After Michael Pollan’s keynote address on Friday, a panel of yoga superstars sat down at the New York Yoga Journal Conference yesterday to flesh out the answer to that question.
“The Yoga of Food” panel featured Aadil Palkhivala, Ana Forrest, Seane Corn, and David Romanelli, and was moderated by Dayna Macy, author of Ravenous: A food lover’s journey from obsession to freedom.
While the panelists shared their own varying diets, from Seane Corn’s strict veganism, to David Romanelli’ s pairing of yoga with wine and chocolate, they all conceded that food is a personal decision, and what works for one person may not nourish another.
“What I found was that I actually needed to fall more in love with the truth of what worked rather than the philosophy that was really pretty,” said Ana Forrest, speaking of her abandonment of veganism after she discovered she was allergic to many staples of the vegan diet.
While Corn interprets the much-debated principle of Ahimsa as a ban on harming or killing any living creature, Palkhivala explained that for him, nonviolence could mean eating a cow that was treated ethically, recognizing the spirit of the animal that was killed, and enjoying the meat with gratitude.
The panelists agreed that what we put into our bodies does affect our sense of balance both on and off the mat. Eating like a yogi means maintaining a consciousness about food choices by understanding what our food is made of, where it comes from, how it affects our own bodies, and who (or what) may have been harmed in sourcing it.
“We’re supposed to be the aware ones in society,” exclaimed Palkhivala, “and there’s someone drinking a can of coke in the audience! I mean, this is crazy! Wake up!”