YIV: How were you first introduced to yoga? Why have you continued to practice?
PE: I was first introduced through my aunt when I was younger though a p90x home work out video. After a few years and getting a 90day program each year, I was really drawn to the yoga part. I found Balanced Hot Yoga Sudio in New Haven after checking out a few studios and the hot yoga felt right.
YIV: When did you go vegan? Why did you make the decision to do so?
PE: The year I decided to really engage in yoga by taking a teacher training was also the year I went full vegan. This was in the beginning of the year 2017. It was a few years of process to commit to the diet/lifestyle of being vegan. I had watched many films from Forks Over Knives, Hungry for Change and had a few friends who were vegetarian. Cowspiracy was what really showed me what was happening and helped solidify my choice. I feel it started with self health and simplifying my die. Then, learning about the environment and really understanding and waking up to the unnecessary killing of innocent beings made my choices easy to keep consistent. Many say "oh that must be hard?" I think it harder to go back to sleep once you wake up to the reality of exploitation and cruelty that exists because of people's choices.
YIV: If you are a teacher, do you ever introduce the concept of ahimsa or veganism to your students? If so, how has it been received?
PE: I have dropped sprinkles as I am new to teaching yoga . I'm learning to have great conversation with people about veganism outside the studio. I want to be able to speak clear and with compassion and ease so I really connect and help others see why it is so important as a large part of self love and healing human guilt.
YIV: What advice would you give to a yoga student who wants to become vegan?
PE: Be patient and take the time to adjust. Every little bit helps. So if it's one less meal of meat and dairy or one less week it gets easier every day with great health benefits. Sometimes for people, the beginning can be challenging as you clean your system out and that can bring a lot to the surface physically emotionally and energetically.
YIV: Do you have a favorite vegan recipe you would like to share? If it's not your own, please credit the author.
PE: To be honest there are so many great recipes and websites but when I started, I ate just the simple things and whole food fruit and veggies.
I'd recommend eat a banana or an orange. avocados and some hemp seed berries. Smoothies, burritos, pb&j. Although whatever you decide, check for organic and non gmo for everything. If you get vegan treats that are processed still always read through ingredients. I stay away from sugar and things I don't understand how to pronounce.
YIV: Where do you love to go for vegan food?
PE: Oh boy, everywhere I can support people really going full dedication to the vegan world. Here in CT I go to G-Zen in Branford, Pure Alchemy in Wallingford, Ninth Square Market Caribbean Style in New Haven, Three Girls Creamery in Guilford and Ion in Middletown. Once a month I go to Compassionfest Vegan Potluck at the Unitarian in New Haven on Whitney Ave. The vegan community always like to have meet ups and share with each other as well. I also enjoy eating In the Woods Forged snacks as well at Edge of the Woods market in New Haven.
- Patrick Escandon
Facebook: Patrick Escandon