Sri Dharma Mittra, the founder of Dharma Yoga Center in New York, is a modern day yoga master and a foundation of New York’s yoga community. Dharma, who is in his seventies, still practices everyday and teaches multiple classes a week. Here, he shares his food philosophy and a few of his favorite meals.

Dharma Mittra gives us advice on how to practice kindness on your plate:

A smooth start

Smoothies have been a large part of Sri Dharma Mittra’s 99.9% vegan diet for years. His favorite recipe (and usually his main meal of the day) is a large handful of peeled sprouted almonds, one large banana and a cup of fresh juice or non-dairy milk (rice, hemp or soy) blended until creamy.

Simple pleasures

For snacks and simple meals, Sri Dharma Mittra loves avocados, oranges, a combination fresh juice of half mixed greens and half carrot and occasionally cuts a large cucumber into thin slices to eat with hummus.

Kind considerations

“Always remember to offer the food before eating it,” he says. “In this way, we show gratitude for that which sustains the body and encourage the mind to move towards Divine Union or yoga with every bit of food offered and consumed.” 

Dharma also feels that to make real progress in yoga, your compassion must extend beyond your pets. “One of the best ways to put Ahimsa, or non-violence, into practice right now if you haven’t already, is to cease eating the flesh of our inferior brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom and emerge from this great darkness immediately,” he says. “Keep Ahimsa in word, thought and deed, and you will make rapid progress in yoga.”