Have you ever heard that yogis "have" to be vegan? There are many dogmas out there that why we would like to briefly explain the possible connection between yoga and veganism.
Let's take a moment first to present the definition of yoga and veganism.
On the one hand veganism is a lifestyle that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. A vegan diet consists of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Vegans also avoid the use of animal products and by-products, such as leather and fur, as well as products that have been tested on animals. Additionally, vegans strive to live in a way that minimizes their environmental impact and respects the planet.
On the other hand is Yoga an ancient practice originating in India that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, with the goal of achieving physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is an exercise based on the principle of balance between the body and mind, allowing individuals to gain strength, flexibility, and relaxation. By focusing on the connection between breath, movement, and awareness, practitioners can improve their physical and mental health.
In addition to the physical benefits, many people practice yoga for its spiritual and emotional benefits, such as improved concentration, increased self-awareness, and increased self-acceptance. Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years, and there are many different types and styles of yoga available to suit any individual's needs.
Yoga & veganism - Why do these two concepts go (or should go) hand in hand? Let's us go back a little...
Have you heard about the term "Ahimsa"?
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term that translates to “non-harming” or “non-violence”. It is an important concept in many Indian religions, and is based on the belief that the universe is interconnected and all living beings must be treated with respect and compassion.
Ahimsa was first written about in the Hindu scriptures by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The eight limbs of yoga*, as outlined by Patanjali, emphasize ahimsa in all aspects of life, from physical practices to thoughts and emotions. Ahimsa is an essential part of a yogic lifestyle and is the foundation to creating a more compassionate and peaceful world.
So you can already say that if you truly practice or want to practice yoga, a vegan lifestyle is going in the right direction. Because the concept of yoga aims to lead a suffering-free life. Not only towards ourselves, but also towards every other living being as well as mother earth. Moritz Ulrich, Jivamukti teacher from Berlin once said: "There is no easier way to practice yoga than to live vegan."