"A Side of Zen With Your Meal?"

The city of Boston is abuzz with raves for the new uber-hip restaurant Meyers + Chang, and I’ll leave the food reviews to people with more culinary acumen than me (you’ll notice that my recipes typically max out at 5 ingredients and prep time that fits into a commercial break of Grey’s Anatomy). Whatever the foodies say, I’m on board. The squash soup was velvety and exquisite; the edamame and celery salad so refreshing and crisp, I felt transported to a picture perfect al fresco dining experience in mid July (no easy feat when you consider the current chilly temperatures in Boston), and the dumplings, scrumptious.

While it might be hard to believe, something else impressed me more than the food at Meyers + Chang. It was the yoga. Now, I am not suggesting that people were actually doing yoga in the restaurant, but I did experience its very zen kitchen, a yogic operation focused on dining dharma. Sitting at the “food bar,” which is adjacent to the exposed kitchen, I observed as Joanne Chang and her staff glided among one another (I swear, they communicated telepathically), orchestrating each artful dish. As a former waitress and the daughter of a chef, I’ve spent plenty of time in steamy, chaotic kitchens where tempers flare as easily as cooking wine hitting a hot skillet, which can also be fun to watch but is far from peaceful.

Appropriately, the word yoga is a verb- and there’s plenty of action in any kitchen! Yoga means to unite, yoke, or join. Therefore, yoga can be evident just about anywhere that a cohesive and integrated action is taking place. In other words, you don’t have to be on your mat to experience yoga (how limiting that would be- a yoga mat is only six feet long!). This week, seek an opportunity to witness yoga off your mat. Truly, THAT is your practice, the ability to live your yoga and feel united with the people and experiences around you. Be a yogi in the world (not separate from it, sequestered in a tranquil studio); a zen state is equally available at your job, in a restaurant, or on the T. Remember, the purpose of yoga is to make us feel more connected to life and become better, happier people. If you’re just focused on a better butt, then you may be sitting at the table, but you’re missing out on the meal.

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