I repeat, you DON’T have to be vegetarian to practice Yoga!
What I’m about to say is going to strike a chord with some of you. This isn’t meant to offend those that passionately and actively choose to not eat meat, poultry, fish, dairy, etc. For those of you that are all about that, I respect you.
For the rest of you that have been curious about Yoga, have tried out a few classes, or have been practicing for awhile but feeling some type of way about giving up meat...
It’s okay. It’s fine. You don’t need to beat yourself up about this. You’re not going to Hell. You’re not going to be excommunicated from the yoga community.
You may be judged, though. But, judging happens automatically from anyone about anything. That’s where our yoga and meditation practice kicks in. To catch those judgements and let them pass.
But, I digress.
Where did the idea of Vegetarianism and Yoga come from?
Well, the philosophy of Yoga revolves around karma (what comes around goes around), and ahimsa (doing no harm). Some believed that if you ate the meat of a killed animal, you would take in the pain and suffering of that animal. Likewise, if you ate the meat, you essentially did hard to the animal’s life for your own benefit.
But, I’m going to be real with you right now.
If you’re doing the best you can, choosing the best meat from animals that were cagefree/hormonefree/kosher/etc, and you’re not intentionally trying to hurt anyone, and you’re being real with yourself about it, then what the fuck?
Yoga is about moving past judgement, comparison, and being with your inner truth. And I can tell you right now that not all yoga teachers are vanilla and live a life without sin. Don’t get me started on how many times I’ve seen a vegetarian drop some LSD. We are human! We just happen to practice a lot of yoga and feel good about sharing it with others!
So, go ahead and drink your coffee with its natural caffeine stimulants. Meet up with your friends for some Korean BBQ. Be real with your lifestyle and spirituality. As long as you’re cool with others, love animals in general, feel grateful for the meat that’s on your dinner plate, that’s cool with me.
Practice on, Rogue Yogi.