In Yoga and Veganism, Sharon Gannon—co-creator of the renowned Jivamukti Yoga method—weaves together a compelling exploration of the intersection between the spiritual practice of yoga, physical health, care for the planet, and a peaceful coexistence with other animals and nature. Through clear and accessible language, Gannon unpacks the wisdom of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the oldest and most revered texts focused on the philosophy of yoga, and draws a fascinating course to greater enlightenment for the contemporary practitioner.
With yama, or restraint, the Yoga Sutras outline the first step on the path to spiritual liberation through five ethical principles that help guide our relationships with the world around us: Ahimsa teaches us how to avoid personal suffering through not harming others, while satya reveals how telling the truth allows us to be better listened to. Through asteya, or nonstealing, we learn the secret of wealth. Brahmacharya reveals how refraining from sexual misconduct leads to health and vitality, and finally, aparigraha opens our eyes to the ways in which greed holds us back from true happiness and is destroying the planet.
Yoga and Veganism shines a light on these five guiding principles, demonstrating how the practice of yoga is tied to an ethical vegan lifestyle, which opens the path to both physical wellness and spiritual enlightenment. Featuring a selection of delicious recipes from the author along with personal essays from individuals whose lives have been transformed by veganism—including filmmaker Kip Andersen (Cowspiracy) and activist Ingrid Newkirk (president of PETA)— Yoga and Veganism provides a framework for yoga students and teachers looking to bring their asana practice into alignment with the philosophy at the heart of the discipline, as well as with the Earth around them and all of the beings within it.
For over forty years, Sharon Gannon has been dedicated to changing the ways in which people view spirituality, life, themselves, one another, animals, and the environment. Along with David Life, she is the creator of the Jivamukti Yoga method, a path to enlightenment through com-passion for all beings, which holds veganism as a core principle. Blessed by her teachers, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, Swami Nirmalananda, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Shyamdas, and Shri Milan Goswami, she is a pioneer in teaching yoga as spiritual activism. The Jivamukti method has been recognized as one of the nine forms of hatha yoga practiced in the world today. Yoga Journal magazine has called Gannon an innovator, and Vanity Fair gives her credit for making yoga cool. Gannon has authored many books and produced numerous yoga-related films and music albums. She is the recipient of the 2008 Compassionate Living Award and the 2013 PETA Compassionate Action Award. She resides in a wild forest sanctuary in upstate New York.
“In Yoga and Veganism, Sharon Gannon radiates timeless wisdom and applies ancient truths to contemporary customs. She describes how yoga and a vegan diet can help heal our society’s ‘disease of disconnection’ and remedies a mind-set that has allowed cruelty and violence to become normalized on our troubled planet. I hope everybody will read Sharon’s book, which describes how our actions affect our world and how we can liberate ourselves through compassion to others.”