Yoga & The Vegetarian Debate

The practice of yoga lies far away from controversy, yet some of the practitioners find their way to arise ‘the great vegetarian debate’. It’s a debate not only relevant to the yoga community but to everyone. People often choose the vegetarian lifestyle for several purposes: nutrients, animal cruelty, taste etc. but at yoga schools, we have our own set of values as to why we prefer the vegetarian diet.


Yoga is not only an exercise but it’s a lifestyle that is widely adopted by many of the top known yogis and yoga schools. Yogis are committed to their values which include adapting the vegetarian diet. Now some may say that it seems extreme or unnecessary but let’s debunk these myths and debates.


In the yoga philosophy, “Yamas” branch out of the 8 limbs of yoga. These Yamas resonate with ‘restraints’ or ‘ethics’ that a yogi follows for a successful yogic lifestyle and practice. One of the Yamas is ahimsa- translates to non-violence. Yogis love and respect the universe and we believe we shall co-exist without violence. The non-violence yogis preach reflects their plate. Thus, that explains why we don’t encourage the consumption of meat when it comes to the yoga philosophy.


Furthermore, Yogis love their active lifestyle that includes their daily practice, sadhana, movement and just a lot of activities! Consumption of meat isn’t necessarily considered ideal according to Ayurveda.


Ayurveda is a widely practised form of medicine practised in India for a long time. In fact, some would argue it to be one of the first practices of medicine to be ever discovered. Yoga is also deeply intertwined with Ayurveda which categorises food into three types: Satvic, Rajasic & Tamasic. Meat is tamasic (sedative) in nature which suggests that consuming meat would lead to a duller, less refined state of consciousness.


To conclude, Yogis have their reason for not consuming meat but each and every yogi is different/. Each Yogi brings value to the universe even if they consume meat or not! At Indian Yoga Ashram, located in Rishikesh (Yoga Captial of the World), we accept everyone interested in learning yoga and getting their certification for 200 Hours & 300 Hours.

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