Can you drink and do yoga?

Can you do yoga if you drink? And no, we’re not talking about doing the two at the same time! We’re talking drinking. And meat eating. And doing things that yogis traditionally sort of frown on…

The ancient gurus would have probably frowned on drinking. Then again, they led simple, monastic lives and would have probably frowned on yoga pants, youtube videos, and pizza too. And we’re not giving any of those up. Especially youtube videos. And especially this one. So go ahead and enjoy this video. Then read our thoughts on yoga and drinking below.

Look, yoga has evolved a GREAT DEAL over the years. According to David White (one INCREDIBLY smart professor of yoga studies at Princeton), those who are practicing so called “traditional yoga” are most often practicing just one strand of yoga (which was brought to the US a relatively recent 150 years ago).

Truly traditional yoga (whatever that means anyway – but we’ll say that we’re talking about the kind that was developed about 2,000 years ago); that kind of yoga was INCREDIBLY ascetic. It was practiced by relatively few members of society and it was practiced by those who rejected any material comforts in the search for enlightenment (so if you’re saying no to drinking, then you should say no to just about everything else in modern society too – including that soy latte).

To search for enlightenment, a system of yoga practices was born with a series of “steps.” Adhering to this system would help one find enlightenment.

At first these systems dealt mainly with meditation. Eventually these rules were expanded to include how you should interact with the world (along the lines of be nice to thy neighbor), what you should eat and drink, and how you can use certain physical poses to get your body and mind ready for enlightenment.

This pursuit of enlightenment, and yoga in general, has many of its roots steeped in religion. Obtaining this enlightened state was to recognize that you were a part of something greater (god). It’s important to recognize that history when practicing yoga today. That spirituality that some yoga instructors practice in class? That does have its roots in a religion that may be different than yours.

Moreover, there are parts of that history that would sound absolutely crazy to you today – such as the part about yogis who could see through you and yogis who could eat your soul.

Modern yogis should never pass judgment on those who decide to drink or to eat meat, especially when they preach openness and tolerance, and especially when the original yoga practitioners thousands of years ago were eating things that would be all together different from our modern diet. And no one wants to go back to drinking horse milk.

Just like our diets, culture, opportunities, technology, and priorities, so too has yoga has changed.

Let’s call a spade a spade here, and recognize that yoga has evolved over thousands of years and that today, that it is okay to keep evolving it, and that we do not have to participate in all of the tenants of yoga in order to get its benefits.

Check out David White’s book about the history of modern yoga. It’s dense and stuff and probably meant for people smarter than us, but it’s fun and objective, and pretty much THE authority on the subject.

 

Related Articles

yoga for dancers
Lifestyle

Yoga For Dancers

As a dancer, you face unique challenges on both a physical and mental level. Dance demands focus, commitment, flexibility, strength, and grace. Every day you

Read More »

⚠️ WARNING!⚠️

We want to keep you safe!

Please consult your physician, assess your fitness level, and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program, nutrition plan, and/or using any equipment.

Body By Yoga provides a variety of exercise programs, some of which are physically demanding and high-intensity in nature. For this reason, you must listen to your body, use common sense, take breaks, and hydrate as needed to avoid injury. If at any time you feel any discomfort, pain, dizziness, light-headedness, shortness of breath, or nausea, stop exercising immediately and consult your physician. Incorrect or excessive training can result in serious injury or death.

When doing any outdoor workouts or activities, be aware of your surroundings and avoid anything that could hurt you or disrupt your exercise, especially when walking or running in public areas such as sidewalks and streets.

If you have any unique or special medical conditions, such as if you’re pregnant, have diabetes or asthma, or if you have a history of knee, ankle, hip, shoulder or spinal (back or neck) problems, you must consult your physician to understand all potential risks and complications of using our exercise programs, nutrition plans, and/or equipment, and receive approval from them to proceed before beginning. Failure to do so could result in significant injury to you and others (including, if applicable, your unborn child). By engaging in any exercise program, nutrition plan, and/or using any equipment, you assume all dangers, hazards and risks of injury or death.

SAFE USE OF EQUIPMENT

FITNESS EQUIPMENT PRESENTS HAZARDS WHICH, IF NOT AVOIDED, COULD CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH

Certain programs may utilize equipment, such as yoga mats, yoga blocks, yoga straps, chairs, foam rollers, and other equipment which, if not used correctly, could lead to serious injury or death. Carefully review all safety, care and use instructions and manuals prior to beginning.

For your safety, you must:

Use any equipment shown in the workouts only as demonstrated, using proper form.
Inspect any equipment for wear or damage prior to each use and refrain from using any equipment that appears damaged, worn or defective.
Keep children, pets and any other obstacles away from equipment and exercise area at all times.
Always use a secure, proper, and stable anchor for any equipment that requires hanging or attaching.
Always exercise caution during use of any equipment to make sure you do not lose your grip or control, such as making sure your hands are not wet or sweaty.
Ensure exercise bands are firmly secure and assembled to prevent slipping, snapping, recoiling and injury to yourself or anyone else.
Ensure your workout bench and pull up bar is stable, strong enough to hold your weight and does not move during use. If you do not think you can safely perform exercises with your bench or pull up bar, or you do not have the proper equipment, you should do the modifier exercises instead.

To the fullest extent permitted by law, Body By Yoga and its parent, affiliate, and subsidiary companies will not be liable to any person or entity for any injury, death, damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any exercise programs, workouts, nutritional supplements or plans, equipment (including without limitation the Body By Yoga mat and Body By Yoga blocks), advice or any other products, services or materials.

By checking the box and clicking “Accept”, I acknowledge I have read, understand, and agree with this warning.