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January 15, 2020 - THE VEGAN AUTHORITY

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The Vegan Yoga Connection, by World Peace Yoga author Anna Ferguson

The Vegan Yoga Connection, by World Peace Yoga author Anna Ferguson
The Vegan Yoga ConnectionCopyright: Anna Ferguson


By ANNA FERGUSON | Jan 15, 2020

What I love about yoga is that it's something anyone can practice. If you're breathing, you're able to practice yoga. Many people think of yoga as postures, of putting your leg behind your head. In reality, anyone who is practicing being conscious and aware of their daily actions is practicing yoga.

For me, the practice of yoga and veganism are one and the same. Essential to a yoga practice is being conscious of doing the least amount of harm, also known as ahimsa. Fellow vegans out there, if you're practicing nonviolence, then you are a yogi! Of course, I recommend practicing more aspects of yoga, such as conscious breathing, meditation, and other forms of self-care so that we don't get burned out and pulled down by the heaviness of life.

Anna Instructing Yoga Class

Anna Instructing Yoga Class Image by: Anna Ferguson

But something interesting, which you may not know about the yoga postures, is that they go beyond developing a flexible or strong body. Many of these postures are a way for you to experience being a dog, a cat, a cow, a mountain, a cobra, and other forms of creation from elements to shapes to animals. Essentially, when we practice these postures, we are putting ourselves in someone else's shoes, be they claws, hooves, wings, paws, fins, or feet. The poses are a practice of empathizing and understanding our interconnectedness or sameness with others. They are a method for developing greater empathy and compassion.

Yogis have been long time observers of the natural world. The word asana means seat or connection to the earth. We take these seats, these poses to reestablish our connection with the natural world and to deepen our compassion for the fellow beings that live on this planet. The animals that inhabit the earth, humans included, are in crisis. Sickness and disease is a normal part of life. Pollution is at an all-time high. Forests are dying or being cut down. Many species are on the verge of extinction. More than ever, it's important to deepen our connection to the earth, to embrace the wildness and freedom in nature, and to live in a way that does not disrupt or exploit the freedom of others. This is what the practice of veganism is all about!

For me, the practice of yoga is about connecting with your most kind, compassionate, and authentic self--to ultimately realize the interconnectedness of all beings and the earth. When we understand and tap into this connection, we develop greater intuition and empathy, which results in extending compassion.This is veganism.
Image by: Anna Ferguson

Yoga is about freedom, inner freedom and outer freedom. I believe this freedom is attained when our hearts are filled with so much love and compassion and there is no room for anything else to exist--no room for worry, doubt, fear, anger, frustration, hatred--only love. The wider our circles of compassion extend the better we know or intuit how to connect with others, how to resolve conflicts, how to create solutions, how to exist in harmony, and how to live in peace.

Yoga is a practice that we take off the mat and into our daily lives. Imagine what it may be like if before speaking or eating, for example, we paused to consider what it is like to be in those shoes I described, which come in so many varieties, from feet to paws to fins. How might that change how we speak and communicate with one another? How might that change how, what, or who we eat? To pause and consider like this is a practice. We all have our days, days in which we feel resilient and are able to maintain that inner calm when a snide remark is made by your partner or your child is having tantrum. And the days where we don't feel so resilient and a little rage bubbles up when that car cuts you off in traffic. Some days are more challenging than others, just like the poses themselves. Empathy is a practice. Compassion is a practice. The more we practice putting ourselves in the shoes of another, the easier it becomes. We do our best with each breath and step to be kind, gentle, and loving to all beings and the earth.

Anna with World Peace Yoga Book

Anna with World Peace Yoga Book Image by: Anna Ferguson

Anna Ferguson is the author of the first vegan-centric yoga and art book, World Peace Yoga: Yoga for People Who Breathe, a companion book to Dr. Will Tuttle's The World Peace Diet, a #1 Bestseller that has been translated into 16 languages. In addition to being co-creator of World Peace Yoga studio in Cincinnati, Anna is engaged in several evolving paradigms as a co-founder of Heaert Montessori, a school where empathy and compassion are taught as part of core academics, the Jubilee Animal Sanctuary, providing a glimpse of what a peaceful world looks like, and the Cincy VegFest, an annual one-day vegan festival. Anna is active on social media and you may find her on Facebook and Instagram @annafergusonpeace.

"A full spectrum exploration of why, how, and what yoga truly is and strives to be and embodies. This is the real deal manual for complete harmonic yoga oneness."

- Kip Andersen
Film director and producer of Cowspiracy and What The Health

For more information about World Peace Yoga and book visit www.worldpeaceyogabook.com


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