Yoga and Vegetarianism by Sharon Gannon
  • Title: Yoga and Vegetarianism
  • Subtitle: The Diet of Enlightenment
  • Author(s): Sharon Gannon
  • Publisher: Mandala Publishing
  • Year: 2008-11-18
  • ISBN-10: 1601090218
  • ISBN-13: 9781601090218


Yoga and Vegetarianism” by Sharon Gannon is a thought-provoking and comprehensive exploration of the connection between yoga practice and adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. Drawing on her extensive experience as a yoga teacher and a practicing vegan, Gannon delves into the ethical, environmental, and health aspects of vegetarianism, making a compelling argument for its alignment with the principles of yoga. She explores the interconnectedness of all beings and the importance of practicing ahimsa, a concept of nonviolence towards all creatures. With enlightening insights, practical tips for transitioning to a vegetarian diet, and delicious plant-based recipes, Gannon invites readers to embrace a more compassionate way of living that benefits not only themselves but also the planet.

Gannon’s writing style is clear and accessible, making complex ideas about vegetarianism and yoga approachable for readers of all backgrounds. Her personal anecdotes and experiences bring an authentic and relatable touch to the book, making it an engaging read. She skillfully weaves together spiritual teachings, scientific research, and personal reflection to create a compelling case for choosing a vegetarian lifestyle. Whether you are a seasoned yogi looking to deepen your practice or someone interested in exploring the benefits of a vegetarian diet, “Yoga and Vegetarianism” provides an insightful and inspiring guide that encourages readers to align their choices with the values of compassion, sustainability, and overall well-being.


Book Review

Illuminating the Path to Compassionate Living: A Review of "Yoga and Vegetarianism" by Sharon Gannon

In her enlightening book, “Yoga and Vegetarianism,” renowned yoga teacher Sharon Gannon sheds light on the interconnectedness of yoga practice and adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. Gannon masterfully combines her years of experience as a yoga teacher and her commitment to veganism to present a comprehensive exploration of the ethical, environmental, and health aspects of vegetarianism.

At the heart of Gannon’s argument lies the concept of ahimsa, a central principle in yoga philosophy advocating nonviolence towards all living beings. She skillfully weaves together yoga teachings and practical advice, guiding readers to embody this principle through their daily choices, particularly in their dietary habits. With conviction and clarity, Gannon emphasizes that by choosing to abstain from consuming animal products, individuals contribute to the alleviation of suffering and promote a more harmonious relationship with fellow living beings.

One of the remarkable aspects of “Yoga and Vegetarianism” is Gannon’s ability to present complex ideas in an accessible manner. She connects deeply with readers, freely sharing personal stories that showcase her own transformational journey towards embracing a vegetarian lifestyle. Through her vivid anecdotes, Gannon creates a sense of relatability and authenticity, enabling readers to envision themselves embarking on a similar path of consciousness and compassion.

What sets this book apart from others on vegetarianism is the seamless integration of scientific research, spiritual teachings, and practical advice. Gannon, for instance, highlights the profound impact of a plant-based diet on personal and planetary health, citing studies that demonstrate reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. By linking the benefits of vegetarianism to overall well-being, Gannon appeals to a wider audience beyond the yoga community, expanding the potential impact of her message.

Moreover, throughout the book, Gannon provides practical tools and useful tips for those considering or transitioning towards a vegetarian diet. From insightful guidance on meal planning and grocery shopping to mouth-watering plant-based recipes, Gannon empowers her readers with the necessary knowledge and resources to embark on this transformative journey. Her recipes, such as the vibrant kale salad with tangy tahini dressing or the comforting lentil curry, bring to life the flavors and nourishment of vegetarian cuisine, dispelling any preconceived notions of restriction or blandness.

One of the most impactful sections of the book is Gannon’s exploration of the environmental consequences of animal agriculture. With alarming statistics and thought-provoking examples, she highlights the devastating toll that the meat and dairy industry have on the planet. Gannon brings attention to deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions as direct consequences of this unsustainable system. By connecting these environmental concerns to yogic principles of interconnectedness and respect for all life, Gannon successfully creates a compelling case for adopting a vegetarian lifestyle as an act of eco-consciousness.

While “Yoga and Vegetarianism” offers a wealth of information and inspiration, it is not without its limitations. Some readers may find Gannon’s tone didactic at times, as she passionately advocates for her beliefs. However, it is worth noting that her enthusiasm is rooted in a genuine desire to foster positive change and promote empathy towards all living beings.

In conclusion, “Yoga and Vegetarianism” by Sharon Gannon is an enlightening and thought-provoking book that encourages readers to align their choices with the principles of yoga and compassion. Through an engaging narrative, Gannon presents a compelling case for embracing a vegetarian lifestyle, empowering readers to make conscious choices that benefit not only themselves but also the planet. Whether you are newly interested in vegetarianism, a dedicated yogi seeking to deepen your practice, or an individual passionate about sustainability, this book serves as a valuable resource and an invitation to embark on a path towards compassionate living.


On the yoga mat, we cultivate compassion for ourselves, and this naturally extends to other beings, making a plant-based diet a natural evolution of yogic practice.

Key Ideas

In “Yoga and Vegetarianism” by Sharon Gannon, several key ideas are explored, highlighting the connection between yoga practice and adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. These key ideas include:

  1. Ahimsa (nonviolence) At the core of the book is the principle of ahimsa, which is embraced in both yoga philosophy and the vegetarian lifestyle. Gannon emphasizes the importance of embodying nonviolence towards all beings and advocates for making choices that do not contribute to the suffering of animals.

  2. Interconnectedness Gannon highlights the interconnectedness of all living beings. She asserts that by embracing vegetarianism, individuals recognize the intrinsic bond between humans and animals, fostering empathy and compassion.

  3. Ethical considerations The book extensively delves into the ethical implications of consuming animal products. Gannon encourages readers to question societal norms, urging them to reflect on the suffering inflicted upon animals in the meat and dairy industries.

  4. Environmental impact Gannon draws attention to the substantial environmental consequences of animal agriculture. Through compelling evidence and examples, she emphasizes the urgent need for sustainable alternatives and highlights the role of vegetarianism in addressing issues such as deforestation, water pollution, and climate change.

  5. Health benefits Gannon discusses the health advantages of adopting a vegetarian diet. Drawing on scientific research, she highlights the reduced risk of chronic diseases that can be achieved by consuming plant-based foods. Gannon presents vegetarianism as a viable way to promote personal well-being and overall health.

  6. Practical guidance Throughout the book, Gannon offers practical advice for individuals interested in transitioning to a vegetarian lifestyle. From meal planning to grocery shopping tips, she provides readers with the necessary tools to make informed decisions and navigate this new dietary approach.

  7. Connection to spiritual practices The book explores the connection between yoga practice and vegetarianism as a deeper spiritual journey. Gannon presents vegetarianism as an integral part of yoga’s philosophy and suggests that adopting a vegetarian lifestyle aligns with the goals of self-realization and union with the divine.

Overall, “Yoga and Vegetarianism” presents a holistic view of vegetarianism, encompassing ethical, environmental, health, and spiritual dimensions. By exploring these key ideas, Gannon offers readers a compelling argument for embracing a vegetarian lifestyle in harmony with the principles of yoga and compassion.


Target Audience

The book “Yoga and Vegetarianism” by Sharon Gannon is targeted at a diverse audience interested in the intersection of yoga, ethical living, and a vegetarian lifestyle. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Yoga Practitioners The book is particularly relevant for individuals who practice yoga and are looking to deepen their understanding of yoga philosophy beyond the physical postures. Gannon explores the ethical principles of yoga and emphasizes how adopting a vegetarian lifestyle aligns with the practice of ahimsa, nonviolence, and compassion towards all beings.

  • Vegetarians and Vegans “Yoga and Vegetarianism” serves as an inspiring resource for those who have already embraced a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Gannon reinforces their commitment by providing valuable insights, educational information, and practical tips that further reinforce why their dietary choices reflect the principles they value.

  • Individuals Interested in Ethical Living This book appeals to readers looking to live in a more conscious and compassionate way. Gannon’s exploration of the ethical considerations surrounding animal consumption encourages readers to question societal norms and make choices aligned with their beliefs and values.

  • Environmentalists For those concerned about the environmental impact of animal agriculture, “Yoga and Vegetarianism” provides a compelling argument for adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. Gannon addresses the significant ecological consequences of meat and dairy production, making a case for embracing vegetarianism as a sustainable choice for individuals seeking to reduce their ecological footprint.

  • Individuals Exploring a Vegetarian Lifestyle The book is a valuable resource for individuals interested in transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Gannon provides practical guidance, offering meal planning tips, insights into grocery shopping, and delicious plant-based recipes that make the transition easier.

In conclusion, “Yoga and Vegetarianism” is recommended reading for yoga practitioners, vegetarians, vegans, individuals interested in ethical living, environmentalists, and those exploring a vegetarian lifestyle. Gannon’s comprehensive exploration of yoga philosophy and its connection to vegetarianism provides valuable insights, practical advice, and inspiring narratives that empower readers to align their choices with their values of compassion, sustainability, and overall well-being.

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