As the pressures of daily life increase, more and more people turn to spirituality in a bid to find inner peace and tranquility. Fasting is a century-old tradition practiced by many cultures for both spiritual and physical cleansing purposes. However, in our modern society, one of the most commonplace uses of intermittent fasting is to lose weight.
Although many people stumble across fasting as a way to detox their bodies or as a means to a healthier looking physique, they soon find themselves embarking on an enlightening journey. Especially when being coupled with yoga and meditation, fasting can become a life-changing spiritual experience.
Many of the most empowering yoga practices you will ever experience can occur while being completely void of food. You could actually become aware of your internal organs, finding yourself twisting deeper and delving into the meditative attributes of the practice while fasting. Experiencing the higher chakras in meditative states is easy when your body is empty. However, before engaging in any of the types of intermittent fasting available, you need to be made aware of a few dos and don’ts:
Make Sure You’re Fit to Fast
Unfortunately, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Those who should be mindful include pregnant or breastfeeding women, diabetics and children under the age of 18. Please don’t feel discouraged if you fall into any of these categories. You can still participate in yoga and meditation but opt for eating clean, wholesome foods instead of following any sort of fasting regime.
If you suffer from any health conditions that could be affected by your fasting, you need to check with your doctor before you begin. Yoga teaches us to stop identifying with thoughts and feelings that can cause us emotional pain and in order to be truly efficacious at this, we cannot allow our bodies to be compromised by our poor health decisions.
Find a Fast that Fits Your Lifestyle
Meditate on the subject if you are battling to make a choice. There is an abundance of literature available that will enable you to make the best decision and set your mind and heart at ease. The simplest way to ease into intermittent fasting would be through the 5:2 diet plan which will allow you to eat as normal for five days of the week and only consume about 600 calories on two nonconsecutive days.
Take the Time to Prepare Your Body, Mind and Home
You need to be well-rested and emotionally prepared before fasting. Remove all tempting foods from your home and replace them with healthy, whole food options. Clear your mind by meditating and open yourself up to positive energies while rejecting all negativity from within yourself.
Don’t Forget to Drink Water
While in an enlightened state, one can easily lose track of time. It is important to make a point of drinking enough water, especially since you won’t be eating as much as usual (our food contains a lot more water than we are aware of). You don’t want to dehydrate and be left feeling weak and ill.
When we fast, our bodies cleanse themselves and remove harmful toxins. Animals have an inherent fasting response to illness which gives their body the chance to heal. Us humans are the only mammals who blatantly ignore our instincts and follow our senses instead – looking for food to eat when we don't really need it.
By resting our digestive systems we release energy for spiritual expansion, purification and self-healing.
Regardless of our religious beliefs, we will find evidence of fasting in spiritual texts. Christ abstained from eating for 40 days and 40 nights and Buddha fasted fervently until he finally achieved Nirvana and continued his teachings. If the great entities before us believed in the power of the fast, then who are we to question it?
Would you like to discover the amazing benefits of intermittent fasting and mindful eating to your yoga practice? Go on a yoga detox retreat and cleanse your body, mind and soul!