Anna Ferguson, Ohio

In college, I was introduced both to vegetarianism and yoga practice via asana, the postures. One of my roommates and friends in school decided to experiment with eating a vegetarian diet. Because of my childhood upbringing, which was also influenced by society, I thought that eating fellow animals was a necessary part of a proper human diet. So, at first, I was very critical of her choice. “Where will you get your protein?” I asked her, along with, “Aren’t these animals here for us to eat?” It’s amazing how a shift in perception changed my life.  

Gradually, I began to observe some positive changes in my roommate, as she devoted herself to a vegetarian diet. I saw that her skin had a glow, and she took on a healthy weight by shedding a few pounds. Overall, she seemed calmer, especially in situations where the more natural response was stress.

I thought, “Who wouldn’t like that?”

Anna Ferguson So, these physical and mental changes that I saw sparked my interest. I began to experiment. At first I started to copy my roommate’s vegetarian diet for self-centered reasons, thereby increasing compassion for myself. I improved my health and started to feel better. (It is, after all, important to be healthy and take care of the body.) Later in my journey, I found that it is not enough to maintain a lifestyle for self-centered reasons. Other-centered reasons became essential for my growth.
My yoga practice of various poses, combined with conscious breathing and meditation, assisted me with connecting deeper to my intuition. I seemed to better understand what was nourishing for my body and mind because they both seemed to “know” what was nourishing for them. Unimportant things—indeed, things that are ultimately harmful—fell away because of my increased awareness. I was never conscious of “giving up” anything (such as eggs, cow’s milk, or honey), only gaining something instead.

Through continued study, my yoga practice deepened and my choices became less self- and more other-centered, through the practice of ahimsa (nonviolence). Having these other-centered reasons as a motivation for choosing what to eat, wear, and purchase became as natural to me as breathing is to life.

While ahimsa (nonviolence) is the primary ethic and moral value of yoga, I have also found the asana practice of moving from pose to pose to be a practice of deepening empathy and compassion. What I love about an asana practice is that we become a dog, a mountain, a cobra, and other aspects of creation as a whole. As practitioners, we engage in a variety of forms that we see in nature and throughout the cosmos. In becoming these forms, we make a connection with all forms. Essentially, in an asana practice, we are putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, claws, hooves, wings, paws, fins, and so on, in an effort to empathize and understand our interconnectedness or sameness with others. 

When we assume a variety of these forms, the postures establish and reestablish our connection to the earth. We may become a mountain, a tree, or a triangle as well as a horse, camel, cat, or cow. As our practice develops, we may experiment with “becoming” an ant, cricket, bee, chicken, pig, goat, bear, or even a shark! New and unique forms assist yogis in awakening to the sacredness of all life.

When I first started my yoga practice, I’ll admit that I saw it as something to benefit me and, of course, it did and still does. It never crossed my mind that my practice might benefit others. I am grateful to all the individuals that have played a part of my yoga and vegan journey.  It is through my personal practice, life experience, and many wonderful teachers and fellow vegan spiritual trailblazers, such as Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet that inspired me to write World Peace Yoga: Yoga for People Who Breath. I wrote this book to bring together the multi-faceted aspects of a yoga practice and to create a holistic, fun, colorful, and practical tool for living yoga on and off the mat.  My dream is that this book touches the hearts of those who read it so they may live more fully from their most authentic self and realize the gifts they have to share with the world.

For all you fellow vegan yogis out there, I invite you to assist me increasing peace on this planet and furthering the vegan yoga movement by ordering a copy of my book for yourself or for a not-yet-vegan yogi. Anna FergusonReceive special rewards when you get involved with my Kickstarter campaign Yoga Revolutionized: Mindfulness, Self-Love, & Inner Peace.
This is a companion book to Dr. Will Tuttle’s The World Peace Diet that may be used for an everyday reference, class preparation, or teacher training.  
Part of the proceeds from the book benefit Heärt Montessori, a vegan Montessori school teaching children yoga, permaculture, and compassion alongside core academics.
When we get 450 people to pre-order the book on Kickstarter, we are able to reach our goal and beyond.  
The first 48-hours of this campaign are crucial to meeting the goal. Campaigns that get well funded on the first day are 10 times more likely to reach their goal and beyond.  Please consider contributing to my campaign on December 10 and PICK YOUR FAVORITE REWARD
Preview the campaign here:
Link to Facebook event:

-Anna Ferguson is the co-creator of World Peace Yoga, a school of yoga that inspires others to manifest the most exquisite version of themselves through developing intuition, deepening empathy, and acting with compassion toward all beings and the earth. It is part of Anna’s DNA to teach a spiritual approach to all aspects of yoga, sharing it as a holistic practice and lifestyle.  Anna is engaged in several evolving paradigms as a co-founder of Heärt Montessori, a school where empathy and compassion are taught as part of core academics, the Peace House Grille, a new concept of a delicious vegan educational restaurant, and the Jubilee Animal Sanctuary, providing a glimpse of what a peaceful world looks like. She has been blessed with some lovely teachers, collaborators, associates, friends, and family and continues to learn and grow moment by moment on her practical and magical journey.

Instagram: @annafergusonpeace

Facebook: @annafergusonpeace

YouTube: Heärt TV and Little Buddha Series


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