Fasting for Body and Mind
In today’s busy modern life and exposure to toxins found in water, air, food and medications, a stressful lifestyle, lack of exercise, diet of refined – oily foods, the load of toxins on body increases every day. This load of toxins form toxic ‘ama’ the undigested residues from the past that accumulate in the body and lead to imbalance and illness.
During fasting the digestive fire (jathra-agni) becomes more active and there is no food to digest so it effectively burns long existing toxins (ama) from the intestine and eliminates all toxins in the body, thus purifying the body and giving peach and rest to the digestive system. Moreover it eliminates gas and makes the body light. Our body already knows how to cleanse and rejuvenate itself. Every night when we sleep, the body is under a “mini-fast” during our rest.
Fasting is not only the way to detoxify body but also the way to rejuvenate the thoughts and for mental status with sensory fasting. It is the process of withdrawing our senses from the materialistic world and experience an inner state of awareness. Meditation is a form of fasting for spiritual growth and rejuvenate mind. It helps the mind to be at ease becomes light, soft, which strengthen the spiritual life AND improves mental clarity. Both yoga and Ayurveda strongly recommend and tell us the way to disengage from the exterior world so that we can hear our inner voice clearly and spiritually enlighten.
Types of fasting in Ayurveda include:
- Water fasts – Consume only natural pure water
- Soup fasts – Consuming only soups prepared with vegetables
- Fruit juice fasts – Consuming fruits, vegetables, or juices only
- Rice fasts – Consuming only organic rice
- Kitchari fasts – Consuming light foods only such as Kitchari
Fast is Not recommended for:
- Those who are extremely in a state of starvation
- Pregnant women
- Feeding Mothers
- Serious disease conditions (kidney problem, diabetic, myocardial lipid accumulation, severe anemic)
- Infants and children
- Those who fear
Fasting is recommended for those who suffer from:
Constipation, stomachache, cold, arthritic pain, fever, increases Ama (toxins) in large intestine.
Important thing to remember:
- Drink plenty of warm water, spicy teas to ‘burn’ toxins, rest, sleep, breakfast slowly
- Avoid – exercise, physical exertion, mental stress, depression, anger
- Use laxative under Ayurveda Doctor Supervision, which help to clear toxins from the system
- Triphala (Harad, Bahera, Amla)
- Castor oil
There are some signs with which you can understand that fasting is successful or not. Successful fast makes feeling lighter; there is clarity in the mind, feeling of refreshment, being energized, clear skin, proper bowel movements, clean tongue, fresh taste and sparkling eyes.