It seems to me that every time an exercise regimen is mentioned by a vegan, yoga is the exercise of choice. Actually, yoga is a “practice” as well as an exercise since it involves meditation and philosophy. In her book “The Kind Diet,” Alicia Silverstone describes yoga as a “beautiful battlefield.” I recall Kathy Freston extolling the virtues of yoga since its philosophies align with vegan values. The “Skinny Bitch” girls believe that if everyone performed yoga, there would be world peace!
When it comes to choosing a form of exercise, yoga is at the bottom of my list. What is wrong with me? Am I anti-vegan at heart because I dislike yoga? Don’t get me wrong; I truly believe that yoga is an excellent choice of exercise. It has been around for thousands of years and has been performed by many cultures around the world. I believe it is amazing for strength, flexibility, stamina, as well as for your heart and mind. I just don’t enjoy it. My first choices for exercise (which I engage in on a regular basis) are spinning classes, high impact aerobics classes, running, tennis and any other form of intense cardiovascular conditioning regimens. I like to drip with sweat. I would describe myself as a little hyperactive. I am not Zen. I like to sweat out my somewhat aggressive nature. I find yoga and pilates classes slow moving. I have tried them many times. I find myself looking at the clock. Oh yes, dripping wet while spinning or being competitive on the tennis court; that is more for me!
This leads me back to my original question: am I anti-vegan at heart because I dislike yoga? Let me analyze the situation for a bit. Bear with me, if you will. I have always been interested in self-improvement. There were many years when my diet was horrendous and I did not feel well. So, I improved my diet and I felt better. There were times when I fell off the wagon, but I always got back on. I continued to strive towards good health and I always will. When the overwhelming science proved to me that vegan is the way to go, I became vegan. I am a strong believer in science, logic and common sense.
But what about my heart? What about my soul? I would not describe myself as very “soft” by nature. As I previously stated, I am somewhat tough, thick-skinned and a little bit hyperactive. I am always pushing myself in some way, always on the go. Many of my close friends and family would say that I am hard on myself. As far as my personality goes, I would describe myself as an anti-vegan (in the stereotypical sense of the word). I am more “yuppie” than “hippie.” I live in a more agitated, as opposed to zen-like, state of mind. This is what motivates me. This is who I am.
The ultimate question remains. Can you really stereotype what a “typical” vegan looks like, acts like or feels in today’s world? I believe the answer is an emphatic NO! Vegans can no longer be thought of as granola eating eating, sprout loving hippies who live in the woods with bear feet. Does this stereotype describe Arian Foster, Olivia Wilde, Bill Clinton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Usher or me (look at the costly highlighted blond hair in my picture in the “About” section)? I think not. However, as far as one’s health is concerned, it is apparent that many people (myself included) have chosen to follow the path of the latest nutritional science.
As far as matters of the heart, I can only speak for myself. I believe in right from wrong. I have chosen to care about my health and the health of the planet. I have chosen not to be part of the horrific slaughter of animals when there are so many other ways to enhance and satisfy my taste buds. I believe that we are all connected, that every living thing is connected to one another and that our simple choices affect the well-being of others and of the planet. I believe in living a conscious life. I believe in a collective conscience.
Considering the foregoing, is it really necessary that I perform yoga to stick to my choices and live in accordance with my values? I think not. The end results remain the same whether I perform yoga or partake in high intensity aerobics classes. I am who I am and I gotta’ be me! The times, they are a changin’. So, if I find yoga boring and would rather take an intensive spin class, then so be it. I will live my life as I choose to live it. I will accept the fact that I am a vegan girl who dislikes yoga!