As you probably know by now, yoga is more than simply stretching your body.
The yoga tradition promotes a vegetarian lifestyle. This is part of the one of the eight limbs of yoga: yamas. The yamas set out the actions from which yogis should restrain and advocate living a life of non-violence and truthfulness. Non-violence is called ‘ahimsa’, meaning respecting the sanctity of all living things.
People that change to a vegetarian lifestyle will notice the benefits in their yoga practice as well as in their daily life: less heaviness in body makes it easier to go deeper into the practice, the mind is calmer which helps meditation practice.
The health benefits of plant foods are countless. Besides the spiritual & karmic benefits of vegetarianism, there are numerous health benefits: less risk to certain types of cancer, diabetes type 2, cardio-vascular disease and obesity. Plant foods contain enormous amounts of antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. These nutrients help protect the body against illness and create and maintain strong health. Furthermore, by refraining from eating animal products, you have a positive and direct impact on the environment as less water and land are required to produce plant foods. Growing grains and pulses to feed to animals first to create animal protein for human consumption is much less efficient than eating them directly ourselves. The livestock industry uses huge amounts of land, water and fossil fuels, while producing 18%* of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and all sorts of other pollution. Lastly, by switching to a plant-based lifestyle you respect people living in third world countries that suffer from a.o. forced expulsions and re-locations who have no access to own land to cultivate and clean water due to industrialized farming by multinational companies.
By choosing this plant based lifestyle, you’ll discover there’s a whole new world out there, full of delicious food. There are many prejudices about vegetarian food. Let me reassure you: you don’t have to worry about getting your proteins, your vitamins or minerals. Plant foods have everything you need and then some! Whipping up a veggie meal doesn’t have to take hours either, there are easy & more elaborate meals you can make. There’s something for everyone’s taste, budget and schedule.
So, what are you waiting for? Start making the change for a happier, healthier & more harmonious you :-).
FYI: I’ll share recipes and great blogs, websites and cookbooks with veggie inspiration on a regular basis, so watch this space.
In the meantime, check out these great resources for health & nutrition facts.
*Sources: FAO The long shadow livestock & Vegetarian Society.
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