B. Smith, whose talents and expertise span a wide range of specialties, is a pioneer in the lifestyle category. The former high fashion model was heralded by The New York Daily News, “B. Smith is one of the most important African American style mavens of all time.” A respected expert in affordable-yet-elegant living, B. Smith is a visionary whose time has come. The B.Smith with Style Home Collection is the first African-American line by a woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Smith, a coveted speaker and national spokesperson for Merck’s “Journey for Control” program, regularly offers advice to television and radio audiences. She is the author of two tabletop books on entertaining, and a third cookbook, B. Smith Cooks Southern Style. Mrs. Smith launched a collection of celebrity DVD cookbooks, and The Very Best of B Smith with Style on PBS nationwide.
Smith extends her lifestyle expertise as the owner of three successful B. Smith restaurants. Recognized by Elle Décor as one of America’s ten most outstanding non-professional chefs, her longtime establishments currently include those on Restaurant Row in New York; in the historic Beaux-Arts Union Station in Washington, D.C.; and the scenic Long Island Hampton village of Sag Harbor.
It was in East Hampton where I had the pleasure to make her acquaintance. She represents the elegance and grace of a Hollywood legend, with a most beautiful presence and powerful energy.
But where does a wife, mother and successful business woman find the energy and time to make all of this possible? She incorporates cardiovascular training, resistance training, flexibility training and yoga into her weekly schedule.
Working at her own pace, B. Smith, has learned to develop balance, flexibility and strength. While some yoga postures are designed purely for relaxation, she blends a balance of various styles of yoga to incorporate body movements, while focusing on breathing and meditation techniques.
“Ashtanga and power yoga, are more vigorous than others, and help to improve muscle tone. Asanas are a series of yoga poses in which you learn to safely stretch your muscles. Hatha yoga or Iyengar are less vigorous styles of yoga that focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, which provides strength and endurance benefits,” stated American Council on Exercise Certified Fitness Trainer Antoinette McKesson.
“Yoga increases the range of motion in my joints, and also increases lubrication of the joints,” said the beautiful, youthful restaurateur. “Yoga provides a sense of ease and fluidity throughout my body, and stretches not only my muscles, but ligaments and tendons surrounding the muscles,” she added, while seated on the deck of her Sag Harbor, East Hampton restaurant, overlooking the pier on Long Wharf Marina.
“With my busy schedule, yoga is very important, as it releases the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use that causes stiffness, fatigue and tension.” It is hard to believe that one is in the presence of a woman who isn’t 30ish, as her energy radiates youthfulness and life. I’m in awe of how much one woman has accomplished in one lifetime.
For upper body strength, B.Smith focuses on poses such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose. This becomes crucial as we age. The standing poses, especially when held for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings and quadriceps, because you depend on deep abdominal support to maintain each pose.
To offset the long days of sitting and standing, B. Smith incorporates poses that strengthen her lower back, which include upward dog and the chair pose. When practiced correctly, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles. The stronger the core, the easier it becomes to hold the pose. Another benefit of yoga is increased body awareness.
In reviewing her many accomplishments, she inspires one to be more and do more with their own life. Her beauty, elegance and resiliency are amazing. Love for her family, living in her purpose, making a difference in the lives of others, and honoring her spiritual, mental and physical bodies, keeps her focused and forging ahead.
With so many negative images portrayed of Black women, she is a role model whom all women can aspire to be. She is the epitome of class, vibrancy, resilency, elegance, and success. She is an icon who carved out her own niche and manifested her destiny. I was honored when visitors to the restaurant assumed me to be her, but I was most proud when she stated that I was an asset to her organization.
Learn more about her elegant collection of furniture, bedding, serve ware, wall art and restaurants by selecting the links below.