Today is Maha Shivratri, a festival observed to honour lord Shiva. It marks a remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life. Devotees of the lord chant prayers and meditate. On this occasion devotees observe a day long fast and worship Lord Shiva with great ardour in temples and at homes. The devotees believe that when you worship the Lord on this day you attain salvation. And by fasting on this day, you can reap the benefits of a whole year’s rigorous prayer.
While fasting on this day can give us benefits of a year’s prayer, I am here to tell you about the benefits that fasting once a week can have on your body. So, why not make a beginning from this day?
When you go on water only fast, your body eliminates the toxins and burns fat. This happens after you’ve been fasting for a couple of times. It is widely believed that fasting once a week detoxifies the body and cleanses your system. A weekly fast gives your digestive system some rest from processing every day. It gives your body a break from digesting.
With our tingling taste buds we often tend to indulge in eating savouries most of the times. And what is tasty is usually not good for health, is my belief. Unless you are somebody who believes that all healthy foods can be tasty all the time. And you need a break from this indulgence.
Fasting is not about eating junk all week and then trying to get on a detox for a day. For beginners to start water only fast can be difficult considering that the body is still not used to doing it. Hence we suggest that you start off with a liquid only fast. Here you can drink fruit juices, vegetable juices most of which cleanse your digestive system.
Fasting is believed to maintain your health and vigour. It has self-healing properties. When you give rest to the digestive system it also gives time for your organs to heal and repair themselves.
Fasting regularly can improve your digestive efficiency, increase mental clarity, remove toxins, improve vision and give a general feeling of wellbeing. Some communities also practice a 24-hour fast once a week as a religious practice.
Choose a day that is less stressful
Beginners can choose a day that is less stressful, with relatively less activities. Light exercises like walking, basic yogasanas, working on your computer, watching TV, driving short distances, etc. Avoid stressful activities like heavy exercises, going to the gym, lifting heavy weights, running long distances etc., as these consume a lot of calories and will make you tired and hungry easily.
Advantages of Fasting for a day in a week
- It helps the body heal.
- It helps focus better and gives clarity of mind
- It eliminates toxins from the body and can help prevent illnesses.
- It is believed to improve eye sight in the long run.
- It improves immunity and has anti-aging benefits.
- It gives an overall sense of well being.
So try it, if your body and mind permit it! 🙂