In my growing years, I would always see my grandma perform various rituals- a few of those on a daily basis and some according to the season. Can you also recall a few home remedies which were of great use but were never mentioned in any medical school books?
I still remember that pungent flavored herb mix, coated with white butter she used to swear by, which happened to be a reason for all the compliments I receive for my no-acne, glowing skin. And no wonders her rose red cheeks still glow at the age of 95!
My grandma’s habit of fasting once in a month was really fascinating because of multiple reasons. “HER AYURVEDA WAY OF FASTING” is what I am gonna tell you about today.
AYURVEDA – A MULTI-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH TO FASTING
Ayurveda, the ancient science considers food as “BRAHMA” which means the creator. The universe has blessed us with this food (source of prana) in abundance. Sadly, in recent times we have made our holy bodies no less than a garbage bin. Inconsistent food timings, mindless food habits and toxic mental behaviors can be commonly seen around. And in response to all these things “AMA” starts to build up in our body. Let’s take a look at what is AMA.
Think of how many times you feel fatigued, bloated, restless and indigestion upon waking up! If it is a usual thing, it's time you take an action to evict the AMA from your body.
Once Ama is building up in your body, it will slow down your digestive fire and eventually extinguish it. Which will be a huge havoc to your digestive system and the whole body. So, how can we not let Ama engulf us?
CREATE SOME SPACE!! And what should we do to create space in our body? Come on, we have discussed it before. It's “FASTING”.
Ayurveda says that any panchakarma, medicine or lifestyle change that brings about lightness and thinness to the body is UPAVASA. Patanjali Yoga Sutra mentions fasting as “PRATYAHARA”(which translates into ‘away from food’). Fasting has a lot of importance in the ancient system of healing and therapy.
Fasting in Ayurveda, unlike the western concept, focuses on the multiple dimensions. Ayurveda looks at the human body as whole and fasting in Ayurveda is not just limited to weight loss. It works equally on mind, body and soul. Ask me how and here I go:
Physical aspects of fasting: Now if you are thinking that I will repeat the same record then NO is my answer. Ayurveda looks at every body as unique and therefore has different offerings as per your body’s constitution. In general, Ayurveda suggests short periods fasting on a weekly or monthly basis. But there are some rules as per your body type.
- VATA TYPE FASTING- Since we know that to fast is to increase lightness in one’s body, fasting therefore can provoke vata. So if you have vata imbalance, water fasting is a complete “no” for you. Instead, you can try mono-fasts on sweet orange, mango or grape juice. Fasting on kitchari can be beneficial too.
- PITTA TYPE FASTING- You shall only consider a juice fast of bitter or astringent vegetables with green leafy vegetables. Diluted grape, prune or pomegranate juice can also be a great choice. NO water fasting for you too, as you have a strong digestion. Consider fasting only during season change.
- KAPHA TYPE FASTING- Now you are the one who by choice can practice fasting multiple times a year. Consume warm and non-greasy liquids during fasting to which you can add herbs and spices like black-pepper, garlic, dried ginger, cinnamon and so on. It is recommended that you must practice fasting weekly.
Mental Aspects of Fasting:
Ayurveda considers mind and body as one and they are more like two faces of a coin which are inseparable. Therefore considering your thoughts and emotions along with food is equally important. Psychological way of fasting involves self-exploration, breath-work, pranayama, yogasana and reading good books. Clear mind is a channel to a healthy body.
Spiritual aspect of fasting: Fasting is all about creating OJAS (pure vitality) through various ways. Fasting and spirituality have always been related. Weeks, days, months, seasons and so on are devoted to deities for fasting and wish fulfillment. The true essence of spiritual fasting is to withdraw oneself from worldly responsibilities by going in complete silence, practicing wishful isolation, performing yagna, prayers and meditation to release the deep seated emotional built-ups. It is recommended that one must practice silence fasting under supervision.
Fasting in Ayurveda is more like a ray of sunshine in utter darkness. It has innumerable benefits if done correctly. So, one must follow a yogic routine like walking in nature, sun bathing and sky gazing.
One can also practice ABHYANGA as it would nourish the body. Applying MULTANI MITTI pack for 15 minutes before bathing can enhance rejuvenation of skin.
Let us not make fasting a FAD, as it is all about healing your Gut and listening to your body.
“FASTING IS A VIBE, SEE HOW YOU ALIGN”
Today was all about the ritual of fasting according to Ayurveda, in the next blog we'll be coming up with the Introduction of Autophagy and overall do's and dont's of fasting!!
Till then stay safe and healthy.
Love and Light to all.
Author: Charu Rajpal | Editor: Taahira Kisna | Publisher: Kosha Life
This was really enlightening. Thank you for this pious energy :)
This is fab..I was always confused about fasting with the body type I have…and now I have a lot more clarity on how I should fast…thanks guys..thank you so much for sharing this knowledge
loving this series of fasting … sooo delightful to see a change in my , just very excited for the next blog , loving how the blog is created and you share your personal experiences !!!! and a namaste to your grandma from my side 🙂🙂🙂