"I can't find a yoga class that doesn't try to compromise my personal belief structure because I don't want to be forced to be vegan in order not to be ostracized"

From Sean,

Really?  You can’t find a yoga class that won’t force you to be vegan?  Where on earth do you live?

Let me also point out that yoga advocates a vegetarian diet, not necessarily a “vegan” one.  Did you hear that?  Yoga ADVOCATES a vegetarian diet.  In fact, yoga “advocates” a lot of behaviors that may or may not be in-step with your current lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you have to adopt all of them right from the start.

Yoga is not a religion. You are not forced to follow certain rules in order to join in.  However, yoga IS a system for helping us to explore our lives on every level, including diet, and through that exploration perhaps coming to learn and appreciate healthier ways to approach our lives.  We make changes in yoga because we want to, not because we have to.

It sounds to me like you are looking for an excuse not to do yoga, rather than a good reason to give it a try.

Yogacharya,
Driector,
International Yogalayam

** see more “Yoga Hurdle” posts here …

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5 Comments so far

  1. Monika on August 30th, 2009

    I’ve been to so many different yoga classes and never had anyone pressure me to be a vegan. If you’re being ostracized in your yoga class, then it’s time to find a new yoga class!

  2. Carol on September 3rd, 2009

    I was not a vegetarian when I started doing yoga (about 5 years ago). I still eat some dairy products, but for the most part I am no longer a meat eater. I didn’t stop eating meat because I had to, I stopped because it made me feel so much healthier. That realization came slowly, over time, the more I did yoga, and the more I began to change things about my life and lead a healthier, more harmonious lifestyle.

  3. Susan Robinson on September 5th, 2009

    It used to be that true yoga teachers were supposed to be vegetarian and most people thought they were somewhat “wierd”. Now we have many yoga teachers who are not vegetarian. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 10 years and I just started teaching yoga two years ago. Over the years when women find out I don’t eat meat (and I don’t tell unless they ask), they get embarassed about themselves still eating meat like they are bad or something. I always tell them that they should do what feels right to them, some people feel better when they eat meat once in a while. I personally feel better
    when I don’t. It is a personal choice and we all should respect that. Thanks for letting me comment!

  4. Norm on September 5th, 2009

    Check out “Eating Right for Your Blood Type”, by Dr D’Adamo. For O blood types eating beef is benificial, if you are A blood type it should be avoided.

  5. Lyn Banas-Petronsky on September 5th, 2009

    May I suggest that you seek out a traditionally trained yoga teacher? That is one that is trained in asana, pranayama, mantra, chanting, mudra, meditation and philosophy, which is taught one-on-one. Advanced practioners in these areas are yoga therapists.

    The yogic practice is a lifelong individual/personal process. The practice cannot be forced upon someone. Each person has their own personal path or journey that is uniquely their own that they need to follow…

    My training is in the Viniyoga Tradition, in short we are taught to meet the indivual where they are at and use the tools appropriately to teach them based on their goals, needs, abilities, etc (not to forcfully use all of the tools that I have learned, upon every student that comes before me)… If one is teaching in the Viniyoga tradition then they are bringing yoga to the person, not the other way around.

    Be well

    Here is the link to the teacher directory if you are interested in seeking out someone who might be in your area: http://www.viniyoga.com/?cn=who_directory

    Viniyoga by Gary Kraftsow, AVI

    Yoga provides the means to bring out the best in each individual. This requires an understanding of a person’s present condition, personal potential, appropriate goals and the means available. As each person is different, these will vary with each individual.

    Viniyoga is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application. As a style of practice, Viniyoga refers to an approach to Yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of the individual. As a result, each practitioner is given the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation.

    The Viniyoga approach evolved out of the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Chennai, India.