Health Benefits Of Fasting
Summary: The medical science today is realizing the health benefits of fasting - something which was always know and practiced in Indian Yogic culture. Many Indian rituals and religious practices were built around this to spread this knowledge. There are days when human body does not need food - if one is conscious and has developed necessary awareness of how human body functions, one will know the days when body is telling you - it does not need food. It wants to cleanse itself, repair and maintain itself and remove toxins - but we don't allow that to happen by constantly stuffing food. Fasting is a great way to rejuvenate the body, improve health and cure many a diseases. But there is certain way of doing fasting otherwise it could do more harm. Find out more as Sadhguru explains the benefits of fasting.
article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org
Is fasting good for you? Benefits of fasting explained
Sadhguru: It is important that you don’t fast forcefully. If you observe the natural cycle of the body, there is something called a mandala. The mandala means that every 40 to 48 days, the system goes through a certain cycle. In every cycle, there are three days when your body does not need food. If you are conscious of how your body functions, you will become aware that on these days, your body does not need food. And without effort, you can go without food on that day.
If you are constantly drinking coffee or tea, then, if you fast, it will become torture for you; fasting will be very difficult. So if you want to fast, first of all prepare the body by eating the right kind of foods.
Once in every 11 to 14 days, you may not feel like eating. On that day, you should not eat. You know, even dogs and cats have this awareness? Have you noticed that on particular days, they will not eat? They are aware of their system. On the day the system says “no food,” it is a cleaning-up day, they will not eat. Since you don’t have this awareness, they fixed Ekadashi. Ekadashi comes once in every 14 days in the lunar calendar. At least every 14 days, you could go without food. If you are unable to go without food, if your activity levels are such and you don’t have the necessary sadhana to support you, then you could go on a fruit diet. Just observe your own system, and you may notice that on certain days, you do not really need to eat. Forcing food on those days is not a good thing to do.
If you forcefully fast without preparing your body and mind sufficiently, you will only cause damage to your health.
Suppose one wants to fast for a certain period, it must always be supported with the right kind of spiritual practices or sadhana. If you forcefully fast without preparing your body and mind sufficiently, you will only cause damage to your health. But if your body is properly prepared, if you are mentally also in a certain state, if you are prepared energy-wise, then fasting can be of much benefit to you.
If you are constantly drinking coffee or tea, then, if you fast, it will become torture for you; fasting will be very difficult. So if you want to fast, first of all prepare the body by eating the right kind of foods. If it is a great torture when you hold back your urge to eat, you will only cause damage to the system. Maybe you are thinking of performing some kind of a feat “I did not eat for three days,” and you want to go and tell that to the whole world. Please don’t do such things. It is of no benefit to you. You will just make yourself weak, that is all. Just understanding the body and coming to a deeper understanding of how the system functions and what is the best thing to do, is more important than doing something like this.
It may not be a good thing for everybody to fast, but it has many benefits if it is done with proper understanding. So finding the right situation for the system and taking off food at that time will be a good thing to do.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a new name. What we have known by experience in the Yogic sciences, today modern science also is coming in-line with it. Your body and your brain work at their best only when your stomach is empty. We always make sure that we eat in such a way that however much we eat, our stomach must always be empty within two to two-and-a-half hours’ time. For any correction and purification that needs to happen in the body, your stomach needs to be empty. This is very important. Otherwise, the purification on the cellular level will not happen. In Yoga, a minimum of eight hours’ gap between one meal and the next meal is recommended. If you do this, you will see that, whatever health problems you have, a minimum of fifty percent will go away in six weeks’ time.