Everyone in this lockdown is searching for something good to experiment with. So do we? Me with my girlfriend, we decided to do water fasting for 36 hours long. We have seen people’s purpose of fasting being religious, spiritual or Weight Loss. But our was different; it was for health purposes, actually for cleansing or detoxing. So before starting a day we made some planning for a successful day.
- Drinking only plain water. No energy drink, no herbal tea or any other sugar added drink
- Yoga & Meditation
- Drinking about 4 liter of water all day.
- Reducing the amount of physical and mental work.
- No sleeping during day
- Doing research about water fasting.
We started our day with some mild flow of yoga asanas followed by meditation. Everything was going good until I felt heartburn which was tolerable but was annoying. After searching for it I came to know that,
Fasting can cause heartburn. Stomach acid, which digests food and destroys bacteria, gets reduced due to lack of food But thinking about food or smelling it during fasting triggers the brain and stomach produces more acid which leads to heartburn. After knowing it was normal, I continued my day drinking a glass of warm water.
In yogic or eastern culture. Fasting has always been practiced for centuries which is also called ‘Vrata’ and ‘Upavasa’, which means staying close to God. Even Bhagavad Gita (the holy book) has mentioned about Fasting.
नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः।
न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन।।
“O Arjuna, Yoga (the unity of individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness) never occurs for those who eat too much or too little and also for those who sleep too much or too little.”
- No form of asceticism is superior to fasting – Mahabharata
- By doing fasting mind becomes introversive, sight turns clean and body remains light – Kaka Kalelkar
- Fasting is the most effective technique of curing all diseases. – Dr. Adolf Mayer
- Fasting has unlimited power in it because psychological strength works behind it. Fasting can be done by the powerful people not by the weak. – M.K. Gandhi
- Fasting is the best solution to get rid of sexuality and lust – Srimad bhagvad gita
Fasting Activates Autophagy. I was surprised when I knew about Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016 for his research on how cells recycle and renew their content, a process called autophagy. Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells. “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eat. So the literal meaning of autophagy is “self-eating.”
Fasting allows the intestines to take a rest. They always work because we keep eating, they never get to rest. While fasting, the intestines get the chance to digest all the food and remove the waste matter and toxins.
Even many animals instinctively take to fasting whenever they fall sick to cure themselves by natural means using fasting, sunlight, fresh air and rest.
I got to know about some more benefits about fasting
- Helps you lose weight and belly fat
- It is beneficial for our brain.
- Lower risks for type-2 diabetes.
- Modifies the function of cells, genes and hormones.
A glass of water ! A glass of water ! A glass of water !
At the end of day. The day was energetic, full of joy and light headed. I was craving for food during the day and felt like I knew the importance of food. I was shipping Luke warm water all day. So, sufficiently hydrated. All positive thoughts and feelings were roaming around the mind. After about 21 hour without food. I felt my energy level has dropped down. Gradual changes in vision were seen. I believed the body was getting detox.
Next morning, I felt a mild back ache. There was an urge for urination. Mind and thoughts were calm. I found my urination was smelling too weird which was due to ketosis, the high level of ketones in the urine or blood. The body will produce ketones when it does not have enough sugar or glucose for fuel which was due to fasting. Nothing was to worry about.Then I broke my 36 hour long fasting with a glass of tulsi tea (rock sugar added) and some slices of carrot.
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Disclaimer: I am not a health professional or expert. What I presented here is based on my online literature review and my brief experience on the subject. I recommend that you do your own research and expert consultation before drawing conclusions.