I recently attended a yoga workshop at the Jivamuckti Yoga Centre in London. The event was hosted by Sharon Gannon and David Life, both devoted vegetarians. The studio was filled to capacity, so I snuck in at the back and was prepared for a full on yoga practice. I was, however, not prepared for a recording of harm being done to animals playing in the background.
The physical yoga was, as I had expected, dynamic and flowing (even slightly easier than anticipated). At intervals throughout the class, the tape would play describing unpleasant scenes of farming animals. At the end of the physical practice Sharon gave a very graphic talk on the abuse of animals for about and hour or so. She even used the word “rape” to describe some scenarios.
Whilst this was not what I had planned on listening to on a Sunday morning, I did find her ability to link vegetarianism with Patanjali’s Yamas and Ahimsa (not harming) both fascinating and disturbing. So much so that I am still getting images in my mind of the things she described. While I have not eaten meat for a very long time, I am not a vegan. However, I definitely found Sharon’s passionate view and her ability to articulate it very thought provoking.
Yoga and Vegetarianism: The Path to Greater Health and Happiness by Sharon Gannon