I made the lifestyle transition to a plant-based, vegan diet over a year and a half ago. This transition came the same way I’ve achieved yoga postures, complicated lifts and learning to play an instrument... with consistent effort and patience. And the ability to make a sustainable lifestyle change starts with intention - the why.
My yoga and movement journey has been an ever-unfolding learning experience. And in applying everything I have learned to this point, I try to be a student, not a follower. How does what I learn make sense to me? How does it align with me? How does everything I learn take on an understanding for me? So with the introduction to The Yoga Sutras and the elements of Yama and Niyama at the beginning of my journey, and how they relate to every facet of life, I began to get a deeper understanding of ahimsa.
Ahimsa- no harming. In action and thought. To yourself and others.
Over the period of the last few years, that has taken shape in many areas of my yoga practice- my physical practice first, then my thoughts - and now has impacted my diet as well. For I believe all beings - humans and animals - value life. So it made sense to make the transition; taking individual action that aligns with my present understanding.
Now I will never judge someone who doesn’t believe what I believe. I won’t criticize and press upon anyone. This is a lifestyle that makes me happy and feel good. In fact, whether it be Yoga, movement, music or diets, I can’t stand labeling and putting barriers around them. This vs that. That vs this... enough! The best advice I have in regards to making this decision on your own is to lead a life built upon self-awareness and intention.
As a teacher, and fellow student, I’ll always encourage approaching anything with self-awareness and find what works for you. It’s about cultivating a balance between understanding and application. What makes sense and takes on meaning for you and your life?
I’ve found that this lifestyle decision has transformed my thoughts and movement. It has changed my body, as I feel lighter and more defined. And has changed my intention, for my practice and life. I think the world values and seeks kindness and positivity more than ever right now. For me, this is a way that extends to all living beings.
At the end of the day, all I try to do is live out and design a life with my best intention. I hope it serves as a way to connect my subjective beliefs to an objective purpose: the purpose of coexisting with the hope of contributing in my own way. A way that I believe can bring at least a little more compassion into the world. This is a decision I can believe in.