Author: Chloe Markham
The stereotypical yogi. If Instagram’s anything to go by, she’s a skinny white girl, with legs up to somewhere unfeasible, sun-bleached hair and who can contort herself unflinchingly into the asana-du-jour. She’s also a smoothie-drinking, crystal-toting, horoscope-mapping bore, with less reality in her cup than Trump.
Yes, I’m sure this (lovely) person exists and thrives and is a wonderful contribution to society. But, and here we have it from a slightly-less-than-skinny white girl with a potty mouth and a cow’s milk hot chocolate in her hand (I can hear the intake of air from here), it’s bullshit if we think this is what we have to be to do yoga. Or, indeed, that yogis are all like this (you’ve landed on a Yoga Revolution blog post, can you tell?).
I suppose what I’m raving about today, aren’t you lucky, is how actually it’s okay that a yogi drinks cow’s milk, or eats steak, or thinks green smoothies in December is tantamount to self-flagellation (they are). I’m coming from a place where it was assumed, as I’m a yoga teacher, that I’m vegan. When the question was asked, eye-rolls aside, I decided to go into a moralistic conversation with the chap who asked me as to why I sometimes choose to be vegetarian and what meat I choose to eat. The fact that he was asking in a huge room full of hungry wedding guests should’ve prompted me into just quickly saying I’m a vegetarian, but I just rambled on and everyone looked at me weirdly and I had to opt for meat.
So, the more savvy yogis amongst you will no doubt be wondering why, with ahimsa, or non-harming, being a huge aspect of a yoga path, why I’m not vegan. And, y’know what? It’s honestly because I just couldn’t do it. To the vegans reading this – you’re probably way stronger and more steadfast than anyone in the world, and credit to you for taking such a massive stand. But, for me, that aspect of ahimsa comes back to me as well. I couldn’t quit dairy without causing myself a certain aspect of misery (holy shit a life without cheese? No thanks), or bacon, or eggs. As my lovely friend Jess and I discussed a little while ago, trying to do *every-fucking-thing* we’re supposed to – be vegan, bike instead of drive, buy natural fabrics over synthetic, buy organic, buy local, use less packaging, buy eco-friendly cleaning products, recycle, oil-pull, don’t eat refined sugar, clean your hair, brush your teeth, be nice to people, don’t glare at screaming babies – we’d (and I’m really saying I’d) lose our fucking minds, and surely that’s not ahimsa?
And unless it’s substituted for something very vegan-y and no-doubt processed or refined or heavy on air miles (almond milk from California anyone?) I’m not getting much animal fat or decent protein in my diet. Don’t hate on me for this guys, it’s just one humble gal’s opinion.
But, when I do eat meat / drink milk / scoff nearly 30 eggs a week (yes, Darren and I have eaten nothing but scrambled eggs and sourdough FOR DAYS!) y’know what? It’s organic, from a farm down the road instead of from a subsidiary of Walmart, it’s RSPCA assured and the eggs are generally from chickens who live in my dad’s mate’s garden and they’ve got chicken-pun names and their own Christmas gifts. In other words, we’re super conscious about the meat and animal products we eat, where they come from, and how they get to our plates.
What I’m saying here is just do your bit, do what you’re passionate about, and forget about the big picture if, like me, it’s all a bit overwhelming at times. Sometimes it’s okay if you get stuck at a wedding eating, by mistake, non RSPCA beef. And just be conscious about where your stuff comes from, about what you’re leaving behind, about the footprint you’re making in the world. But, at the end of it all, we’re just a mixed-up species of highly-developed ape who’ve got a bit lost in what we’re here for. We probably won’t last much longer in geological times anyway, (at least we won’t, our plastic on the other hand…).
So, what am I getting at by writing this crap today? It’s about perspective. Don’t be so hard on yourselves. Just be good, be kind, tell all the jokes you can, and, with consciousness, and understanding of where it comes from, eat the fucking cheese if it makes you happy. Have a positive impact on your little corner of the world, and don’t hate on people who do that differently to you.
In the meantime, take our light-hearted yoga for a spin and find out your ideal yoga style by taking our quiz – What Kind Of Yoga Rockstar Are You?