Published Nov 12, 10 AM
By Maria Varonis
Listen: is it the worst that I love seitan and cook with whole pods of cardamom on most weeknights?
Fuck yes it is.
The other day I was leaving yoga class and I went to the health food store. THE HEALTH FOOD STORE. It’s called Mustard Seed Market and it’s in fucking Akron. Does this make you want to rip your face off?
I’ve been thinking about something. I had this ten-hour layover in Denver once, so I took a bus to Boulder, and there was a G.D. street fair with all this art and handmade crafts. I bought—you guessed it—a bag for my yoga mat. It was hand-stitched. And it was from AFRICA. And guess what? You sling it over your shoulder. And I love it.
Like, why is cardamom so annoying?
And that yoga bag—the one I bought in Boulder—was for a really good cause. So why did I roll my eyes as I handed the cute gypsy my twenty? I really can’t say that their mission to help people is annoying. The fact that me—with my bangs and my nose ring and my Keen’s—was the one buying the bag, now that’s fucking incredulous.
Hey, I get it. Creating cutesy names for our fake meat products is beyond unnecessary. But it’s also, who cares? Spelling ch’kn with an apostrophe doesn’t make it taste like real chicken. But I still put Annie’s BBQ sauce all over that sh*t and then scoop myself a heaping bowl of ricecream. That’s a great meal right there.
How can you tell if someone’s a vegan?
Oh, they’ll tell you.
I went to a party last night straight from yoga. I was sweaty. I didn’t even care.
Look. I hate me too. But I don’t hate the things that I do, or the fact that I enjoy eating vegan and doing yoga. What I hate is that I DON’T hate these things; I can’t stand me for it. I drank the punch. I LOVE the punch.
But I don’t know. Think about this: what if everyone, every morning, did some stretches. What if, like breathing, we woke and then bent at the waist and tried to touch our toes? Maybe throw in an om?
I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to breathe? To actually breathe, to do it with awareness and to really feel the air wrap its way all the way up our spines? I think it would feel nice, like a shot of whiskey: warm, invigorating, addictive.
So here it is: perspective.
Doing yoga in 2013 in the United States isn’t perhaps what Patanjali had in mind. (I very much doubt he ever spent $70 on yoga pants.) He didn’t open a studio called Lotus Tree Flower, or quit eating meat so he could say so. But, whatever. If elitist pants get people to their mats, I will personally direct them to the nearest Lululemon where I will patiently wait outside because I can’t even afford half a pair of yogi socks from that place.
When we practice yoga—and not just physical asanas, but yoga—we aren’t thinking about all the crazy shit we have to do that day. We aren’t worried about our next meal, sure to be a gluten-free rage fest. What we’re doing is giving ourselves permission, the pat on the back go-ahead, to feel something—something good. And the right to enjoy it.
Yoga is amazing. If you’ve tried it, you know I’m right. Maybe my down dog looks like cheap porn, but I’ll feel incredible when I’m done.
And then I’ll make a smoothie. With kale in it. KALE. And my poop will come out a little easier in the afternoon.
I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be awesome. But probably it’ll be really fucking annoying.
About Maria Varonis
Maria writes and teaches yoga and English in Akron, OH. She received her undergraduate degree in Communication at Ohio University (OU, oh yeahhhh) and her MFA from the NEOMFA, where her focus was Nonfiction. You can find her making soup on most weeknights and in Greece in the summers, visiting family. She doesn’t have a blog or a working website and hasn’t yet figured out Twitter, but you can find her on Instagram and on Facebook. She has one cat, Edgar, who ruins her life every day.