Fasting Basics For A Successful Cleanse
Three Types of Fasting
There are three main types of fasts used in my programs: water fasts, fruit or vegetable juice fasts, and ayurvedic soup fasts. Each is described below.
Water fasts are the most rigorous type of fast, and must not be engaged in without complete shraddha (faith), safety, and confidence. When the mind is balanced in its intention to water fast, when water fasting is known to restore the body, or when one is moved to engage in a water fast for spiritual reasons, then water fasting is indicated. If one is fasting out of vata type emotions, such as fear, anxiety, indecisiveness; pitta type emotions such as competition, anger, or control; or kapha type self-contempt, resentment, and self-hatred, fasting should be avoided. It will only provoke vrittis (mental fluctuations) and further deter balance. The Charaka Samhita, a classic Ayurvedic text called “piyusha” from the second and third centuries, teaches that fasting can remove moderately excessive dosha, like air can dry up a lake. Both vata and agni are increased during a fast; however, when doshas are extremely excessive, there is not a way to dry them up. They must be eliminated from the body via the panchakarma procedures.
Fruit and/or Vegetable Juice Fasts
Almost all constitutional types can engage in a juice fast if the mind is properly prepared, comfortable, and one is stepping into it for the right reasons and at the right time. Juice fasts are less rigorous than water fasts are, and can be sustained over long periods while giving digestion a needed rest. Juice fasting can be done for as long as two months. It is easy to get the appropriate calories, carbohydrates, and nutrients to fast on juices for a sustained period without having to go on retreat. Juices are high in nutrients and minerals that are easily absorbed into the intestinal tract. Many people have juice fasted through work and other strenuous activities without a problem. In fact, most people who fast on juices report an increase in energy and stamina around the fifth day of a fast, while the desire to eat naturally goes into hibernation. Juice fasts are best undertaken in spring and summer. The cooling, drying effect on the body can be provoking in the winter.
Fruit juice can be too rich in sugars and/or oxalates for many people specifically, those with yeast intolerance, fructose intolerance, and oxalate and other dietary sensitivities. If juice fasts are too provoking, vegetable or meat broths can help heal the epithelial tissue and GI tract and still provide needed rest.
Ayurvedic Soup Fasts
Ayurveda favors more gentle fasting regimes, such as kichadis, which are easy-to-digest soups made of grains, legumes, and several spices. Samsarjana karma is a graduated diet that starts from a liquefied soup and gradually becomes thicker over a set number of days. Unfortunately, due to our current digestive times, many struggle to assimilate the grains and legumes in many traditional ayurvedic detoxification soups. When disease and imbalance have upset the gut to the point of severe immune dysfunction, it can be categorized as convalescence and therefore, warrants the use of animal products in the form of liquid bone broths or very soft meat byproducts that have been boiled over a long period of time. The amino acids in particular assist the healing of the intestinal wall, and provide the body many important nutrients that assist in its repair.
In ayurveda, fasting is all encompassing. Fasting refers not only to the physical act of calorie restriction, but also the emotional and spiritual components of cleansing. During an ayurvedic-based fast, it is advised to spend additional time in meditation releasing thoughts that no longer serve you, applying medicinal oils, steaming, skin brushing, and sleeping at appropriate times. Ayurvedic fasting is not only letting go of deep-seated toxins on the physical level, but also restoring appropriate lifestyle balance through sadhana practices.
Key Points Of Fasting For Cleansing
Identify your gut-resting path: juicing, water fasting, ayurvedic soup fasts or a combination of all three.
Consume only healing purified water, juices, or stocks for a minimum of three days. If this is not possible, alternatives to start may be to fast one day a week or one to three days once a month.
Plan fasting days once a week or every other week, especially if a longer initial fast is not possible.
Avoid supplements and herbs, and safely reduce medications under the prescribing doctor s supervision where possible.
If you need help constructing a cleanse for your constitution consult an expert! I have helped thousands of people successfully cleanse their body of unwanted toxins.