Fasting for Balanced Health
Fasting literally means giving up solid food in order to eliminate accumulated toxins or metabolites and cleanse the body. Fasting is a time-tested method of keeping healthy and activating self-healing practice.
Fasting practice is as old as Ayurvedic and yogis tradition and fasting is equally important in spiritual, social, and religious practices. In other ways, fasting is also known as planning the meal or menu. Everyone can practice fasting but everyone deserves a different way of fasting according to their dosha.
Benefits of fasting
- Fasting simply gives rest to your digestive system, stomach, intestines, and all the organs. It helps to cleanse and rejuvenate and removes blockages/ obstructions and restore energy.
- Fasting is the remedy of restoring your digestive fire (Agni)
- Fasting helps to uplift the willpower, improve clarity and enable you to concentrate better
How to fast?
During the fast, continue to drink fluid which is warm water, herbal teas, or light vegetable broth. Limit your mental or physical work during fasting. If you feel nauseous, drink water with a little lime juice. Be cautious with cravings or overeating. If you fail too fast, it is good to repeat again and plan it regularly over time.
Breaking your fast
Breaking a fast that is longer than a day gradually, over the same duration as the fast. Reintroduce vegetable soup, diluted fruits juice, or coconut water first, a few times a day. Then if you fast for longer, continue with a diet of the main fruit and cooked vegetables for the next few days. Soupy-cooked kitchari with spices is an ideal recipe to eat after breaking the fasting.
Duration of Fast
A fast can vary in length from 16 hours to a few days. Seek guidance from an experienced person if you wish to fast longer and regularly.
Talk to your ayurvedic practitioner especially if you have a health condition, or had one in the past. Do not practice stressful fast if you are Vata, pregnant, nursing, or underweight.
Fasting for Vata
People with elevated Vata should not fast. Those with a lot of Vata but who are strong and healthy may start with a short fast.
Fasting for Pitta
People with Pitta benefit from fasting, as long as they are balanced, but may find it challenging to their metabolic activity.
Fasting for Kapha
People with Kapha benefit most from fasting and should fast on a regular basis, ideally once or twice a week.