mimisouth

Yoga And Vegetarianism

9 posts in this topic

after practising yoga daily for some months I become more interested in the the other elements of yoga.

So after reading about the 8 branches of yoga and in particular the personal behaviours and non-violence, I got to thinking how others interpret this? Does this element include being a vegetarian and not engaging in consumption of any animal products?

Do others think this is an essential element of yoga to be a vegetarian or can you being taken seriously as a yogi and still be a omnivore?

I have been thinking a lot about this aspect as I'm not a vegetarian and neither are my family.

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after practising yoga daily for some months I become more interested in the the other elements of yoga.

So after reading about the 8 branches of yoga and in particular the personal behaviours and non-violence, I got to thinking how others interpret this? Does this element include being a vegetarian and not engaging in consumption of any animal products?

Do others think this is an essential element of yoga to be a vegetarian or can you being taken seriously as a yogi and still be a carnivore?

I have been thinking a lot about this aspect as I'm not a vegetarian and neither are my family.

I'm not totally vegetarian and do eat meat and poultry occasionally. I believe it is a personal thing and each person needs to decide what is right for them. For some it may not seem right to consume animal products of any kind. I started eating less and less meat and more fruits and veggies but not because I am against eating it,, just because it seemed right for me. I sure won't tell anyone they can't enjoy a good steak or chicken! :53:

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Vegetarianism does seem highly correlated with the yoga population, but it can also be due to health, not the teachings. The only way I could observe was by looking at the yoga retreat menus - usually vegetarian, sometimes a pescatarian option.  

 

I've been practicing for almost 4 years now. I'm an omnivore with no plans to change, but I also do not plan to go into teacher training. I think if you were to go in depth and study with a teacher, you would then be influenced by their diet.

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I've been a vegetarian for 8 years and it was a personal decision based on how I felt guilty while eating a lot of meat. So, that's what made me want to stop. With that said I don't think it makes my yoga practice any deeper because I've been a vegetarian way longer than I've been doing yoga. For me, yoga has made me a more nutritious and health conscious eater. You can be a vegetarian and have a terrible diet compared to most omnivores, so I think it has more to do with what makes you feel good!

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One thing about yoga retreats and vegetarian menus - from my experience, it also has to do with the fact that meat is more expensive and since retreats are often all inclusive, teachers try to keep the costs down as much as possible. ;)

 

For me, in my training, we discussed this at length. I mean, how can we "do no harm" if we are eating animals? One of my teachers said something that really stuck with me. She said that doing no harm also pertains to yourself, and if you do not feel well on a vegetarian diet, and you feel better eating meat, you need to do what is healing to you. Different people need different things, she said - and even the Dalai Lama is not vegetarian. I really struggled with this idea when I needed to start the GAPS diet to heal my stomach from longterm antibiotic use for Lyme Disease. The diet calls for lots of animal fats and meat to heal and repair the gut lining. After being vegan/vegetarian on and off for around thirteen years or so, it definitely was not easy for me to start eating meat every single day. But I was incredibly sick and this was my last resort and it has helped me tremendously. I think that what people choose to eat is a highly personal decision and one of the things I swear never to do is judge people on what they eat or consider my way of eating better than anyone else's. We all need different things, and feel better eating different ways, in my opinion. 

Laura, Turi, yogafire and 3 others like this

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Thank you everyone for their personal experiences. This has helped me immensely hearing about others choices.

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I have been vegetarian for 8 years and vegan for 2. I am vegan for ethical reasons and personal beliefs that line up with my own personal interpretation of ahimsa.

However, I believe this is an extremely personal decision that everyone should examine and define for themselves. In my own interpretation of ahimsa, I feel that it is violent to judge or condemn anyone else's food choices and what they mean in relation to their own personal yogic journey.

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Any reduction in harm counts.

 

If you decide to quit eating meat twice a week, and you can commit to that and sustain that, it very much counts. If you decide to drive 30 fewer miles per week to save on gas, it counts. If you choose to be happy three mornings a week, no matter the circumstances, it counts. If you do only one moderately kind thing when you really don't freaking feel like it, it still counts.

 

It's impractical and unkind to make major life decisions and adjustments explicitly on the basis that it would complement lifestyle or a moral scheme. That is rote, and genuine compassion does not come that way. I never eat flesh because it is easy for me, sustainable, and feels good. I can respect that it doesn't work that way for everyone else.

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I recently changed to vegetarian.  Now trying to do the whole vegan thing, although I'm really finding it hard going atm (I love my garlic cheese too much :wub:

 

The reason I became vegetarian was because of the whole cognitive dissonance thing, I just felt like a hypocrite.  Now I'm starting to get that way when I stray off the vegan path.  That said, it's great that people are not judging on here. 

 

One thing that really annoys me though is the whole political/ideological driving force behind the 'science', be it rampant capitalism, animal rights or lobbyist.  You can literally read one scientific paper here and then get completely contradictory advice from another science paper there.  Does my head right in.

 

So, I figured, I might as well do what they do in the blue zones - and they all mainly eat a plant-based diet, with legumes, nuts and exercise (yay yoga).  B)

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