Don’t hate me. I hate me already.

Published on November 12, 2013 by      Print
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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.

Here’s something:

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 vMaria 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.

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  1. Lalalala says:

    I really didn’t get this. Is it supposed to be funny?

  2. ceinwen says:

    thank you for this. this makes the world better.

  3. Vanessa Kaukonen says:

    You had me at “And then I’ll make a smoothie. With kale in it. KALE. And my poop will come out a little easier in the afternoon.”

  4. Shanna LaBarre says:

    THANK YOU for being hilarious and awesome! The line about vegan’s telling you had me laugh so loud that my co-worker came into my classroom to see what I was laughing about! Hilarious!

    I love yoga and I HATE yoga. I love how it makes me feel and I HATE the way people judge me because I love yoga. BITE ME – I like to feel good and connect to God. So annoying.

    I eat gluten free and dairy free because I HAVE to, not because it’s cool. I’m glad it’s cool as it makes it easier for me and others to eat without being looked at as if we had some kind of horrible disease. No, really, white bread is good but it’s not THAT good and my belly and mood are much happier now that I don’t eat that crap.

    I love trees and I love hugging them and if that makes me a tree hugging dirty hippy (my husband loves to call me that) then so be it! Fuck it.

  5. Notspews says:

    Soo good. I love it.

  6. Chelsea says:

    So funny Maria! Ive gotten back into yoga this year and I feel like its my weekly/daily therapy. Its basically changed my life. Thank you for writing this!

  7. Jeannie Faulkner says:

    THIS IS GREAT! I’ve lived in Boulder, Denver and ATHENS, Ohio, so I totally get it. I’m fifty years old, I’m a massage therapist, I smell like sandalwood and I do yoga and my own adult children call me a hippie. I hate that. But I love that. Thanks for the fun read.

  8. Patrick says:

    At first I thought you miss spelled Satan, “seitan.” Then I googled “seitan.” I still want to buy you a cookie anyways because of your references to cheap porn and poop in an article about yoga. Cheers and Namaste and shit…

  9. mandinkus says:

    This is so me!!! (“Action-hippie” is the term my husband uses)
    I drank the kool-aid and asked for more…and I always wondered if I was the only one who felt a little bit of self-loathing for it (a nice, yogic, self-affirming kind of hate…)
    And yes–KALE!! I love kale and I love my handmade batik yoga bag and I love my Keens. :)

  10. Lalalala says:

    Will somebody explain to me why this is funny? I am asking in total sincerity. I have gone back and read this piece maybe 7 times over the past couple of days and I just don’t get it. Are people really this self conscious about the things they like? I mean, it’s just a thing you like. A thing. That is all. As I get older I realize more and more that nobody else really notices these kinds of things, and, if they do, they probably don’t care.

    • C Daniels says:

      “I read this piece maybe 7 times over the past couple of days and I just don’t get it” THAT is very funny. Why didn’t you quit wondering and quit reading after the second time? I hope you become self-conscious this moment about desperately searching for the funny, and then laugh about it.
      Don’t you feel just a little self loathing for dispensing words of wisdom like, “As I get older I realize more…” You are being so full of yourself there, but hopefully you can laugh at yourself and say, “I guess I really can be a condescending, patronizing jerk! lol” Of course it’s possible you can’t and the humor really will remain lost on you.
      After all, as I get older and wiser I realize that you can’t please everyone. And I’m okay with that…

      • Lalalala says:

        I did not intend to be patronizing or a jerk. I guess the humor is lost on me. I don’t see why any of the things that Maria likes are bad or why anyone would think twice about her kale smoothies, her fake meat, her bangs and nose ring, etc. I don’t see why the things she likes are a hilarious contradiction.

        I think my days on Recovering Yogi are over. I used to find a lot of the content hilarious. Maybe I have totally lost my sense of humor.

  11. Theresa says:

    Thank goodness I found his website. Awesome!

  12. mike says:

    Okay, I agree with those saying this really isn’t funny. It is not annoying that someone would could cook with cardamom. How is that annoying? Why is it that, after nearly two years of being away from this blog, I come back and the sheer mention of lululemon is supposed to have me in fits? I get the point that the writer’s choices start to add up to look like a cliche and that she doesn’t care because she likes it. That’s all cool. Still, not funny. That’s not a crime, but I think I’d be more interested in hearing her perpective in a different format. This writer is not a humorist and might choose a writing style that’s a better fit. That’s just my opinion, someone’s sure to say I need to lighten up. I do need to lighten up. But this is still not funny!

  13. Fatty LaBelle says:

    Speaking generally, by which I mean independently of this particular posting, the writing seems to be about minor stuff from people with a lot of spare time on their hands. That’s okay – it can be entertaining to see what others do which is part of the reason that I come here. I appreciate the fact that someone takes the time to sit down and write which is becoming a lost art. So they should get lots of credit for that. I might not always like it but at least they delivered something ! However…, (and this where I’ll probably get slammed), I have the distinct impression that many of the authors here don’t have kids given the angst they pour out over the day-to-day things that we all have to deal with. I used to complain about those things too until I got busy with kids and aging parents. So some of the things I read here can seem like they were written by a teenager or someone who doesn’t really have much in the way of responsibility. That’s okay too – perhaps I’m just envious of the times when I could devote entire days or weeks to considering the intricacies of yoga studio politics or how social communication is superficial. (Really ! No !!!). These days though – I’m just not feelin’ it. I willingly admit its got as much to do with me as it does with the articles. Maybe we need a “recovering yogi” spinoff for exhausted parents…..

  14. Sarah Z. says:

    Definitely funny.

    In fact, it’s Funny²…(or, what one might call “ironic humor”)

    …the commenters attempting to shame the writer for her self-consciousness (which she employs as a tool for humor) show an even greater degree of self-consciousness (in this case, self-aggrandizing self-consciousness!) in their assertion that self-consciousness isn’t funny…which, you gotta admit, is pretty fucking funny!

    See: “Will somebody explain to me why this is funny? I am asking in total sincerity. I have gone back and read this piece maybe 7 times over the past couple of days and I just don’t get it. Are people really this self conscious about the things they like? I mean, it’s just a thing you like. A thing. That is all. As I get older I realize more and more that nobody else really notices these kinds of things, and, if they do, they probably don’t care.”

    • Gnarly Simon says:

      My earlier post wound up in moderation purgatory for reasons unknown (character limit maybe ?). It’s not a bad article – I got a few chuckles but not guffaws. Anyways if you have to explain the jokes then the humor is clearly not self-evident. Of course a common follow up is to suggest that the reader lacks the requisite “hipness” or sophistication to “get it” when its probably just a matter of perspective. Sometimes I feel that many articles here are written by folks with lots of time on their hands to find the “cute”, (or objectionable), in every day activities even if it’s a big stretch to make it funny. Before I had my family I could spend hours talking over the politics of the yoga studio or how I wanted the universe to give me “real” encounters with people. And once I got the “real” it got so damn busy that it hasn’t stopped. So if I can’t see the humor in a given post it might be because, to me, it’s not particularly relevant compared to what I’m doing now.

  15. Polo girl says:

    Love this too. Used to think the cigarette in the gym parking lot was the best one all day. So was wine after yoga at two pm. The gym and yoga join me in 2014, the smoking does not. Wine will be a case by case, no longer BY the case.

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