Nothing at all?
For two whole days?
What emotions are rising up inside you as you contemplate fasting?
Fear? Dread? Repulsion?
What’s the story in your mind about fasting that triggers these emotions?
Maybe you’re thinking, “I could never do that.” Or “Maybe you, but not me.”
Right now, stop reading and listen to the story in your mind about fasting. Notice the emotions that the fasting story triggers in you. Just experience those emotions for a minute.
Then, keep reading to discover the benefits of fasting and exactly how to fast safely.
Maybe, if you’ve fasted before, you’re feeling a little twinge of anticipation.
You’ve already experienced the amazing clarity that comes to your mind as your body lightens. You’ve felt your Spiritual universe open up as you became closer to the Divine.
American Indians used fasting before embarking on their Spirit quests. The Bible chronicles the fasts of the prophets. Muslims fast from dawn to dark for the entire month of Ramadan.
Modern medical research is finding that fasting has health and longevity benefits that go with the Spiritual payoff.
Michael Mosely of BBC News fasted for two days out of every week for five weeks. His wasn’t a complete fast, (he consumed 600 calories on fast days) but he lost nearly 14 pounds in those five weeks.
Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California has researched a growth hormone called IGF-1. IGF-1 levels drop as less food is consumed. Your body shifts from “growth” mode into “repair” mode.
Lab animals in his experiments have demonstrated an amazing ability to live up to %40 longer lives with low levels of IGF-1. Their bodies shifted into repair mode. That translates into a lifespan of up to 120 years for a human.
Medical research is far from conclusive regarding fasting. Not enough research has been done yet. But doctors do caution pregnant women and diabetics against fasting.
How We Learned to Fast
Remedia and I were introduced to 48 hour dry fasts by Krishna Kantha, our Thai Yoga teacher. Krishna advised fasting twice monthly –on the New Moon and Full Moon.
The first time Krishna proposed fasting, my reaction was strongly negative. “Not Me!” I said.
“I don’t want to go without food for two days. And I might die here in the tropics trying to go two days with no water!”
But Krishna and Remedia embarked on their fast, and I found myself drawn into fasting. Surprisingly, it wasn’t difficult at all. I didn’t experience severe hunger or thirst. I wasn’t overcome with desire for any of the food that was easily accessible in our room.
My meditation got clearer. A lot clearer. I became able to go deeper, faster than ever before.
48 Hour Fasting Recipe
You’ll need the following foods to break your fast:
- Limes or lemons
- Eat a normal breakfast the first day.
- Eat and drink nothing the remainder of the first day and all of day two.
- On the morning of day three, after 48 hours of fasting, break your fast by drinking several large glasses of heavily salted lime/lemon water and eating as much yogurt and banana as you feel comfortable with.
You will need to have one or more bowel movements immediately. This purges your digestive system and leaves you feeling very clean and light.
You may notice a reduction in appetite for a few days. This is because your stomach has shrunk slightly. Less food is required to fill it.
While the medical benefits of fasting have yet to be proven, the Spiritual benefits will be apparent to you immediately. You should be feeling lighter, clearer and able to meditate deeper.
Next week, we’ll discuss the benefits of chanting.