YIV: How were you first introduced to yoga? Why have you continued to practice?
PS: I was first introduced to yoga by a childhood friend of mine who at the time was living with me in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I was living and teaching English. She told me "sis, yoga will give you life!" So I figured with a statement like that the least I could do was try it out with her. So we went to a level 3 class in a beautiful studio with no doors overlooking bamboo trees in the sticky season of summer in the mountains of Northern Thailand. I didn't know a tree pose from a warrior, I couldn't hold a plank for as long as my peers, and chaturanga I thought must be a Thai word, I didn't know any better. I left there feeling like "that was nice, I would go again." And so we did, with different teachers at different locations. I didn't know then what I know now, which is yoga did give me life, it taught me how to breath. And for me that began my healing journey and my love for yoga.
YIV: When did you go vegan? Why did you make the decision to do so?
PS: I went vegan on Thanksgiving, the day after I returned from my 2 year journey in Thailand. It was 2016. I decided to go vegan for the simple reason that connecting with nature while living in the mountains lead me to connect deeper with myself and animals. I decided that I wanted to live a life of practicing reciprocity not only towards humans but all beings and I couldn't do that while continuing to eat animals or animal products. The decision was crystal clear I didn't need to transition or try it out. I knew that this was a decision I was making to live a healthier wholehearted life and for me, there was nothing that was going to prevent me from doing that, not even myself.
YIV: Why do you think yoga is vegan?
PS: In my journey Yoga is vegan, however, the reality is that some yogi's do not see a connection to nonviolence as it pertains to what they consume. Many yogis do not consider their lifestyle eating meat a harmful one, and if they do they are not willing to give it up to completely practice the principles of yoga. To me, everyone has their own journey so I am no one to judge or analyze someone else's. I wish them clarity, consciousness, and at some point a lifestyle change.
YIV: As a teacher, do you ever introduce the concept of ahimsa or veganism to your students?
PS: I personally do not discuss veganism in my yoga classes. I do occasionally share personal experiences of mine with my students and invite them to my events outside of class that are vegan friendly. However, I feel it can be difficult enough to focus and come back to the breath, let alone adding a deeper level of reflection to one’s lifestyle choices. I share my social media and blogs with my students so they have the choice to get to know my journey outside of the classroom if they choose, embedding it into the framework of Asana isn’t something I personally practice.
YIV: What advice would you give to a yoga student who wants to become vegan?
PS: Do it. Your spirit is guiding you to improve your life, listen. It can be difficult to make changes, as is life, but when we really want to do something we find a way. Find ways that work for you.
YIV: Do you have a favorite vegan recipe you would like to share?
PS: I just recently started to level up on my cooking, I was making the same 4 things for years lol and eating out at my favorite restaurants but I recently bought “The Vegan 8” cookbook on my kindle by Brandi Doming and every recipe is 8 ingredients or less! It’s perfect for vegans learning how to cook!
YIV: Where do you love to go for vegan food?
PS: "Rhythm n Wraps" in Allston, MA has the best sandwiches and vegan mac n cheese in Boston!
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