Why Vegetarian Diet Is More Suitable For Yoga Practice?

Vegetarian diet is the most obvious choice for most serious yoga practitioners because of the ethical and nutritional considerations. One of the most important aspects of Yoga is non-judgment, so you are free to choose whatever types of food you want to eat. There are a number of people who eat meat and do yoga regularly. Therefore, you need not be vegetarian before you start doing yoga. But as your yoga practice matures towards eight fold path of yoga, your self awareness increases. You will become more spiritual and you may find more difficult to eat animals. Read more on the subject and make your own choice whether you want to eat vegetarian or non vegetarian food.

Ethical Aspects of Eating Meat

The Nobel prize winner Issac Bashevis once asked "How can we Pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of rights and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood? I personally believe that as long as human beings will go on shedding the blood of animals, there will ever be any peace."

Ask yourself the question, "Do we need to eat meat to survive?" If your survival depend on eating meat then it may be justified a bit, but eating meat just for satisfying the taste buds is simply a luxury.

If more people turn vegetarians, it can be a step towards saving the animals from unnecessary suffering.

Propaganda For Meat Eating

Most of the people have been made to believe that they cannot survive without a diet high in animal protein. However, most of the world population is surviving on vegetarian diet. We get protein in almost every food we eat, and we do not require animal protein at any time as an adult if an adequate balance of healthy food is being consumed.

Vegetarian Diet And Nutrition

There are some misconceptions that non vegetarian diet is more nutritious than vegetarian diet. Although meat is excellent source of proteins and Vitamin B12, but if we mix grains and legumes together it supplies correct ratio of proteins to the body. Vitamin B12 is also found in yeast, milk, yoghurt and fermented foods. Calcium is easy to find in vegetarian foods. Many dark, green leafy vegetables and beans are loaded with calcium, and some orange juices and cereals are calcium-fortified. Iron is plentiful in whole grains, beans and fruits. All kind of vitamins and minerals are present in vegetarian diet.

Vegetarianism promotes inner calmness and harmony between body and mind while eating meat has been linked with internal tension, disharmony and arousal of passion.

Types Of Food And Yoga

According to Ayurveda, there are three types of food.

Food which produces balanced state of body and mind is called sattvik diet. The sattvik food brings purity, cheerfulness, good health and happiness. This type of food includes all types of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables , nuts, milk, freshly cooked grains, beans and lentils. Sattvik food increase our mental and physical vitality also.

Rajasik food are prepared with many spices and plenty of ghee/ oil. This type of food is difficult to digest and creates unhappiness and disease. Meat and fish are rajasik foods.

Third type of food is tamasic food. They are old stale food and processed foods. These foods lowers down the energy, makes the mind unclean and corrupt.

So by avoiding Tamasik and Rajasik food and sticking to the sattvik diet we can gradually change the inner chemistry of our body. Taking control of the food you eat when you become vegetarian is one of the easiest way to support and maintain the mental purity you gain from yoga practice.

Meat and fish are listed among the food injurious to the yogi by the hatha yoga pradipika and eating animal flesh violates the yogic ethics (yamas) by patanjali in yoga sutras of ahimsa (non violence).

Advantages Of Eating Less Meat

  • The vegetarian diet enjoys a clear advantage over non vegertarian food
  • Those who eat flesh are far more likely to contract cancer than those following a vegetarian diet.
  • There are many illnesses caused by toxic bacteria in the bowels.
  • Animal meat is costly to produce.
  • Meat-eaters ingest excessive amounts of cholesterol, making them dangerously susceptible to heart attacks.
  • Completely eliminating meat, dairy and egg products from one's diet reduces the risk of heart attack by 90%!
  • Meat takes 36-72 hours to digest, whereas vegetarian food takes 3-6 hours
  • Amongst the people having a meat diet, there is evidence to support a higher incidence of disease states - such as heart disease, colon cancer, appendicitis, diabetes, joint and muscular problem.
  • Use of antibiotic and hormones vaccines to stimulate animal growth is common throughout the world. These remain in meat and when consumed they make the body's natural system unbalanced.
  • At the time of slaughtering of animals are highly stressed and large amount of adrenaline are released into the blood stream which changes with stress.

 Vegetarian Diet Benefits

  • Vegetarian food is easy to digest.
  • Most people who switch to vegetarian diets notice that there's more energy in their body because of the more efficient manner in which they'refueling their body. So use that extra energy to get up and get moving; it's an important step in weight control.
  • By choosing to adopt the vegetarian lifestyle, you're going to improve your health, help conserve the earth's natural resources, eat more ethically and responsibly, and lower your risk of contracting meat-borne illnesses from E. coli contamination and additives like hormones, chemicals, and antibiotics.
  • But that doesn't mean your diet has to be boring; there's a whole world of foods out there that you can enjoy.
  • Vegetarian diet helps to prevent and alleviate heart disease, diabetes, asthma and lower blood pressure.

 Action Plan To Become Vegetarian

  • Educate yourself about where, when, and what animal products are being used in your diet.
  • Use fresh vegetables whenever possible, frozen if you have to, and stay away from canned vegetables.
  • Plan vegetarian yoga diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and grains, nuts and seeds, and a moderate amount of dairy products. This doesn't mean your food has to be tasteless, though.
  • You can prepare countless dishes using various combinations of these nutritious foods.

Yogic Diet is Spiritual Diet

A vegetarian diet supports superior health for the individual, as well as harmony with one's surrounding, natural environment.

The yoga diet is especially important if we want to elevate our consciousness to the stage where we're feeling love and compassion for all living beings-including animals.

A real yogi eats to live, rather than living to eat. A vegetarian diet is at the foundation of the yogic life. Becoming a vegetarian should not be forced, let it become a natural resolve as you continue your progress on the path of yoga.

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