I fast once a week for a 24-hour period of time. I skip food between two evening meals. I fast during ekadashi and on a random day between two ekadashis when it feels appropriate. In general, I also practice to break fast only after I had a proper elimination in the morning. Therefore I often have lunch as my first meal.
I do fasting to:
- give the digestion system a rest on a regular basis and support the cleansing of the body
- connect back to the sensation of real hunger (vs appetite)
- stop identifying myself with my body
Sadhguru explains how fasting can purify the body and improves other dimensions of our lives more in depth.
My observations during fasting:
- My body temperature drops. I need to make sure I keep my body warmer than usual (clothing, warm shower, heat producing spices, asanas).
- When I start to run out of energy, the energy I still have, I will focus it on things that matter to me. I become more focused.
- My body feels lighter. I can do asanas with more ease.
- My consciousness is rooted less in my body therefore it takes less effort to do spiritual practices
- I appriciate food much more when eating with real hunger
Here are some considerations that help me maximize the benefits of fasting:
- Going into and out of fasting should be a gradual process to avoid stressing the body. I eat kitchari before and after fasting for a gentle transition.
- During fasting, one can drink an infusion of ginger, black pepper, cayane to help kindle the agni and burn away toxins. If one chooses to do juice fasting, grapejuice (vata), pomegranate (pitta) and apple juice (kapha) dilluted with water will be beneficial (Vasant Land: Ayurveda, The Science of Self-Healing, p86).
- If one needs to be active and yet wish to keep the fast, warm water with a squeeze of lemon and honey is an excellent resource of energy too
- Skipping a meal if there’s no hunger
- Depending on one’s needs, the weather and the season, fresh fruit, banana smoothie or stewed apples are appropriate choices to break fast with