Is The Best Yoga Diet Vegan?

The question “Is the best yoga diet vegan?” is probably pretty loaded. If you’re not vegan, you’re not practicing true yoga, is the implication. I view the question as one of degree. Meaning, we get there when we get there. If you happen to be a meat eater at this moment in your life, don’t sweat it. Asa doctor I can tell you that your health will definitely be better in the long run by eating less meat. Period. That being said, you can always begin to transition away from a meat focused diet and toward a more vegetarian diet. Anyone remember meatless Fridays? Why not just give up one or two nights of meat dinners and substitute something else? Plenty of protein in hummus. As your yoga practice progresses over months and (hopefully) years, you’ll find yourself attracted less and less to red met and more to non-meat centered meals, and you won’t be feeling that you’re depriving yourself either. Here at the Huffington Post, author Alanna Kaivalya shares some of her own realizations on this.

Is The Best Yoga Diet Vegan?

For many in our modern yoga culture, ahimsahas exactly one translation: vegetarianism. Or, potentially more focalized: veganism. I understand this and for many years (most of my life, actually), I have adhered to this practice. However, there’s

best yoga diet vegan

Best yoga diet vegan practices emphasize ahimsa, or nonviolence. Photo by Ablestock.com c/o Photos.Com.

something wrong with this translation of ahimsa. It’s not completely accurate.

Ahimsa, if we break down the word, simply means the absence of violence. It’s a much broader stroke than this one focused idea. Patanjali (author of the yoga sutra, where the directive of ahimsa is cited for yogis) goes on to add four other suggestions for how we can become compassionate contributors to society (truthfulness, non-stealing, conscious intimacy and non-hoarding). He’s pretty specific with these suggestions, but nowhere does he give us the exact, one practice that is going to cover all this moral high ground.

He leaves it to us.

In all my years as a yoga practitioner, I’ve heard all the arguments for why veganism is a good idea. And I’ve also made those same arguments. I used to be the one in the room telling students and fellow teachers that without a vegetarian diet, they were simply not practicing ahimsa. I cast the judgement and threw the stones. Until they hit me square in the face.

I realized at some point that my judgements of others were actually the most scathing antithesis to this sacred practice. By setting myself and my own actions apart from them and creating a hierarchy, I was missing the point of the practice itself, which is meant to create connection and dissolve boundaries. We connect when we hurl judgement out the window and move beyond what is right and what is wrong, and favor instead what will make us free and keep our hearts open. If any position in life (be it choosing a diet or a political party) separates us from another and puts them on the other side of the fence, how do we ever hope to create our much-longed-for unity?

Please do yourself a favor and read this enlightening article at huffingtonpost.com:

So is the best yoga diet vegan? If you practice and strive to improve and to grow, you might end up there, but it’s not mandatory. Accepting everyone for their differences, dietary or otherwise, is the goal of yoga (to unite). Trending toward a non-violent spiritual state of being through yoga meditation that may eventually encompass a vegan diet is probably a part of the evolution of each individual who practices yoga meditation. We are what we eat, but we’re also much more than that.

How about you? Any thoughts on this subject. Why not share them with us and get a discussion going? Share by clicking the like button.

What yoga philosophy and all the great Buddhist teachings tells us is that solidity is a creation of the ordinary mind and that there never was anything permanent to begin with that we could hold on to. Life would be much easier and substantially less painful if we lived with the knowledge of impermanence as the only constant.                                                                         — Donna Farhi

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