Fasting is a part of yoga, so why we should fast?
There are two basic reasons for fasting. One relates to health, to physical purification and the other one regards the developing of willpower, mental strength, non attachment, control of our instincts and in this way the development of spirituality.
It is sure, fasting keeps the body clean. Many diseases start from a body loaded with toxic poisons. By fasting we give our body physiological rest. This rest builds vital force and the more we have, the more toxins are going to be eliminated from the body to help keep it clean, pure and healthy. Tongue and urine can be our guideposts to observe internal purification. A few days of fasting will coat the tongue with a thick, white, toxic material eliminated from the inside surface of the stomach, intestines, organs and from all parts the entire body. Actually, it is the natural way how our body expulses all what doesn’t need (to clean the tongue each morning should become part of routine hygiene: daily when we brush teeth, we should scrape with the tongue cleaner the tongue from the back to the tip).
They are many ways of fasting. Ayurveda, (traditional medicine native to India), favors regular, short-time fasting over infrequent, long-term fasting. This could constitute fasting on the same day each week or setting a few days aside each month to fast or fasting on full moon and new moon s days.
The primary types of fasting in Ayurveda, include:
-Consuming light foods only
-Consuming fruits, vegetables, or juices only.
-Abstaining from solid foods while drinking water or herbal teas.
-Abstaining from both food and water.
In determining the appropriate type and length of a fast, it’s important to take into account your constitution, digestive strength, overall vitality and your situation of health (for example people with diabetes or pregnant women should not fast). It’s never advised to deplete your energy during a fast. If you’re new to fasting or have a chronic illness, we recommend consulting a specialist (doctor or Ayurvedic practitioner for specifically tailored guidance.
If it is very difficult for you to fast because of your health situation or your constitution, you can start by excluding one of thing you are attach and which dominate you, as a coffee or sweet or others. And here we arrive to the deeper meaning of fasting. If you overcome domination of instincts and attachment over you, your mind will be stronger and you will control your senses and not by contraries. Each time you fast, your mind becomes stronger, healthier, more positive and peaceful. By fasting, you eliminate not only toxins, but also fear, worry and negative emotions and habits. So that, when you fast, your energy is balanced and it is also a kind of austerity, purification of consciousness, with control over the senses to balance your intellect and emotions. By fasting, we gain sensitivity and intuition. Also more spiritual energy develops in your heart and consciousness when you fast.
We can say that the fasting elevates the body, the mind and your soul.
Now, we will quote the words of Gandhi, spiritual leader, Politian and diplomat: “All the vitality and energy I have comes to me because my body is purified by fasting,” Gandhi