Bacon and Yoga – Together at Last

Possibly one of the biggest debates in the yoga community is around food, ahimsa (non-harming), and health.  An article in the New York Times includes an in-depth view on the wide range of ideas surrounding yoga and food choices. Can you be a yogi who also appreciates a burger or even bacon every now and then? What about wine or chocolate? Some say yes, some say no…

There is a full spectrum of opinions on the subject – everything from eating anything you choose to being a vegetarian to  ensuring that each vegetable you eat is grown in an atmosphere of positive energy. That’s right,  some do not believe that an all-vegan, organic, low-carbon-footprint diet is pure enough: each vegetable must be grown in an atmosphere of positive energy. Seems unattainable or even a bit excessive, but what a beautiful concept.

It’s an interesting question – is it more important to be vegetarian or to be concerned with where your meat – or any food –  is coming from?  Does buying organic, free of pesticides/hormones, low carbon footprint or even buying locally take precedence over being a vegetarian? Does any sort of precedence even come into play?

Maybe the middle path is best – follow a diet that suites you according to your yoga philosophy and refrain from judging those who choose differently.  If we become intolerant towards those who eat meat, is that an act of kindness? Mary Taylor, a student of Julia Child, asks: “If your grandmother is making a wonderful meat dish that you have loved since you were a child, is it yoga to push it away?”

No matter where you stand on the issue, it’s hard to argue with this quote by Dave Romanelli:  “What yoga teachers do and what chefs do is not so different. We take everyday actions like moving and eating, and slow you down so you can appreciate them.” Basically, achieving stillness and peace amid the distractions of life has always been the higher goal of yoga.

Whether talking about opinions on food or other lifestyle choices, intention is key.  It’s not just what your life choices are or why you choose them – it’s the intention behind how you carry those choices through your life and in what way you choose to extend them to others.

Music for today: Believe in Love, The Wooden Birds  (Magnolia, 2009)

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  1. You, my dear, are precious. In the past, the mere mention of yoga bored me, but with the Heather-spin, I find the subject enlightening. Move to NYC and then I will take up yoga.

    Oh, and within the philosophical debate, I am all about following the ‘do unto others’ method than anything else. I want to be treated with respect and kindness, so I will treat others with respect and kindness… whether or not they choose to eat meat, practice yoga or wear low-hanging pants.

  2. Ha ha yes, right, move to NYC…it’s still cold there, right? I am glad the subject is more appetizing now 😉

    Low-hanging pants is a tough one to respect; however, I am with you. Respect and kindness is key. Not always easy, but we should reflect that which we want to receive.

    • sidney
    • March 5th, 2010

    The middle path is usually the wisest. Is it a coincidence that yoga and yoda are almost the same word? I will close with one last quote, “mmmmmm…….bacon.”

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