“Through the deeply therapeutic practice of asana, we begin to purify our karmas, thereby healing our past relationships with others and reestablishing a steady and joyful connection with the Earth, which means all beings.”
…Yoga is supposed to be vegan, as the nature of life to not cause suffering to other beings…but…
Nowadays, we hear about lots of spiritual paths, more or less healthy, but there are several paths, schools, and information out there to push us to achieve our goals. We are living in a world where there are endless possibilities to learn, practice, get knowledge, and feed our insufficiencies.
Some of us are following paths, and special lifestyles, and we can talk about thousands of reasons why those are good or helping us. Yoga is one of these schools. It is a practice, it is a piece of knowledge, is it a path, lifestyle, or philosophy? Some say it is a spiritual path and science to achieve the Samadhi, others are saying that yoga is a balancing method of our mind and body. The word “yoga” as it is translated means “to unite”.
Some paths and schools are teaching that yoga is not just a practice, but it is also a state of mind. Patanjali, for example, includes in his teachings specific guidelines which include standards of ethics and self-discipline. As he says “restriction of the fluctuations of consciousness.” – the practice begins by sitting and calming the fluctuations of the body, breath, and senses, and then the more elusive whirlings of consciousness”.
In my opinion, it is something through which you can explore your own body and mind.
In Patanjali’s “code of ethics” there is also about not killing, and not killing and eating animals(or other beings), unfortunately, even though we see lots of people who are doing this, even they are practicing yoga, or even they are at a, let’s say, “higher level” of consciousness.
Other times we see that the paths, schools, or teachings themselves do not mention anything about food, or our actions of killing. What I mean is that all paths I went through in my personal life, seem fake in this matter of veganism. Why is that? I don’t know the answer, yet, but I suppose that there are not the true teachings, or it is something that was misunderstood.
The logical thing is, and I agree with that, nobody can tell us what to do, then comes the political issue, the schools, the teachings. What is moral, what is not, and where do we “draw the line”. As we know from the Mahayana teachings, the Buddha insisted that his followers should not eat any kind of meat or fish. Even vegetarian food that has been touched by meat should be washed before being eaten. We see this kind of approach in the Bible, too, but that was compromised, too. Now, talking about yoga, there are just a few persons, practitioners, and teachers who are completely vegans, or they are following the ethics. The most important thing in our modern yoga teachings is the postures and how great we can do all those postures etc. I think this is why so many vegans, which are vegans for animals cannot practice yoga. A true yoga practitioner or even teacher should do perfectly the headstand, the rest is also important, but this will release the fear in us, or sometimes just calm our mind and our thoughts.
Lots of people agree on the need for a plant-based diet in yoga, but plant-based is a diet, veganism is not. Veganism is more, and we know it. Are lots of fake vegans, which are only doing it as a diet? Might be true, but are there teachers who represent and teach the knowledge incorrectly? Yes, there are so many. I have met even in Buddhism lots of teachers, masters who are saying “you can do whatever you want when you are at a high level of consciousness” – but why to kill if you are at that level?!
We can write and talk about things, what is moral for one, and immoral to the other, but when you follow a path, you have to think about the knowledge they give you, what represents, and why to follow. Do we agree that we need to release the suffering of spirit and mind through discipline? Yes, how about morality if we are vegans? We cannot provoke suffering, right? Veganism is not about people, veganism is about animals. If Yoga talks about self-discipline how about being so “disciplined” to not give money for suffering, not to consume dead bodies and those who have killed just for you to eat them…?
We can do 1000s of yoga postures if we cannot deliberate the root of suffering, which includes animal protection, and other beings’ lives. On the other hand, to make others suffer another innocent being in our modern world is not a necessity, it is the supreme crime we’ve ever seen before.
Not to mention, that for example, Patanjali doesn’t mention even the physical postures as a foundational role in achieving Samadhi. This is only a new concept, in the modern Yoga world. It is good because exercise is good, the breathing techniques are great and to calm our mind is a need today. Even though, I feel like we are so fake, memorizing postures, techniques, etc for our own good and “illumination”, but kill and eat innocent animals at the same time.
I will close this article with a little bitter taste, but with a nice quote for THEM.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France.
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