I get a lot of flack for being a yogi AND living the paleo lifestyle. Ya know, the eating-meat-thing…
“Paleo, and the cruelty to and suffering of the animals is, by definition, un-yogic.”
“If you witnessed the pain and suffering involved in getting that bacon to your plate, you’d feel very different.”
Who says I haven’t? (and, yes, I’ve been to my fair share of slaughter houses.)
Isn’t assuming things and prejudging situations un-yogic?
The most basic tenet of yoga, and the first yama of the eight limbed path of yoga, is ahimsa (pronounced ah-him-sa), or non-violence. Many in the yoga community believe, rightfully so, that this includes cruelty to animals. As a yoga practitioner, the choice was clear, I had to switch to the vegetarian diet in order to stay on the path of yoga and achieve the ultimate – liberation and enlightenment.
So, I made the switch. And, I tried being a vegan, for three
days hours. I was vegetarian for about three years until I realized the diet wasn’t for me. I was eating a shit-ton of packaged and processed vegetarian foods. Nothing much had changed, other than gaining a few pounds. Although I knew eating this way wasn’t serving me, and, in essence, I was harming myself – opposite of what we are taught to do; I had a hard time coming to terms with going back to a diet that included meat as I really wanted to be vegetarian primarily because of the cruelty to animals.
I realized, the cool thing to do as a yoga practitioner is to be true and authentic to myself. And that meant taking care of me; finding what would work best for me to achieve optimal health and wellness – physically, mentally, and spiritually – while still walking the path of yoga.
It took me years to find paleo. Although it may
sound look cliche, paleo isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle. Paleo has completely transformed me from the inside out. Being fueled by a diet full of whole, clean foods and animal protein helps me maintain a clean physical body that assists with my yoga practice. Every part of me feels better. Most importantly, I am thriving!
Ahimsa means many things to many people, even leaders in the yoga community have differing opinions on how ahimsa should be defined in modern times.
Ahimsa starts at home. In the heart. First and foremost, non-violence and non-harming to me. To you. Be conscious and aware of what you are putting into your body and how you are living and showing up in the world. By no means am I saying that paleo is the be-all end-all diet. Although paleo works for me, find what works best for you. That is ahimsa. And, from that space, we are able to connect and serve the world.