It’s certainly not unusual for a yoga studio to include a partner café, but the menus of such are largely comprised of a limited selection of smoothies, juices and unimaginative takes on the avocado—not exactly inspired dining. Suggesting that there may be an audience hungry for a side of dinner with their sun salutations, a few restaurants and events are pairing physical spirituality with equally thoughtful meals.
Isa: Though its fare is of the farm-to-table variety, self-dubbed “Brooklyn primitive, modern” restaurant Isa is not your typical locavore restaurant. (Indeed, there’s not a kale salad to be found.) Unadventurous eaters will likely be turned off by the oblique dish descriptions that are merely lists of strange ingredients (dust?) with no details as to the preparation. Those who dig its futuristic-hippie vibes, however, will likely appreciate that they can get centered before feasting on its Source Family-by-way-of-El Bulli cuisine. Every Tuesday and Thursday before dinner, Isa hosts Vinyasa yoga classes in its upstairs in-house studio. After working up an appetite, yogis retire to the dining room for dinner and appropriately “healthy” beet juice cocktails.
Downward Dining: Yoga isn’t usually the most social form of exercise, with participants generally more interested in finding nirvana than their new best friend. Seeking to reverse the trend, Downward Dining is a new event series that’s transforming yoga into a platform for conviviality by marrying it with a community dining experience. The program, which seeks to promote the philosophy that one “needn’t dog, nor dine, alone,” debuted last month with an Honest Tea-sponsored evening at LA’s Siren Studios. Attendees, after stretching it out in a one-hour, all-level yoga class taught by instructor Sarah Ezrin, partook in an M Café-curated banquet of health, featuring only Clean Plates-approved dishes.