Tag Archives: non violence

Yoga and Veganism…

Adopting a plant-based (vegan) diet not only makes sense for both our health and the environment, many yogis interpret Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (one of yoga’s primary texts), as indicating veganism as a practice that leads to self-realization. These yogis believe that diet is one of the primary keys to the practice of Ahimsa, one of the principles outlined in the Yoga Sutras. Ahimsa, or non-harming is the first of five yamas, or guidelines for self-restraint. To these practitioners, veganism is looked upon as Ahimsa in practice. Ahimsa is all about being kind to others (including animals and other sentient beings), to the planet, and to oneself. Veganism is not simply about restriction, it’s a way of eating and living that can generate happiness and joy.

From a yogic perspective, the purpose of foods is to assist your body to cleanse, revitalize, repair and strengthen your immune system. A traditional yoga diet consists of mainly plant-based foods which are eaten in as close to their natural state as possible and which cause the least amount of harm to the environment.

Yoga Journal’s latest “Yoga in America” survey, conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys, shows that 8.7 percent of Americans are practicing yoga (that’s 20.4 million Americans). Sadly, in spite of these impressive numbers, it is estimated that only about 1.3% of the United States population follows a vegan diet. The average American consumes a minimum of 31 animals per year, contributing to and supporting the financial success of the cruel and violent meat and dairy industries. This contrast between the percentage of yoga practitioners and vegans in America clearly reveals how many people attempt to reap the physical benefits of asana while hypocritically ignoring yoga's peaceful philosophy. Hopefully, by reviewing the important connection between yoga and veganism throughout history, meat-eating yogis will be encouraged to reflect on their ethics and give a plant-based diet a try.

Yoga is not just about losing weight and toning up. The practice of yoga is thousands of years old, originating in India. Furthermore, Patanjali is believed to have compiled the Yoga Sutras around 200 B.C. to serve as a framework for integrating Yoga into the practitioner’s daily routine while living an ethical lifestyle. Realizing the true value and benefits of Yoga practice serves as a means of attaining enlightenment.

So, the question arises, why is it that so many yoga practitioners tend to turn a blind eye to Patanjali's peaceful philosophy? Well it seems that most people dismiss veganism as a lifestyle/dietary option because they believe it will be too much of a hassle and/or because they lack the discipline to alter deep-seated eating habits. The unwillingness to adopt a vegan diet/lifestyle is a mistake that results in people missing out on the awesome philosophical and spiritual benefits of practicing yoga. When people only observe the practice of asana (physical postures); then they are not truly experiencing yoga and their practice will remain partial and incomplete.

Yoga and Veganism…

In summary: Our yoga practice will be enhanced by selecting and eating food that promotes health, happiness and overall wellbeing for both ourselves and our environment, plus we’ll discover a better quality of life and insure the sustainability of the planet. Whenever we see that our food choices are causing suffering and disease (to ourselves and/or others), we ultimately contribute to our own demise. If this is the case, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate what we are eating.

Stay tuned…Coming soon, “Athletes and Veganism”

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

Sattva, Rajas & Tamas – The 3 Gunas

Within Hindu (including Tantric/Yogic) philosophy, the manner in which the universe manifests itself is described with numerous intersecting and overlapping concepts, explaining how Brahman (as the non-dual consciousness) becomes duality; bringing the material (observable) universe into being.

Brahman’s very impulse to know itself as ‘other than self’ is considered to be the reason the universe exists, as Brahman is the ultimate essence of material phenomena. The sages of the Upanishads teach that Brahman is characterized as having the ultimate freedom to do or become anything, being (or containing) the source of all things

This impulse prompts Brahman to split into Prakriti (un-manifest matter) and Purusha (pure consciousness), the original cause all creative processes.

The Sanskrit term Prakriti comes from the root words ‘Pra’ (before) and ‘Kri’ (to make); and so can be interpreted as “prior to anything being made.”

Prakriti is entirely composed of the three Gunas; Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

The Gunas are the measured qualities of the manifest world and combine their various forms as the mind, the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell) and the elements (earth, water, fire, wind, space) and virtually all that can be known, including the knower.

When viewed in this way, Prakriti is the actual source of the world and everything in it.

The Gunas are associated with various qualities and when these qualities are combined they can be used to describe any “thing”. Some of the qualities inherent in each Guna are:

  • – Sattva– Positive energy, harmony, balance, unity, happiness, light, spirituality, “beingness”; Sattva is the higher or spiritual potential.
  • – Rajas– Energy, action, change, movement, creativity; the intermediate or life potential.
  • – Tamas– Laziness, heaviness, impurity, darkness, sleepy, dullness, inertia, inactivity, materiality; the lower or material potential.

These three Gunas co-exist, merging to form all objects, people and “things” in varying degrees.

One Guna is usually predominant over the others, and so certain tendencies (heavy, light, dark, warm, hot, dry etc.) become associated with objects, and this forms a part of how we understand and relate to the world as it is perceived. The predominant Guna is dynamic (not static) and may change over time.

The significance of the Gunas in regard to human beings is how they manifest in our health, the food we eat, our thoughts, our actions, our moods, the seasons of the year and weather and so on.

In Yoga practice, it’s preferable to work towards a more Sattvic lifestyle. Some Rajas may be necessary, but minimizing Tamas should be the primary goal for attaining optimal health and wellbeing.

When Sattva is increased it naturally and automatically reduces Rajas and Tamas. The Yogi or student achieves this by maintaining Sattvic thoughts, diet, lifestyle and home/work environments etc. The more Sattvic your body, mind and life becomes, the more peace and joy you and those around you are likely to experience.

When minimizing Rajas, keep in mind a balance must be maintained. If Rajas is eliminated in your life, you won’t have the necessary desire to keep living, working and doing things. On the other hand, too much Rajas will manifest as aggressiveness, cruelty, carelessness. Rajas can be reduced by regulating your diet (not eating too much Rajasic food), and avoiding excessive or extreme behaviors (working, partying, even exercising too much).

Tamas is not entirely ‘bad’ as such, but the amount of Tamas in your life does need to be carefully managed because too much can result in depression, fear, obesity and negativity. Tamas is reduced by avoiding over-sleeping, over-eating or being slothful or inactive and also with diet (by avoiding Tamasic foods).

The Gunas and their relationship to foods…

For optimal health, it’s imperative to pay attention to the foods we eat as our diet greatly impacts both our physical and mental wellbeing.

The Gunas of food aren’t limited to just the food itself, but also its current condition; whether it’s fresh, stale, rotting etc. The way food is treated is also a major factor; different methods of storing, cooking or preserving can also change the state of the food, and consequently the Gunas.

Some common foods and the Gunas they’re represented by…

  • – Sattvic food: Cereals, whole-grain bread, fresh fruit & vegetables, pure fruit juices, legumes, nuts, seeds, herb teas. Eating “mindfully” contributes to a food’s Sattvic quality.
  • – Rajasic food: All hot substances & stimulants; fried food, coffee & tea, spices, fish, eggs, salt & pepper, chocolate/sugary foods. Eating hastily is considered Rajasic and bad for the digestion and assimilation of food.
  • – Tamasic food: Meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods, stale foods overripe foods, processed foods and leftovers. Overeating is also regarded as Tamasic.

Sattvic food has been shown to be the most ideal for those practicing yoga. By eating a Sattvic diet you’re supporting a peaceful state of body and mind and meditation comes more naturally and is less easily disturbed.

An imbalance in favor of too much Rajas will destroy one’s equilibrium. It will also over-stimulate the body and make the mind restless, overactive and unduly energetic resulting in a tense and willful (or aggressive) disposition.

An overly Tamasic diet weakens and/or destroys the body’s immune system and tends to fill the mind with negative thoughts and emotions like anger, fear and greed.

Purification of the Gunas is essential for spiritual evolution and for that evolution to take place Sattva must predominate moment to moment in one’s body and mind.

The three gunas can also be associated with the Trimurti (‘three Gods’ or ‘three forms’) which describes the three faces of god as being:

  • Brahma (the Creator/Sattva)
  • Vishnu (the Preserver/Rajas)
  • Shiva (the Destroyer/Tamas)

The symbolism of the Trimurti conveys that all three gods (and by extension, everything in this universe) are really all part of the one supreme consciousness (Brahman).

The creation of living forms cannot occur in a vacuum (it must exist in time and space); so along with creation (Sattva), there must also be change (Rajas) and dissolution/death (Tamas).

Rae Indigo is ERYT 500

The Five Yamas (Part 5 – Aparigraha)

This is the fifth and final article of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)

The Five Yamas (Part 5 – Aparigraha)



The fifth of the five Yamas is Aparigraha, a Sanksrit word for greedlessness or non-grasping. It comes from the word parigraha, which means reaching out for something and claiming it for oneself; by adding the ‘A’ it becomes its antonym. Aparigraha, unlike Asteya, means taking what is truly necessary and no more.

Aparigraha instructs the students and practitioners of Patanjali’s “classical” Yoga (Raja Yoga) to consider what they really need, and to diligently question if greed might be driving them to pursue something simply to delight their senses once again. Patanjali says of Aparigraha: “When one is steadfast in non-possessiveness or non-grasping with the senses (Aparigraha), there arises knowledge of the why and wherefore of past and future incarnations.” (Yoga Sutras 2.39 – aparigraha sthairye janma kathanta sambodhah).

The reason yoga insists upon the practice  of Aparigraha (non-greediness) is because every time something is pursued that appears on the “outside” of yourself, you get farther away from your own Divine essence which is inherently “within”. Take some time to ponder these words regarding Aparigraha by B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on Yoga: “By the observance of Aparigraha, the yogi makes his life as simple as possible and trains his mind not to feel the loss or the lack of anything. Then everything he really needs will come to him by itself at the proper time.”

While it is important for us have certain material objects in our life so that we can live without undue struggle, hoarding things and/or becoming obsessed with material possessions results in these possessions controlling the direction of our life. Seeing material objects simply as tools that can help us to accomplish our goals in life, can free us from being bound or controlled by these objects. When our focus is no longer directed outward towards the material world, we find we then have opportunity to focus on our inward spiritual journey that frees us up to create positive change and to purify ourselves. The student then recognizes that the collection or hoarding of things implies a lack of faith in Divine Providence to provide for their future.

Aparigraha also gives us permission to release any fear or clinging we may experience during loss of anything that we believe we “own”. This yama has a huge effect on both suffering and happiness whether momentary or in the long term. All suffering, no matter how intense, is caused by our resistance to loss (or change). It’s so simple, whenever we cling to something, we suffer; and this applies to both material things and concepts.

Implementing the practice of Aparigraha in your yoga routine can be as simple as deciding to let go of something during that session. For example; try letting go of the idea of doing an asana perfectly, or perhaps better than someone else. You can also let go of the fear of some difficult poses and approach them in a different way. When doing this, you’re letting go of your fear of change and loss, and you’re able to break free of habitual ways of thinking and/or doing.

Be mindful of what you are holding on to in your practice and consider what would happen if you simply gave that up. Do you unnecessary hold on to muscle tension? Are there places in your body where you can relax, yield and allow the energy to flow? Are you able to maintain a gentle attitude toward your poses, surrendering the impulse to try to achieve a goal that may be impractical or premature. Do you need to forcefully “own” a certain pose in your mind or can you surrender the notion of “owning” and simply visualize it and experience it through your body? This is a proper way to inquire according to Aparigraha.

The Five Yamas (Part 5 – Aparigraha)A quick summary: Aparigraha is really all about letting go. It’s about living the “now”, this present moment, and doing that with generosity, truth, and compassion; then its very essence can embrace all the other yamas.

Stay tuned, the next series of articles will address each of the five Niyamas – See: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 2 – Niyama)

The Five Yamas (Part 4 – Brahmacharya)

This article is the forth of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)

The Five Yamas (Part 4 - Brahmacharya)The forth of the five Yamas is Brahmacharya – a Sanskrit term that translates into English as “behavior that leads to Brahman”. The word brahmacharya stems literally from two root words – Brahma, (shortened from Brahman), represents the absolute, eternal, supreme God-head. (As opposed to “Brahmā”, the deity in the Hindu triad responsible for creation), and “Charya”, which means “to follow”. So Bramacharya is generally translated as activity, a mode of behavior or a “virtuous” way of life, i.e.; a lifestyle adopted to enable one to attain the ultimate reality.

Brahmacharya dictates the behavior and lifestyle of students and practitioners of Patanjali’s “classical” Yoga (Raja Yoga). Patanjali says of Brahmacharya: “When walking in the awareness of Brahmacharya (the highest reality) is firmly established, then a great strength, capacity, or “virya” (vitality) is acquired.” (Yoga Sutras 2.38 – Brahmacharya pratisthayam virya labhah).

Brahmacharya brings virya by recognizing (and remembering) the highest and purest energy or force of reality, then that energy is not dissipated. Because it is not dissipated, it seems as if it’s acquired, attained, or gained and this keeps growing. Although we appear to gain virya, which is strength, vigor, vitality, and courage, virya is actually an inherent aspect of our subtler nature, which we have never been without.

Most often celibacy is considered to be the primary practice of Brahmacharya. However, celibacy isn’t the cause, instead it’s the effect. The practice, or cause, is of constant remembering of the highest reality, absolute truth, the divine, or the presence of God (Brahman). This very recognition and remembrance is the cause, and celibacy is the inevitable result. Since the end result might be so visible when observing a spiritual person, or practicing yogi, we tend to mistakenly reverse cause and effect, and imitate what we see on the surface and try to practice, starting with the restraint of sensual urges. Once again, the practice of Brahmacharya is focused on walking in the awareness of the highest reality, absolute reality, remembering the divine, or practicing the presence of God. When the yogi reaches the point where remembrance of the Divine is seamless all sexual urges drop away by themselves along with other primitive urges and desires.

The practice called Brahmacharya, does not necessarily mean total or absolute abstinence from sex as it is often mistakenly translated. The word literally translates as “resting in Brahman,” or “cultivating awareness of the Absolute Divine Reality”. The positive effect of this practice is that the senses are not so easily distracted. Therefore, the regulation and control of the senses is the natural outcome of the yogi’s resolute practice of remembrance of Truth. It is definitely not a case of a forced restraint of the sexual urge, or of any of the other sensory desires. 

Yoga recognizes two paths in regard to Bramacharya; the path of renunciation, and the path of worldly (or family) life. In one (renunciation) there is a gradual progression to the complete abstinence from sex, and in the other (family life) there is wise and intentional regulation of the sex life. Both are recognized by most schools of yoga as valid paths. 

In summary: The issue of balancing sex and sadhana (spiritual practices) is very practical. Regardless of one’s background, especially with such a diversity of peoples, societies, and cultures, it should be self-evident that a poorly regulated sex life can (and often does) lead to external problems in life, as well as internal anxieties. A well-balanced, healthy sex life leaves one with peace of mind and mental/emotional stability. That peace and stability, while not directly causing meditation, allows a stability and provides a fertile ground from which meditation can more easily arise, greatly assisting us in cultivation of our awareness of the Divine (Bramacharya).

The Five Yamas (Part 4 - Brahmacharya)

Stay tuned, coming up next: The Five Yamas (Part 5 – Aparigraha)

The Five Yamas (Part 3 – Asteya)

This article is the third of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)

The Five Yamas (Part 3 – Asteya)The third of the five Yamas is Asteya – a Sanskrit term that translates into English as “avoidance of stealing” or “non-stealing”. But in principle Asteya means more than that, referring also to not coveting, nor hoarding, as well as not obstructing other people’s desires in life.

Asteya guides students and practitioners of Patanjali’s “classical” Yoga (Raja Yoga) in the practice of cultivating an awareness of what is theirs and what isn’t. Patanjali says of Asteya: “When Asteya (non-stealing) is established, all jewels, or treasures present themselves, or are available to the Yogi.” (Yoga Sutras 2.37 – Asteya pratisthayam sarva ratna upasthanam). In other words, when the heart is pure, all means will come.

Additionally, Asteya includes the concept that you should learn to be content with what comes to you naturally and by honest means. If you find yourself dwelling on things that other people have and comparing that to what you don’t have, eventually the thought of taking something that isn’t yours becomes more acceptable, and subsequently this thinking can lead to actual theft. You may even be able to convince yourself that someone else has so much they won’t miss this or that if you take it, in other words you’re giving yourself the permission to steal. This approach might reduce your feelings of guilt, but only temporarily and for a short time, for in the long run this still a violation of Asteya.

Although many people aren’t aware of it, the idea of “hoarding” is another aspect of Asteya. Suppose you are keeping more than what you need for yourself rather than sharing or giving away things that you no longer want or require. Excessive accumulation of money and possessions are good examples or signs of hoarding, as well as other things, including eating too much food. Naturally you should keep what is necessary and reasonable in order to provide for yourself and your family, but a thoughtful analysis should be made, and diligence exercised as to what is actually necessary, compared to what you may be clinging to because of various mental, physical or emotional attachments.

Yoga teaches us that when we relinquish our desire for something it will come to us by itself if and when we really need it. This holds true for Asteya as presented by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. After all, desire is the root cause of taking what doesn’t belong to us, and when we give up our desire for things, all sorts of “treasures” will come to us naturally, and by themselves. To master Asteya we should begin curbing our desires little by little and one by one; through regular Yoga practice, gradually our thoughts and deeds will come under our conscious control.

To summarize: Not hoarding implies taking only what you need and nothing more. If the world offered us a limitless supply of resources, then it might be acceptable to take as much as you want. But of course the world does not have limitless resources, and if we take more than we need, then we leave others lacking, essentially stealing from them by depriving them of their rightful share of the resources. The idea of Asteya, especially when combined with the other Yamas, has a very deep meaning and the more you think about it, the more you begin to realize all the subtle ways that you can steal. Eventually, with regular practice, you’ll be able to recognize any action that might create disharmony and see that Asteya and Ahimsa (like the other Yamas) are closely tied together.

The Five Yamas (Part 3 – Asteya)

Stay tuned, coming up next: The Five Yamas (Part 4 – Brahmacharya)

The Five Yamas (Part 2 – Satya)

The Five Yamas (Part 2 – Satya)


This article is the second of a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)

The second of the five Yamas is Satya – a Sanskrit term that translates into English as “truth”, “truthfulness” or “honesty”. Satya is also defined in Sanskrit as “sate hitam satyam” which translates to “The path to ultimate truth or Sat is satya (the real truth)”.

Satya is indispensable for students and practitioners of Patanjali’s “classical” Yoga (Raja Yoga). Patanjali says of Satya: “As truthfulness (satya) is achieved, the fruits of actions naturally result according to the will of the Yogi.” (Yoga Sutras 2.36 – satya pratisthayam kriya phala ashrayatvam)

Basically what is meant by this is; for the one who increasingly practices honesty or truthfulness in all their actions, speech, and thoughts, their will is naturally fulfilled. But there is a cautionary note associated with this sutra, being the exercising of care in speaking truth: Truth needs to be concurrence with thought, word and deed. It must be true to fact and at the same time considerate. If by speaking the truth, another is hurt it ceases to be truth and becomes himsa [harming]. So, the student or yogi is instructed to exercise great care when speaking and each word must be weighed carefully before it is voiced.

The relationship between Satya (truthfulness) and Ahimsa (non-harming) must be balanced, even though, at times, this practice can be extremely challenging, if not downright confusing. It’s important to keep in mind that Ahimsa is the primary focus and central goal when practicing the five Yamas, and that the other four Yamas are in service of it. Learning how to delicately balance not lying, while at the same time avoiding being painfully honest with others, is a real art within Yoga practice.

When you consider the many situations in life when your so-called “truthfulness” might cause pain to others, it can be overwhelming, this may include something as simple as your comments about a meal served by a friend or how you respond when someone asks you about their appearance or clothes when they’re dressing for some special event? If your mind isn’t “in the moment”, and quick enough to artfully maneuver around such a situation, you would have to choose to be either painfully honest, or marginally honest for the sake of not hurting the other person. Of course, we’d all like to be quick-minded enough to balance non-harming and non-lying perfectly, but many of us have not yet developed the skill necessary to master this, and need to remain ever mindful of the most important practice, which is to first and foremost to cause no harm. This principle also applies to practicing the other Yamas.

Throughout the world the greatest spiritual teachings all acknowledge that what we say has profound power to affect our consciousness and the consciousness of others. Buddhism, for example, teaches “Right Speech” as one of its main precepts. In this context, “Right Speech” is taken to mean speech that is non-harming, posessing the intention to support all sentient beings. In his Yoga Sutra (Chapter II, verse 30), Patanjali presents the concept of Satya (truthfulness) as a similar teaching, but he offers a slightly different approach. Satya is one of the five yamas, and because it’s presented as a yama, Patanjali’s teaching on the subject has mainly been associated with restraint rather than with action; focusing on what we should refrain from doing rather than with what specifically we should do. The teaching of satya is not presented in this manner is not meant to be an accident, oversight or negative in any way. Instead, the practice of satya is about restraint in a positive sense: it’s about slowing down, filtering, carefully considering our words so that when we utter them, they are in harmony with the first yama, ahimsa. Patanjali and even his major, contemporary commentators agree that no words can reflect the truth unless they flow from the spirit of non- harming and non-violence. And as a result Patanjali is in perfect harmony with the Buddhist teaching of “Right Speech”. Patanjali made it clear that he did not want his students to confuse Satya with speech that is factually accurate but harmful.

To summarize; the yogic practice of Satya instructs the student to mindfully and carefully choose their words so they do the least harm, and most good.

The Five Yamas (Part 2 – Satya)

Stay tuned for: The Five Yamas (Part 3 – Asteya)

The Five Yamas (Part 1 – Ahimsa)

The Five Yamas (Part 1 – Ahimsa)


This article begins a five part series based on this post: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Part 1 – Yama)

The first of the five Yamas is Ahimsa – a Sanskrit term meaning to do no harm (literally: the avoidance of violence – hinsa). The word is derived from the Sanskrit root hims – to strike; hinsa is injury or harm, a-hinsa is the opposite of this (non harming or nonviolence).

Ahimsa is indispensable for students and practitioners of Patanjali’s “classical” Yoga (Raja Yoga). Along with the other four Yamas (restraints) it establishes the Yoga Sutra’s code of conduct. Patanjali says of Ahimsa: As a Yogi becomes firmly grounded in Ahimsa (non-injury), other people who come near will naturally lose any feelings of hostility.” (Yoga sutra 2.35 – Ahimsa pratishthayam tat vaira-tyagah)

Ahimsa is perhaps the most famous of the Yamas; usually translated as “nonviolence.” it not only refers to physical violence, but also to the violence of words or even thoughts. Whether we realize it or not, our thoughts about others (or ourselves) can be as powerful as any physical attempt to harm. To practice ahimsa is to be constantly attentive, observing ourselves in all our interactions with others and to diligently watch our thoughts and intentions.

When the practice of ahimsa is perfected, it becomes an integral part of all yoga practice. Whatever practices we engage after Ahimsa and the other yamas and niyamas including the successive “limbs” of yoga must embrace Ahimsa as well. For example, asana and/or pranayama practiced without Ahimsa, diminishes their benefits.

Observing Ahimsa does not necessarily mean we must roll over and play dead, turning our back on violence – its practice is positive, not negative. Protecting ourselves and others does not violate Ahimsa. Practicing Ahimsa simply means we take responsibility for any harmful behavior and attempt to stop the harm caused by others. Being neutral is not the objective. True Ahimsa practice springs from the clear intention to live and act with clarity and love.

Although completely compatible, Ahimsa and love are two different things. Non-harming is not a method where you practice love in order to offset or stop the impulse to harm others. Rather, the first step is to focus fully on the cessation of harming, on all levels (action, speech, and thought). Then, the natural love will effortlessly come shining through. This has extremely practical applications in the student or yogi’s daily life. Trying to directly cultivate love for a person you dislike may be extremely difficult, but working on letting go of the negative is much more effective and immediate. Furthermore, it might then come more naturally to like or even love that person.

A note on Ahimsa and Veganism…

The Five Yamas (Part 1 – Ahimsa)

Veganism is a complete lifestyle, which excludes all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, the animal kingdom, and includes a reverence for all sentient life. It applies to the practice of living solely on products from the plant kingdom, excluding all flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey and dairy, and encourages the use of plant-based alternatives for all foods and commodities derived either wholly, or in part from animals.

Veganism is not entirely about personal purity or isolating oneself from today’s society, but rather it’s about applying Ahimsa; a sense of compassion and justice to our (often unseen) relationships with animals.

Abstinence from animal products
Harmlessness with reverence for life
Integrity of thought, action and deed
Mastery over oneself
Service to humanity, nature and creation
Advancement of understanding and truth

Stay tuned for: The Five Yamas (Part 2 – Satya)