An Introduction to Yoga and Meat

I like yoga. I’ve only been seriously practicing yoga for less than a year, but yoga has quickly become a positive force in my life — physically, mentally, and (at the risk of sounding dippy) spiritually. I do between 20 minutes and 90 minutes of yoga nearly every day. Before starting yoga, I was an avid cardio queen who regularly engaged in intense exercise sessions with the sole goal of burning as many calories as possible, under the belief that this was healthy. I ran, I did spinning, I plum wore myself out on elliptical machines, and guess what? It was wrecking havoc with my endocrine system, giving me constant musculoskeletal pain, and just generally making me an anxious, hungry bitch. I finally realized that, despite the current conventional thinking about regular vigorous exercise, I needed to slow down and not just mindlessly burn calories. I went to a yoga class at my gym and now I’m hooked.

I like meat. I’ve only been seriously eating meat for less than a year, but meat has quickly become a positive force in my life — physically, mentally, and (at the risk of sounding dippy) spiritually. Meat is a big part of my diet; I eat roughly 3/4 pound to 1 pound (or more) of meat, poultry, and/or fish every day. Before I ate meat, I was a vegetarian from the age of 14 until about 25, when I began adding fish into my diet for protein. Then, needing variety, I started eating poultry, and then, a few years ago, I start eating beef. Finally, last year at age 32, I took the pork plunge. But it was only this year that I really began to enjoy eating meat, to see it as an essential part of my humanness and not a dirty, unhealthy habit. For one thing, my health was failing under my grain-based diet. I was metabolically deranged and in danger of becoming diabetic. I decided to try a grain-free, low-carb diet and my health was transformed overnight.

I started this blog to more thoroughly explore my dualing interest in yoga and meat, both together and separately. What does it mean to be a mostly-carnivorous yogi who escews whole grains in favor of fatty pork chops? Why is this viewed as a paradoxical lifestyle? Are there others out there like me, who love to rip into a grass-fed hamburger patty after a 90-minute vinyassa flow practice? This blog will also chronicle my evolving day-to-day interests in a meat-based yogic existence.

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3 Responses to “An Introduction to Yoga and Meat”

  • Comment from YogaforCynics

    I haven’t eaten beef or pork in a long time (except a couple of times by accident, and once when the kind of people who’d really be hurt and offended if I didn’t eat the steak they cooked for me had me over for dinner), but started eating chicken again a few years ago, and have never managed to quit fish or dairy products….and, the truth is, they haven’t been all that difficult for me to give up, with no adverse affects (like, while I certainly enjoyed hamburgers growing up, I lost interest as an adult, and have really never gotten why everybody thinks steak is so great. Really, the only things I miss are the really fatty-byproduct type things like bacon and pork gravy and barbecued ribs and Philly’s own scrapple…and, actually, speaking of my hometown, a bit of steak isn’t bad if mixed with cheese on a roll…damn, if it wasn’t so late an night, I’d be tempted to run out and get one…). Ultimately, our bodies’ needs are all different. And, really, some of the least compassionate people I’ve ever known were rabid vegetarians who were obseessed with passing judgment on the rest of us. The one point I’d make is that, while proof that meat eating is a perfectly natural thing for people to do is clearly visible whenever we open our mouths, the size of the human population, and the quantity of meat that modern people, particularly Americans eat, makes ugly factory farming practices, and clearcutting of forests for “open range,” inevitable. Then, considering the tropical fruit I’ve been eating all winter, the incredible amount of waste at the Chinese and Indian buffets I frequent, and the styrofoam packaging of all that take-out I eat, it’s probably not that hard to eat red meat with every meal yet walk more softly on the earth than I…

    Anyway, nice, thought provoking blog you’ve got here. I look forward to the debates it’ll no doubt inspire.

  • […] By admin In kundalini yoga | It’s all yoga baby sloping me off to a brand new blog this week: Meat and Yoga. It’s created by a yogini who was a long-time vegetarian, grown insulin resistance, and was in […]

  • Love the concept of your blog. I was a vegetarian for 10 years (vegan for one of those), until I started eating meat on Christmas Eve of 2009 — it was a turkey and cheddar sandwich on sourdough, and it was delicious. While vegetarian, I was also a runner and did some weight lifting, and I experienced constant muscle soreness and a depressed immune system. It was as if I never fully recuperated from my workouts – I hurt all the time, and I got sick several times a year. I haven’t made the leap to any red meat, and I don’t plan to venture back into the world of pork, but since incorporating some poultry back into my diet, my body has responded very well. No more persistent muscle aches, not a single cold or flu all winter, and still going strong.