Must A Yogi Be A Vegetarian?

In my heart of hearts, the answer is yes. The yogic life follows the principle of ahimsa or “non-harming,” and at the core of this belief is reverence for all beings. But how do you change your diet and lifestyle if you have a full-time job, a yoga practice that you’re striving to make time for and a hundred and one things you need to accomplish during your waking hours?

I’ve been trying to be a vegetarian for years now, but my attempts have been squashed by excuses such as those you’ve read above.  A lot of people have done it successfully and perhaps, with a little more effort, I could do it too. My biggest concern to this day is not getting enough protein if I give up meat. Yes, there are several protein substitutes for vegetarians out there but the embarrassing bit about all of this is… I can’t cook. Well, I think it’s more accurate to say that I don’t cook because I’m sure if I follow the instructions in a vegetarian cookbook, I could come up with something edible. So, I suppose the biggest obstacle to my desire to be a vegetarian is lack of time. Sadly, vegetarian fare is not readily available in the Philippines. In the few places that it is, it can be quite pricey. Yesterday, my office friends and I decided to order lunch from an organic restaurant that had vegetarian dishes. We ended up paying for an overpriced vegetarian meal that didn’t satisfy our carnivore palates.

It’s not easy to change habits, whether it’s eating meat or gossiping. It takes time, effort and a strong will to accomplish anything. I guess the first thing to do is ask for help. So here I am, asking. Help, please!

Photo by Martin Cathrae

 

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