They say: “You are what you eat” … so what is it about yogis and a vegetarian diet? Suddenly you start practicing yoga and don’t want to eat meat anymore? Why is that? What other things change when you start doing yoga? Here I explore about yoga & a compassionate lifestyle & diet…
As you know, yoga is much more than the beautiful poses and shapes we twist turn and put our bodies in, these are the visible/physical part of yoga, but if we go back to the very base of yoga, we find the Ashtanga yoga limbs (see chart above) which have the “yamas” & “niyamas” as their foundation, from which all other aspects of yoga build from leading up to Samadhi or bliss, the ultimate goal of yoga.
The “yamas” & “niyamas” are the ethical principles of yoga that are supposed to guide how we relate to other beings and how we take care of ourselves. The first of these yamas, is Ahimsa- non violence, this yama guides us to live in a way that cultivates peace with ourselves and the world around us. Can you really be and cultivate peace when you feed your body from the suffering and exploitation of other sentient beings? We yoginis & yogis think you cannot: “it’s natural for those who study yoga to try to adopt an entire lifestyle that reflects their commitment to conscious living and mental and physical balance.”
According to my experience, this should be a process, like everything else in life and in yoga, you cannot impose or force upon yourself any sustainable change, this is also about cultivating peace with yourself, we are always progressing and never perfect. When you begin to be more mindful and conscious about your choices, you will eventually want these to cause the less harm & suffering possible and to cultivate balance and contribute to the wellbeing of all other beings. So it´s not about forcing yourself to change your diet completely from one day to the other but about being more aware of what you are consuming, where it´s coming from and what are the impacts of our consumption?
Luckily, if you want to start exploring a vegan/vegetarian/compassionate diet, Barcelona, a self declared veg-friendly city, is the place to do it! and Barcelona Yoga Conference the ultimate gathering of the most creative and delicious veggie options you can imagine.
Embrace yogic philosophy in all its richness and explore the yamas & niyamas to cultivate a life of coherence and peace through awareness & intention!