Fasting During Navratri: Imagine from tomorrow your company announces “No Sunday, No holidays” What would be your reaction? As human beings, our mind needs rest our body needs rest. Then why should we forget about our stomachs? We function better we get to rest off for a bit and collect ourselves together for the next challenge similarly our gut needs that time and space to recuperate. And that’s where fasting comes in. Fasting is a practice deeply rooted in various cultures and religions across the world.
Your body works a lot all the time and fasting is about promoting healing, restoration, and detoxification for your system, offering much-needed care to your hardworking body.
Let’s look at why Ayurveda gives so much importance to fasting during Navratri
- Rest to the Digestive System During Navratri Fasting
Fasting during Navratri provides a much-needed break to the digestive system. This period of reduced food intake allows the gut to focus on repairing and regenerating its lining, promoting improved gastrointestinal health.
- Weight Management Through Navratri Fasting
Navratri fasting can aid in weight management by regulating metabolism and reducing excess body fat, especially when complemented by a balanced diet.
- Navratri Fasting and Autophagy
Fasting during Navratri triggers a process called autophagy, which involves the removal of damaged or dysfunctional cells and cellular components. This cellular “clean-up” process enhances digestive system efficiency and reduces the risk of certain digestive disorders. It also contributes to weight management.
- Improved Detoxification with Navratri Fasting
Navratri fasting is seen as a way to purify the body by allowing it to rest and expel accumulated toxins. This reduces the risk of chronic diseases and enhances overall bodily functioning. Ayurveda emphasizes that these toxins, known as ‘ama,’ are responsible for various health issues, and fasting is instrumental in cleansing the body.
- Navratri Fasting for Enhanced Mental Clarity
Fasting during Navratri involves abstaining from heavy, processed foods and sensory distractions, which supports a clearer mind and better focus.
- Balancing Doshas Through Navratri Fasting
Navratri fasting can help pacify aggravated doshas and restore equilibrium in the body, which is crucial for overall health.
- Rekindling the Digestive Fire During Navratri Fasting
Many of us tend to eat before experiencing hunger. Hunger signals the body’s readiness for digestion. Navratri fasting emphasizes the importance of this signal, and fasting helps rekindle the digestive fire, reducing stress, and bolstering the immune system.
- Stress Reduction and Immune Boost Through Navratri Fasting
During Navratri fasting, the digestive fire is rekindled, contributing to stress reduction and strengthening the immune system.
- Navratri Fasting for Spiritual Growth
In Ayurveda, fasting during Navratri is not only a physical practice but also a path to spiritual growth and self-realization. It allows individuals to practice self-control and attain a deeper level of consciousness.
Fasting during Navratri, aligned with Ayurvedic principles, is a holistic practice that benefits the body and the spirit, promoting overall well-being and spiritual growth.
Fasting During Navratri – The Ayurvedic Way
Navratri is a significant festival celebrated over nine nights, each dedicated to one of the divine forms of the goddess Durga. Fasting during Navratri holds particular importance in Ayurveda. Navratri offers a unique opportunity to devote time to self-reflection, meditation, and connecting with the source of existence. Fasting during this period can help reduce the restlessness of the mind, making it more accessible to turn inward and engage in deep meditation.
Here’s how you can fast in alignment with Ayurvedic principles:
- Choose based on Prakriti
Now, when it comes to fasting, Ayurveda suggests that the choice of fasting style should be aligned with your Prakriti. For instance, if your prakruti leans towards Pitta, characterized by fiery qualities, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional before embarking on a fasting regimen. These options encompass a dry fast, where one refrain from both food and liquids, as well as variations involving liquids and semi-solid foods, such as khichdi. The frequency of fasting is a flexible matter, with individuals choosing to fast as frequently as once a week, once a month, or every fortnight, depending on their preferences and needs.
- Choose the Right Foods
During Navratri, opt for sattvic foods, which are pure, clean, and easily digestible. Common ingredients include fruits, nuts, yogurt, and some vegetables. Avoid processed and heavily spiced foods. Similarly, dry fruits have a light quality that wards off hunger pangs and helps preserve energy.
- Stay Hydrated
It’s essential to stay well-hydrated during the fast. Coconut water and certain other juices play a vital role in keeping you well-hydrated and maintaining your electrolyte balance. Herbal teas give you the needed energy and also act as a great cleanser.
- Yogic Practices
Incorporating gentle yoga poses, stretches, twists, and bends can complement the fasting process. This practice accelerates the detoxification process and leaves you feeling rejuvenated and energized. It also helps to enhance the spiritual benefits of fasting.
- Listen to your body
Fasting according to Ayurveda should not become a burdensome ordeal. If you ever find yourself feeling weak or dizzy during a fast, it’s of paramount importance to heed your body’s signals and consider breaking your fast with easily digestible foods. Your well-being comes first, and it’s essential to maintain a healthy balance in your fasting practices.
- Ending the fast
Following a fast, it’s common to feel the urge to consume larger quantities of food than usual. Be mindful of this tendency and make a conscious effort to resist it. When breaking your fast, start with light, nourishing foods like fruit or vegetable soup. Avoid indulging in heavy or greasy meals right away, as this can disrupt the body system. They not only pose a challenge for your digestive system but can also counteract the cleansing process and the beneficial effects of fasting. Instead, opt for small portions of easily digestible foods.
You can also read, How to plan your fast for the nine days of Navratri, Visit here
Fasting during Navratri, as per Ayurvedic principles, offers numerous health benefits, both physically and spiritually. It’s a practice that can help you detoxify, balance your doshas, and attain mental clarity. In fact why weight for festivals? It is a good habit to give your stomach a break now and then. As always, consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or Naturopath before embarking on any fasting regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
At Sri Sri Ayurveda Hospital, we also offer online consultation support with our Ayurveda specialists to get the right guidance from the comfort of your home. Connect to our specialists and plan an individual path back to health.