be 100 percent invested in our mission to bring delicious plant-based food to our community.


When I feel energized and mentally clear, my body feels strong and capable. I could start the work day with a full battery, physically and mentally, but as the day went on my body started to feel sore and tense. The standing and repetitive motions of working in a kitchen cause my mental capacity to drain and my creative juices to congeal. And honestly, I didn’t sit down much in the afternoons because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get back up!


When I was working a second job, nearly full-time, as a waitress in the evenings a few years ago, I had to be ready to serve, even after I’d finished my work in the bakery kitchen. I had to recover and recharge quickly for the fast paced and physically strenuous demands of the restaurant.


I had to lean on yoga.



Want to know how it ends?! Purchase the book to finish the story and hear from 20+ yogis on how their yoga practice has impacted their vitality and wellbeing.

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