Yoga practitioner must be a vegetarian?

After practicing yoga for quite some time and learning yoga philosophy many thoughts about vegetarianism are hitting my head. Especially I am concerned even more because I eat meat regularly and quite like the taste.

 

I heard from someone that if you are a vegetarian your body gets more optimized for yoga practice.

 

But why do we have to be a vegetarian?

If the determination to become a vegetarian is because many yoga practitioners do so then it wouldn’t be lasting long.

 

But then why yoga practitioners don’t eat meat?

I figured out 2 of the reasons.

 

  1. Karma

It says if we eat meat then all the negative feelings before animal dies would be absorbed to our body. Therefore they don’t eat meat because it distracts the energy for breathing and Asana.

 

  1. Ahimsa

Ahimsa means non violence and no destruction of life.

It’s one of the philosophy that yoga practitioner should follow. It can’t be even imagined how big violence eating meat is to animals.

You could say that I didn’t cause the direct violence to animals but they were killed to be eaten for human, meat eater could be a ground for the violence.

 

But the reason yoga people are vegetarian is not only for the body.

Vegetarianism is just one of the things that we follow the philosophy of yoga.

The more important things than being a vegetarian are that all the things such as spirits, thoughts, action, sympathy and etc. that we do in our daily life.

If you are a vegetarian who don’t feel the love of animals inside you then it’s just not real.

 

Before writing this post I have thought of my diets and usual thoughts.

And questioned myself if I feel sympathy consistently in my life and am able to become a sincere vegetarian that I want from a deep bottom of my heart?

 

To be honest the answer is not yet.

But as a person who loves yoga, I will try to implement things yoga pursues to my life step by step. I think it might be a good idea to take a moment and think about animals when I eat meat.

 

But if you want to grow physically and spiritually through yoga, and something from your heart whispers then you can simply start vegetarianism now!

Ahimsa, to be a better person

Ahimsa is the first Yama of the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga which means non violence in Sanskrit. As I first learned about the concept of Ahimsa in the class, it got me to question deeper and deeper about what really Ahimsa means.

The wounds I got from people, the violence that I committed to other people around me and to myself, my violent habits that I am causing to animals and nature, vegetarianism and so on.

 

But among them it is the most painful when I think about the violence that is committed between man and man. And it seems like it’s the most complicate task for me to change myself according to yoga philosophy.

 

It is easy to commit violence to one another if you don’t have a good understanding of difference between people because we all have different abilities, personality and different physical and mental conditions.

 

“Why can’t you? “, ” Why is that so difficult for you? “, ” you can just do it. “, ” I Can’t understand ”

 

I think I said quite often to just ask or talk to someone like this assuming that it’s an easy thing without thinking much about what might be difficult for other people. Just asking like this without thinking about other people’s difficulties is actually sarcastic remarks or pressure saying like “what is so hard?” rather than to understand other people. In fact I think I just did it like that even though I kind of knew it.

 

Now taking out the hurting and hardships that I experienced, I just remember the pressuring moments from that kind of questions or comments that I faced from other people at the hardest point of my life and after that I immediately thought of same kinds of violence I did to others.

 

At that time, I thought they didn’t try enough. Rather than trying to understand their situations first like “there must be a reason for that”. Thinking about those moments I feel sad and guilty.

 

I am still not sure whether I should apologize to them first. I am still not courageous enough. But if I practice hard to live according to the lesson of Ahimsa, one day I might apologize to them first.

 

I know that I still have a long way to go to be a real yogi especially that I regret every day of the violent habit done unconsciously but I will not give up.

If I keep trying with constant self-examination then I will be already somewhat close to a yogi.

 

so I like yoga.

It plants a seed inside me that I could be a better person.

Attach but Detach! Lesson I learned from Raja yoga

Raja means King. According to what my teacher said in our yoga philosophy class, you enjoy all the nice things the world provides you but at the same time you are able to be detached from them as well, which means you shouldn’t feel discomfort or unhappiness when the attachment is gone.

 

It’s quite tough especially these days where we live such an affluent society. The more you have, the more you want to possess and tend to obsess with them and it’s getting difficult to be free from it.

 

Looking back myself I found myself being obsessed with quite many things already.

As we all do wherever i go i bring my cell phone with me. Just for a short workout, when i go to sleep or even for toilet. I guess I am already deeply addicted to the joy that cell phone brings to me.

 

But when we talk about obsession, there isn’t only material obsession but also mental obsession.

Since I left Korea I have felt loneliness always. Korea where all my family and friends are living.

If there are only happy and good events in our life that’ll be wonderful but life isn’t like that as we all know.

When I walked through difficult times of my life I had the feeling that I have nobody around me, I am all alone on this earth. I was lonely and unhappy. I guess I was obsessed with the relationships with my people and the comfort these relationships brought.

 

But my teacher Sree said these are also attachment that we should be detached. If we are with someone who you love and feels good together, that’s good, Wonderful! But even if we aren’t that doesn’t mean that we should feel bad or sad.

Even if we aren’t with other people around us we should still make ourselves happy.

 

Of course to reach that point I need a lot of effort and practice but the philosophy of the Raja yoga threw the questions that I hadn’t even thought about.

 

Living without obsession. Living detached. When all things around us are gone still staying happy and calm.

 

Even after yoga TTC is over, I will keep trying to implement this philosophy to my life so that I don’t feel miserable of my life and live a happy life regardless of material or mental attachment.

What is Yoga to me?

My first yoga experience was around the end of 2006 and my main intention was to lose weight. At that time Yoga exercise was a phenomenon in Korea as it got known as the celebrities’ favorite exercise.

 

The first 3 months were very tough. Nevertheless the reason I kept practicing yoga was the Savasana which was given for about 1 min after challenging poses. The moment all the stresses is gone away!

As far as I remember, I would practice yoga about 3 times a week for 3 months because I felt like my body and also mind are much lighter after yoga practice.

 

But after a while I quitted it.

Soon I signed up for another yoga studio and quitted again after some time. This happened over and over for around 3 years.

I think I must have practiced yoga at least 8 months in total.

 

And I started practicing yoga regularly in earnest in January 2018, since I moved to Singapore.

While I stayed in Norway (before I moved to Singapore) I experienced depression and anxiety over an year. I even became a person who is dispirited and has a low confidence. But since I practiced yoga and meditate regularly in the yoga classes I finally got to feel like I found an inner peace inside me and it makes me becoming more positive person. I started getting deeply into yoga and believing the power of yoga.

 

And finally in November 2018 I signed up for yoga TTC at Tirisula yoga to learn more about the philosophy of yoga and expand my yoga experience.

3 hours of physical yoga practice at school and 2 hours of extra practice at home made me indeed stronger physically and mentally. Of course it expanded a lot of my yoga knowledge like how yoga people should act and how they see the world.

 

What would be the reason that I who don’t even like Sports or any kind of exercise, like yoga and have kept practicing yoga?

 

First, the breathing of yoga gets me calm.

The deeper we practice yoga, the deeper our breathing is.

This breathing is deep and soft unlike other kinds of sports. There is a power to recover and purify our body. The practice with good breathing makes our head clean and our body lighter and refreshed.

 

Second, it increases our physical ability as these days sitting in front of the desk staring at computer or smart phone is a way of life.

Stiff shoulders, backache, numbness of legs are gone while practicing yoga because it increases flexibility and strength at the same time. Since yoga is a whole body exercise it improves not only immune system in our body but also corrects our postures in a daily life by waking up and developing all the muscle throughout our body.

 

Third,  Achievement.

If I keep trying, someday I could manage to do certain poses that looked impossible at the first time.

This achievement becomes a big motivation to keep practicing yoga. Those who practice yoga must have the same experience to yell out a cheer saying “I did it” on the mat when they made a challenging pose that struggled to make days or months.

To me Urdhva dhanurasana (upward bow pose) it was.

It seemed that I could never make this pose when I saw it first time. My shoulders were stiff and backbend was very challenging.

Of course still I can’t make the pose perfectly but I can make an arch.

 

Forth, yoga shows the honesty of our body. It reminds me of Korean saying that Your efforts will never betray you!

You can improve your yoga skills as much as you practice. I mean there must be a difference of improvement speed depending on people and there must be poses that you are physically not able to do because of your body shape limit but for average people they could do most of the poses if they invest some time to their practice. Seeing my body changing as much as I practice, I get courage that there’s nothing I can’t do for other things if I do in this attitude.

 

For these reasons I will practice yoga for the rest of my life.

It would be even nicer if I have an opportunity to teach someone this good exercise and way of life.

I will constantly practice and learn and try to spread out this good yoga!