Yoga's Impact on Our Food Choices : Peace on our Plate

 Our food choices affect our physical, mental and emotional health; unfortunately, most of us don’t realize it. It alters our overall well-being as well as our inner peace. If we make a conscious choice to elevate ourselves spiritually, to become more subtle and loving, and truer to ourselves, what then comes 100% naturally is unconditional love which excludes any form of violence. 

As we become more self-aware, someone’s leg or head in the plate will suddenly start to repel us. A complete inner software change happens, out of the blue. It becomes impossible for us to eat meat, to eat our friends. 

Yoga's Impact on Our Food Choices : Peace on our Plate

As a Yoga Instructor and a humble servant of this profound ancient science, I must say that after some time of practising Yoga sincerely, including Pranayama and meditation, a vegan lifestyle naturally becomes part of a Yogic lifestyle. 

Yoga, as an ancient science that represents the state of inner Union with the Absolute and the way to reach that Union, helps us in the process of profound inner cleansing. The meridians (nadis) in our aura and various blockages at all levels are the main cause of our heaviness.

The experiences of the outer world reflect our inner world

Negative, painful impressions (samskaras) are literally stored in our muscles and one of the main purposes of Yoga is to help us remove these blockages from our system and experience a higher, lighter version of ourselves as we progress towards full spiritual awakening. 

As we get a direct, blissful experience of Prana, the subtle life-force energy, vibrating within us, we start recognizing the Prana everywhere around us, in the entire Creation. 

The feeling of this heart-expanding union with this sublime vibrating energy naturally roots us in non-violence. As we become more sensitive and more aware of Prana, living food, like raw fruits and vegetables, becomes far more inviting than any type of dead food. Hurting other beings becomes as unnatural as hurting ourselves.

As we slowly fall in love with this feeling of lightness, love, inner harmony and causeless joy, it is only natural that we stop gravitating towards food, drinks, environments, people and all lifestyle choices that take us in the opposite direction.

Just like human beings, animals follow the same pattern of storing painful impressions (samskaras) in the muscles of their body. No animal is happy to be killed. On the contrary, the truth of all the slaughterhouses is the immense pain, fear, desperation, and resistance that animals being slaughtered most definitely feel. 

Their muscles, which then become the meat products for human consumption, thus carry a big load of samskaras with them. No matter how much we fry, boil, grill or bake this meat, the samskaras at the subtle level remain and they enter our system with each bite of meat. 

Instead of using the precious time given to us while in the body to cleanse and elevate ourselves, through just this one choice of eating meat, one gets a big additional load of samskaras to cleanse from the system.

Given the above, Yoga as a practice doesn’t make much sense if, after all the cleansing, one loads the system with samskaras of pain, frustration, victimhood, anger, aggression that is a part and parcel of meat.

It was only with the practice of Yoga, Pranayama, meditation and social service that I started changing my diet. I made a conscious choice of excluding red meat from my diet, which was soon followed by the exclusion of chicken, then seafood, then eggs and in the end dairy products as well. 

All of this happened over time, only when I was ready and when this choice came to me naturally.

I don’t believe anyone should be pushed into adopting a vegan lifestyle. As vegans, we don’t have the right to push others, but to gently nudge and inspire others in all humility to make such life choices and experience the difference. 

In other words, vegan people should serve as examples to others. Love, pure and unconditional, love towards ourselves and the entire creation, is the answer to all our problems. Only through love can we reach the higher consciousness, inner fulfilment and complete blossoming of our true potential.

Let us make the first step in that direction by embracing non-violence at all levels, which most definitely includes a vegan lifestyle.