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Yoga Helps Chef-Owner John DeLucie ‘Loosen Everything Up’

in YD News
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John DeLucie on the Iyengar rope wall with teacher Debby Green. | Credit: Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

From our Yoga Can Help Everyone (No, Really) files comes this one about a famous Executive Chef working out the kitchen kinks with an Iyengar practice. Who knew hanging in Down Dog on the rope wall would help undo some of the stresses and tensions of a chef’s daily routine? (Shhh…we did.)

“I’m standing in a kitchen bent over chopping and after a few years that starts to affect your back,” says celeb chef John DeLucie in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “You have to do something to counteract that,” he continues. DeLucie owns and runs three restaurants in New York City (the Crown on the Upper East Side, Bill’s Food & Drink in Midtown and the Lion in the West Village) which he bounces back and forth between on a daily basis. The constant commute alone would drive anyone to stresstown, but the seasoned chef and restaurateur found his detour to chillsville through yoga.

We already know that desk dwellers and computer companions can benefit from a regular yoga and meditation (and blinking more than three times a minute) practice, but stepping away from the screen we sometimes forget that non-tech-connected professionals have just as much to gain. For DeLucie, the typical “vinyasa” gym classes weren’t cutting it. ”At one point, I pulled a teacher aside and said I thought I was in the wrong place because everyone else could touch their toes and I couldn’t,” he recounts.

Iyengar, with its static, long holds and focus on personal alignment and precision, was just the ticket, er recipe, yeah that’s it. Now he takes class three mornings a week at the Iyengar Institute and is enjoying the more relaxed results. ”My joints feel compressed being on my feet all day and yoga helps loosen everything up.”

Bottom line? Yoga helps you do your job better, and sometimes by doing your job, we mean living your life, too. If one style doesn’t work for you, try another.

Other chefs who practice yoga: Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, maybe one of these guys. Those who might want to look into it: Paula Deen.

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1 comment… add one

  • S.

    People criticize Iyengar yoga for being “too static,” however Iyengar himself just turned 95 and continues to practice several hours each day. It is refreshing to see real people doing yoga instead of Instagram stars. Thanks for posting YD!

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