Jivin’ in Jivamuktea

Chances are, if I ever enter a yoga studio, there’s a very good reason for it. That reason probably does not involve yoga. In this case, an ex-classmate taught at this particular yoga studio; he gave me a card for a free lesson. However, even in the face of a free yoga lesson, I had no interest in a yoga lesson. Yoga? More like NO-ga! That’s my mantra.

I walked into Jivamuktea Yoga Studio… also known as Jivamuktea Cafe, near Union Square, NYC for a cupcake. I was hoping for a small appetizer and a baked good from their delightful little shop. What I thought was a simple task turned out to be a journey into the heart chakra of downtown, Manhattan. One does not simply enter Jivamuktea Cafe, you see. One must notice the soulless building containing it. Then, one must walk (or elevate) up to the second floor, walk through the yoga lobby and shop, then enter a short passage way into the cafe. Once in the cafe, it’s a rather adorable set-up. The walls are green and purple, the  lighting is provided by a few lovely little chandeliers, and the windows are adorned with stained-glass designs. I felt like I was walking into a cartoon. I suppose there’s a minor theme of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.


Unfortunately, this is where the sweetness of this cafe ends. There was an eeriness to the place. Not in a Mad Hatter sort of way, but in a way where I felt everyone was either exhausted (which is very possible, after twisting and stretching into various origami shapes….) or everyone was under a deep, deep hypnosis. There was silence, is what I am saying. No music, even. You don’t realize how important background music is until there is none.

The menu itself was fairly extensive. Considering it was just a small cafe inside a yoga studio, they didn’t stint on options. There were smoothies and salads and sandwiches. Sadly, however, the only baked goods were a couple red velvet cupcakes. They didn’t look too interesting, though. So, I grabbed a cup, filled up on some cucumber/lemon water (mm!) and pondered my options. Here is one section of the chalkboard menu:


Finally, I decided on the Avo-Bravo. Typically, I would cheerfully announce this, get excited about the rhyme, and giggle in such a manner that deserves a shoe to the face. However, the cashier here was so dazed and confused that I said “Avo-Bravo” as gravely as possible, trying not to upset the young lady.

“Your whimsical colours and handwriting have put me in a state of shock. For the clock has hit two, and I hear a tick-tock. I am not here for your jokes, nor for questions three. Please, won’t you feed me and leave me be?”

I didn’t say that. I just ordered my food and let the poor girl live.


Upon seating myself, I realized that no one was being served. Ah, this is an IKEA do-it-yourself kind of place!

Step 1: Grab napkin and utensils.

Step 2: Put your Stabekk in the Kvikne.

Step 3: Grab two more glasses of water.

Step 4: Turn the Hemnes until you hear a “DING!”

Before you know it, the cook is calling your order. Sure, the cashier jumped up when she realized she forgot to ask your name, but the cook didn’t care. The cook had bigger problems. He forgot his Kvikne.

I sat down next to two pregnant ladies, and I looked at my food. The longer I stared at my food, the more carrots that seemed to appear. The carrots never ended. Could this many carrots be unhealthy? Will it stunt my growth, impair my vision, and have negative effects on my focus and self-esteem?


Realizing that we all die anyway, I took a bite of my carrot-heavy Avo-Bravo. The sourdough bread was good. I was given three options for bread, by the way. Whole grain, sourdough, or gluten-free. Just because some of us want to watch the world burn, I went with the least brown bread they had. Brown breads matter.

I also ate the side salad because I’m a growing girl. The dressing was pretty tasty on there. No idea what it was, but it did the job. Not to mention, the salad was a bit better than the sandwich. It wasn’t a bad sandwich. I’m not mad at it, I’m just disappointed.

Turmeric tahini sauce should be good. It sounds good, doesn’t it? I love turmeric, and tahini takes me back to the middle-east! Unfortunately, despite the bright yellow markings on the bread, there wasn’t enough of the sauce to taste it. All I could taste was bread and carrot. Granny smith apple, who? Avocado, what? I didn’t taste any of it.

Bread. Carrots.

Still, it was food. It served its purpose and fed me.

That is, until I heard the conversation next to me. It started out innocent enough. The one girl in yoga pants; yoga top; yoga bare-feet; yoga hair; yoga face; yoga brain…. she was telling the whole world about her fasting cleanse. She was so hungry because she hadn’t eaten in three days. Not because she lived in a third-world country, not because her job paid minimum wage, not because she was sick…. She hadn’t eaten in three days by choice. Because fasting is good for you. Aside from the hypoglycemia, lack of nutrients, and starvation that occurs. Side effects? She ain’t scured.

After these rough three days, her black bean salad was mind-blowing. Truly. “Ohmygod, black beans are so good. I wish I could eat these everyday!”

Oh my gosh, sister, you totally can! They’re, like, a dollar for an entire can. At any store that ever existed. Ahhh! Life is crazy! We’re so blessed!

I quickly understood why there was a random gourd sitting on the table across from me. Previously, I was confused by its presence, as it seemed to have no intent or purpose in its placement. It was now clear to me that this gourd had a purpose.

-Use in case of brain-dead quinoa junkie attack-

Fortunately, the young, vivacious yogi settled down and got into the real business of the day. The two women began having a deep, provocative conversation about tantric sex and orgasms. The healing nature of them and how they are the deepest trance a human can experience. Truly innovative thinking!

My one thought on the matter was… CAN YOU NOT SEE I AM TRYING TO EAT HERE!? Don’t get your perverted thoughts in my tahini!!

I looked over to “Johnny Depp” for some support, but he was too busy tap-drumming on his notebook. His eyes were blocked by his black fedora and a single greased-up curl of black hair. The noise of his collection of silver rings blocked out the chaos of the world. The man was pondering life-altering ponders.

Clearly, the people in this cafe were far more interesting than the food items. For this, I give them credit. Still, it was intended to be a place for eating. Like, food. Ideally, good food. On this, they didn’t quite hit the mark. My sandwich was highly mediocre, the serve-yourself situation was kind of lame, and the lack of ambient noises left me somewhat uncomfortable….

Tune in next time when I review something else!

Rating: 4/10 unicorn hugs

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