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Hello and welcome! Dear wonderful people!

I am Totally Zen Tadeja from Andromeda Yoga Atelier. Every Thursday I am going to answer a real-time question we might all be struggling with considering yoga, mental health, and well-being. If you have a question post it in the comments down below.

The vlog is specially dedicated to people who are:

  • Tired
  • Tired of being tired and
  • Tired of explaining how tired they are to everyone else.

You can substitute the word tired with exhausted, feeling blue, stuck, busy… Whatever pops in your head. USE THAT!

And today’s vlog question is:

Why I‘m not vegan?

This time the title is not meant to be sarcastic. So… you might be wondering how I can be a yoga teacher, follow the principle of ahimsa or non-violence, and still eat meat. Even though I tried strict veganism for seven months when I was 22 it made me very physically ill and it did not work for me.

Here are my three reasons why:

  • just like Yoga your nutritional diet is an individualized practice, too,
  • yoga’s sister science Ayurveda advises not everyone should go vegan,
  • practicing ahimsa or non-violence can but does not necessarily entail veganism.


1. Just like Yoga, your nutritional diet is an individualized practice

When I went completely vegan I had been suffering from indigestion and irritable bladder syndrome. I am not going to bore you with the grandma-like health I had at only 22. Let’s just say that I wasn’t born with the best health ever. I already mentioned that my hips were tight. Mostly because I was born with underdeveloped hips, a digestion issue, topped with a collar bone broken during my birth. We could say my first contact with the world was already traumatic as it is. Combined with a highly stressful upbringing, my immune and hormone systems were soooo out of whack, which caused a string of infections and inflammations from very early on in my life. Back then, at age 5 or so, I noticed that I didn’t like candy because it made me really, really sick. Or I would only eat the Hot Dog and leave the bun. But later on, as the trauma compiled, and I was dealing with almost losing my eyesight at the age of seven I began to seek comfort in food and completely lost the natural intuition I was born with. I have forgotten to listen to my body. I would gain weight immediately if I would eat carbs, fruit, or sugar, while if I ate a protein and starch-free vegetable-rich diet I would not only lose weight but feel so much better. After 32 years, and three nutritionists later, I finally got a diet plan, which works for my body. So, there is no one diet plan. Only you have the key to your health! Relearning to listen to your body is the first step I advise you to take on this path.


2. Yoga’s sister science Ayurveda advises not everyone should go vegan

The ancient tradition that goes hand in hand with Yoga is Ayurveda or in its translation a science of living. It’s based on various indicators, physical as well as mental, which are used to sort out the Ayurveda type a particular person is by nature. You can also be a combination of two or more types. I am no expert on Ayurveda but at its core is the knowledge that we are all unique. What might be seen as the same problem in two different individuals might not be solved by the same solution. For example, in the ancient texts of Ayurveda, each animal product is defined by quality, and meat is recommended as therapy for many ailments. However, this does not mean you can just stuff your face with meat all the time. Again, you need to be mindful of your body’s wisdom!


3. Practicing ahimsa or non-violence can but does not necessarily entail veganism

Why so many yogis and yoginis adhere to veganism has a lot to do with ahimsa or non-violence. However, they often need supplements to sustain their lifestyle philosophy. Ahimsa is one of the core principles of yoga philosophy. Yamas, to be precise. Yamas are the rules on how to interact with that which is not you. Yamas are according to ancient yogic texts the first steps one should take on the eight limb yoga path… even before the asanas or the postures. Have you heard of the saying you reap what you sow? This is what ahimsa is all about: diverting bad karma. Thus, non-violence is an important part of the conduct towards the other. Your body is also this „other.” So if you are practically killing yourself in an unsustainable diet, that is not really non-violence. To honor the principle of non-violence, I chose to show respect for the animals that gave their lives to support mine, whenever possible, by choosing meat from organic, free-range, and humane agriculture, and also I choose not to overeat.


In conclusion, the only person who knows you best is yourself, and sometimes just kindly asking your body to hand over its wisdom is all you need. Everything else will follow. Remember, if veganism works for you that is great. But you need to do whatever you need to do, to practice ahimsa or non-violence towards yourself AND towards all other living beings. In the end, it is all really about balance!

With that thought I bow the head to the heart; may the wisdom of the body and the wisdom of the mind unite together to support our collective healing and evolution.

With love & joy continue on to the rest of your day!

Totally Zen Tadeya