Why I stopped eating meat

Until two years ago, I ate meat and fish. Bread with mortadella for breakfast and lunch and animal proteins for dinner like most of the people

At a certain moments I doubted but still ate it because I didn’t know how to replace it. In my education a meal consisted of pasta/rice/potatoes with vegetables and meat.

But  on the 30th of December 2015 I was standing in the supermarket with a package of Mortadella in my hand and suddenly a little voice said “WTF are you doing” I’ve put it back in the shelve and stopped eating meat.

Why did I stop?

Easy answer: It’s sad for the animals

The first seed is planted by this video. Little Luis explains it very well in this video:”We have to take care for them, not eat them”. Also the way they are treated at the farms and the butchers doesn’t make me very happy.

A little less easy answer: Why would I eat something i couldnt kill myself

Just before I decided to  stop eating, I saw a trailer of the movie “Vleesverlangen” (Desire for meat),  a Dutch movie where Marijn Frank is looking for the answer why she loves meat so much (here is the complete movie, unfortunately only in Dutch). This trailer alone was already enough to make a deep impression. The screenshot below is taken at the moment just before a cow is shot and shows everything. It made me realize that also I can’t even look at it neither, let alone do it myself.

Still from the movie Vleesverlangen (desire for meat)

The most difficult answer: we are all one

Everything has a consciousness and maybe we are all divine beings and connected to each other because we are all from the same source,  the universal and pure consciousness. When you would have said a year ago that I would write it now, I’d declare you for crazy, but the yoga teacher training made me aware of this of this thought and feeling.

Like my friend L. said:”The way of Yoga, the way of being your True Self will make You an empath towards all lviing beings. We are all One! ”

Also taken taken in account in this aspect is also the care for the environment and the impact on the world of breeding meat. Eating meat takes a lot of resources of the world.

Other factors

The decision was made in one second but not totally spontaneous. It has been a long time in the corner of my mind that it’s “bad” to eat meat, but the desire and lack of knowledge made me do it. But because of the yoga, you’re more conscious of your role, start to live more healtier and get to know ahimsa, non violence. Also due to the yoga I became more stronger to follow my own heart and stand up for my own opinion (I care less about the question “What would others think?”)

And now

In fact there are three options: one day I will eat meat again, who knows. Only the person who doesn’t think and evoluate doesn’t change his mind. The other option is that I become vegan, so I skip also cheese and eggs. I don’t see it happen because I like it too much and don’t know how to replace it (especially cheese on bread), but hey I used that as arguments a long time also for meat. Most chanceful is that I continue like this in the future. No meat and skipping a bit more eggs and cheese.

Not to forget that I respect the opinion of choices of others. So my room mate is still eating meat and I’m totally okay with it, occasionaly I even prepare it for him. I can show others my way, but everybody his own path in life…

Read also: The relation between yoga and vegetariarism

Thanks you, anonymous lady in the ricefield

This anonymous lady in the ricefield opened a world for me…

When I was young we used to live in a rural area surrounded by a lot of farmers. We even had some baby pigs in our house who couldn’t stay with their mother. But until now I never realized all the effort mad to put my food on the table.

As kid I never understood why people prayed before eating. “But mom, you bought it in the supermarket and not God”. Still I don’t believe in the classical God, but I become more and more aware of the Universal Energy.

Now I’m here I South East Asia and see a lot of people working very hard for our food under difficult circumstances. The rice I see in the supermarket once has been yielded on a beautiful green rice field far away by people working their ass off literally in the mud.

Continue reading “Thanks you, anonymous lady in the ricefield”

Traveling, packing and spending money – what did I learn

I already talked about my lessons in the spirit,mind and heart while traveling. What did I learn about logistics and financial? Not really yoga related but still might be interesting for other and future yoga nomads

Packing

Packing too much: I’ve seen someone with one backpack of 25 l. She had met someone without luggage, with litterly only his passport in his pocket. Wow. If you want to know how, the Google search is no bag travelI couldn’t do that, my backpack (65 + 10) was 18 kg when flying to Ubud.

No, you dont need to take three tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste with you. You only need one in three months and they sell it in the Seven Eleven for even a cheaper price. You don’t need to take two extra in-case-of phones (+chargers, +cables) with you. Extra wallet. Hipwallet. Didn’t use it. Ducktape, tierips and other McGyver stuff… didn’t need it and everything can be bought. (Happy though with a rope and clips to hang my clothes on)

In a lot of countries in Asia it is not done to wear sleeveless shirts/tank tops. So they are mostly unused. Instead take white shirts of technical sportsmaterial (nylon, with little holes, like running shirts) with you (if you have a Decathlon around: buy them there for a couple of euros.)

Spending money

First rule: If I lunch cheap on a day, I can dinner more expensive. And vice versa. A cheap lunch was 35 bath for a plate of rice and vegetables. My average price was 80-100 bath for diner without alcohol. A pizza costs 250 bath, and one time Ive eaten for 600 bath after walking for hours in Bangkok’s Chinatown and not finding a vega restaurant. Alcohol is expensive, 60 bath for a beer, 120 bath for a glass of wine. (Thats why the average is higher than 100. Not that I drank that much :-))

Second rule: keep track of your expenses. Set a day limit (for me 500 bth excl. hotel) and don’t spend more than that… on average. You can, but the next day you _have_ to spend less. And don’t forget, a lot of small amounts is a big amount.

See everything as a percentage of this limit helps also to keep the discipline. You see that I have spent two bath too much a day. Three euro for all the period, not bad for a big spender like me 🙂

Last rule: dont get obsessed with the rules. Enjoy!!

How much did you spend? Do you have other packing tips?

Continue reading “Traveling, packing and spending money – what did I learn”

Lessons of Chiang Mai

One week left in Chiang Mai ! A pretty sad realization, but I’m also ready for the next step, a month in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. It’s a good moment to reflect on what I discovered the last two months. (by the way, the inspiration to write this down – at 2h00 in the night – came after seen this video)

As you might know the plan was to travel around in Thailand. I started with five days of Bangkok and the plan was to visit four or five days in Chiang Mai. But at the third or fourth day I visited the park with people doing (acro)yogam slacklining and jugling. I got hooked and will stay around seven weeks (with a break of four days in Pai).  Maybe I’m less a traveller (and less die-hard regarding (lack of) luxuery and comfort) than I thought I was, but that was certainly not the most important lesson. Continue reading “Lessons of Chiang Mai”

On my mat I’ve learned

I’ve learned so much on my mat. In the yogaclasses of Bikram Yoga Arnhem, Affordable Yoga Paris, RYoga Rome. At my yoga teacher training with Samyak Yoga in Mysore, Inda. During my self practice at home, in hotels and outside in parks.

Of course I’ve learned about how to move my body into a posture. How to hold it. Steady and comfortable as it should be but also sometimes unsteady and uncomfortable. I have learned how to teach, to adjust, to assist.

There is so much more to learn.. but until now….

Continue reading “On my mat I’ve learned”

Silence please

I just return from a two day meditation program of the CMU university of Chiang Mai, Thailand. And it a very nice experience to get into meditation!

We started at Tuesday afternoon at 13:30 at the Wat Susan Dok, a little bit east of the old town. There were around 30 participants. People from all over the world but a lot of Germans. We started with a short introduction about Buddhism near the temple. By taxi we were brought 15 km out of town where they have a meditation center in the middle of the nature. Strange to hear the birds after spending two weeks in big cities.
Continue reading “Silence please”

One week after

It’s incredible how fast the time flies. It’s already one week ago that I’ve been given my certificate for the teacher training. After the ceremony me and one of my fellow students flew to Thailand. So no black hole for us. We’ve started in Bangkok and stayed there for 5 days. I’ve seen a lot of markets, the three most famous temples, ate a lot of nice things, been served and helped by a lot of kind people but I missed somehow the charm that Paris, Amsterdam of Rome has.

After that we went to Chiang Mai. Already in the taxi I felt that I like this city more. More charm, smaller and we were lucky to arrive at sunday evening so there was the Weekend market (another one!).
Continue reading “One week after”

Reborn again – Review Samyak Yoga Teacher Training

It has flown away, the 28 days to do a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in Hatha yoga for 200 hours at Samyak Yoga in Mysore. Exactly two years after doing my first yoga class (ok, two days missing) my diploma was given. Like said at the ceremony, it’s like a rebirth. An old life ends and a new path of yoga starts.

Take a cup of tea or good coffee because here is a long review. I was glad to read those things before starting so I am happy to write one also for those orientating on the huge market or YTT’s. Continue reading “Reborn again – Review Samyak Yoga Teacher Training”

Om namah shivaya

The course had ended! The last day of the yoga teacher training started with a lesson of two hours that I gave together with lovely Elene to all the fellow students. We were last in line and we made the theme of the class “gratitude”.

Gratitude for all the beautiful moments, for the beautiful souls we have met, the 1000% dedicated teachers Trupta, Rakesh, Arvind and Stephanie, the delicious food (thanks Jitou and Chinboun!), for doing the sun salutations (12 each day) when the sun was rising (we were lucky to have that coincidence one or two weeks, amazing feeling!), the beautiful sunsets and nature around Samyak, all the knowledge and experience we were given here. We have seen each other being changed by all the wisdom around us.

At a certain moment this week the teacher asked us to give a description or compliment to the person right of you. A rainfall of nice words were spread in the atmosphere. Also I was very touched about the things said to me.

The class of today went very good and also the written test was passed well. Two tests on one day, quit heavy. I felt empty afterwards. The day ended with singing the mantras. I had to concentrate on the letters in my book and certainly not watch others. When I look back at the video I see that I was not the only one.

As said, it was a though day. I didn’t feel nervous but unconscious I was, otherwise I wouldn’t be awake from midnight to 3am. I did do my letter-to-myself writing assignment though because I was totally awake. It will be funny to receive that letter in one and a half year. Let’s see how many of my wishes and goals have been fulfilled.

In the evening I still had a mix of energy, tiredness and emptiness, so I did a yin session on my own in the yoga room. When I went back to my room the stars shined bright. What will be true from the theory about universal energy, personal energy and oneness of that. Can we become one? Are we all one? Amazing thoughts, if it wasn’t that cold I would have laid my mat in the grass and slept outside.

Today I started the day with 12 sun salutations (tapas, discipline!) and we have gotten our certificate and we had to say goodbye. A very sad moment after such an amazing and intensive month. But every end will have a new beginning.  “Om namah Sivayah”.

I have nothing to complain, I will go to Bangkok, Thailand to backpack and doing yoga of course. Keep following the log and Facebook page to stay tuned! Goodbye dear teachers, goodbye dear Friends, goodbye Samyak, goodbye India. Namasté!

P.S. A review of the Samyak hatha yoga teacher training can be found here!