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BARIST-OM PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Olivares   
Friday, 30 June 2006
An essay profiling a working barista who is also a yoga instructor. Includes advice on yoga as a stress reducer for working baristi. Copyright 2006 Rachel Olivares, for

Your legs burn. Your feet are swollen. Your back is stiff. Your shoulder aches. You feel pummeled, beaten and chewed up. Welcome to the end of the day for most Manhattan baristi. So, what to do? Another espresso shot or maybe you should try doing a Balasana...but more on that later.

Though, coffee slinging, as some like to call it, may seem like casual fun-filled work from the customer's side of the sneeze guard, baristi everywhere know it takes a lot of physical and emotional drive to keep a café's atmosphere fun, the coffee flowing and the customers happy. Often a barista finds herself going home at the end of the day in a pain filled daze. "My body never feels good after working a day at the shop", says Amber Tyler a mid-town Manhattan barista. Ms. Tyler has been a barista on and off for approximately two years. "I feel like I've been walking on nails all day."

These laments are all too common throughout the industry. We have creative, educated hardworking people who have to juggle the physical demands of the job while providing quite literally service with a smile. By the time Friday comes it is quite hard to bust out those smiles when your feet feel like tender balloons. However, there are some things that can be done to alleviate and soothe baristi bodies.

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