When I first started practicing yoga and meditation, about 16 years ago, I also started a fasting practice. My spiritual master advised for a twice-a-month dry fasting method (unless health issues would justify not doing it that way). I’m not going into details of the method since it’s not the point of this post.
I loved fasting in so many ways, not only the physical benefits but the mental as well (meditation was so amazing the next day!). It also helped me recognize that I have more cravings for food than I though (and I’m a slim guy!).
I suspect that those cravings and my mental weaknesses to deal with fasting periods, actually ended up messing up my body due to many occasions when I broke the fast in a terrible way. As time passed, fasting became more and more difficult, throwing me into a very weak state, with tremors by the end of the day. The next morning I would wake up with a bad feeling in my stomach. Drinking water would just end up in vomiting, and I would often need the whole morning just to recover my “normal” state. I began to feel that fasting was making me waste all this time and gradually stopped it.
Since then, so many times I’ve wanted to go back due to wonderful feeling a good fast gives to the body and mind and all the proven health benefits.
I’ve tried Ayurvedic fasting a few times, which consisted of a mono-diet for 2-3 days. It was surprisingly good because you can eat 3 meals so you’re never really that hungry. And what surprised me most was that at the end of the 3rd day I was feeling very similar benefits (both physical and mental) to the one-day dry fast. For some reason I stopped doing those as well, its really boring to eat the same thing for 9 continuous meals! (that’s my taste buds speaking out, instead of my brain)
This year, my first since moving to our house in the middle of nature, surrounded by trees and tall grasses, my seasonal allergies exploded in full force like! I’m writing this post with goggles because I feel like tearing my eyes out due to the itching feeling 24hrs a day. My nose drips and itches for the same period and when I sneeze my daughter laughs because it’s like 10 sneezes in a burst.
When I woke up today the first though in my mind was “oh no, another day of allergies”, which is a terrible way to wake up and a sad focus to the mind. So fasting came to my mind again and after a short research I found countless testimonials of people doing Intermittent Fasting and also find a relief in allergic reactions. This is a good one, in case you are interested in reading.
I’ve thus decided to resume my fasting practice, how, I am not sure yet. Today I’m starting with a fruit-and-water-only fast, and see how my body reacts tomorrow morning. Intermittent Fasting also sounds good for my particular case, or should I say, more bearable. In my country and culture people tend to eat dinner really late, I admire the American schedules for their healthier meal times. But I’m planning a 10hr eating period (8-18) followed by a 14hr fasting period. If everything goes well with my fruit-fast today, I’ll probably start the Intermittent Fast tomorrow.
Very curious to see if it will also help me for the allergies. I’ll write back my findings!