Many people wonder what is the relationship between vegetarianism and Yoga. After all, a good number of practitioners opt for a meat-free diet.
But do you know the reason for this? This is the topic we will address below.
The vast majority of the Hindu community is made up of vegetarian people. This is due to a series of historical events, which range from the prohibition of meat consumption by the first invaders of Islam, the customs of the political and economic elites of ancient India to the religious beliefs of Hinduism.
But, a detail that needs to be taken into account in this important aspect of the Vedic culture is that the ancient Hindus, mainly those dedicated to spiritual, intellectual and artistic practices, noticed that a diet based on nuts, seeds, vegetables, vegetables, fruits, cereals, roots and dairy products, improved performance in the areas in which they operated .
They also observed that a vegetarian diet produced less intoxicating agents to organisms, constituting an effective strategy for food hygiene and an increase in people’s life expectancy.
To understand the pillars of this recommendation, or even the principle of good health, it is necessary to penetrate a little deeper into the subtle aspects of vegetarian food to understand its cultural heritage in the tradition of Yoga practitioners.
But, first of all, it is important that you understand that to deepen your knowledge in the philosophy or practice of Yoga, it is not necessary to become a vegetarian.
Link between Vegetarianism and Yoga
Vegetarianism and Yoga have a common cradle: the Indus Valley Civilization, which more than three thousand years ago dealt comprehensively with the issue of non-violence. They extended the application of ethics to all living beings and elements in the world, from animals to rivers.
Non-violence and the Power of Choice
The basic argument for vegetarianism and Yoga is here, in other words, putting into practice the value of non-violence, called ahimsa in Sanskrit.
More than that, it is about exercising our ability to choose to start from a new understanding. Eating meat in our society was not something we chose at some point. It wasn’t a deliberate choice, much less a reflection. As Yoga proposes a path of freedom , it is essential to be faced with the possibility of making choices and not acting in a “programmed” way.
Even if in the end you decide to continue eating meat, as you always have, living this reflection is already extremely beneficial, as it puts us in front of what we can call free will.
In addition to non-violence
There are many other arguments for adopting a meat-free diet, including from a nutritional point of view, which seems counter intuitive to many. A vegetarian diet can lead you to follow healthier habits, and also from a greater perspective, more sustainable, as it helps in preserving the environment. Even non-violence also involves caring for nature and plants, in addition to the way we relate to other humans and animals.
Read Also: 5 Scientific Benefits Of Yoga
Yoga and Vegetarianism Diet for People
There are some reasons for Yoga practitioners to become vegetarians, among which we can highlight three main ones:
1. Dharma and environmental ethics
Dharma means “that which holds together”, and refers not only to natural laws, but also to the Conscious Force of harmony and cohesion that produces and maintains the universe. Another interpretation on the human level is of a group of values, universal and eternal, through which a harmonious coexistence in society is defined. And finally, it can also be understood as what people remain faithful to throughout their lives, that is, the human purpose.
In this sense, eating meat goes against universal law, because it means not only participating, even if indirectly, in an act of violence and cruelty against the animal kingdom, but also against the environment, when we are colluding with the destruction of the forest for setting up pastures for fattening and raising cattle . If a part of the fertile land used today for raising livestock were used for planting, the problem of hunger in the world would end.
It is more than clear that a meat-rich diet is directly responsible for an endless array of health problems, ranging from constipation to Parkinson’s disease, among many others . Uruguay, for example, a country where meat consumption is massive, holds the record for deaths from colon cancer in the world, in numbers relative to the population. That is, vegetarian people run fewer minor health risks.
3. Spiritual progress
Not all spiritual traditions of the East embrace vegetarianism and yoga in relation to spiritual progress. For example, Tibetan Buddhism makes no mention of the theme, this happens for two reasons. First, Tibet is a steep country, very cold and high, where it is not possible for a large part of the population to follow a diet without meat. Second, Buddha did not want to place any restrictions on his monks regarding food to prevent them from becoming attached to a diet and ceasing to accept food given to them as alms.
Even the Buddha himself died due to an intoxication he acquired at a dinner that was served pork, which he did not reject for the aforementioned issue of detachment. The Dalai Lama recommends a vegetarian diet to his followers.