Procedure Followed While Fasting

People fast for spiritual reasons and at times they feel by doing so, they enhance their physical health. Fasting improves one’s will power, gives relief to the digestive system and teaches one to be patient and not be selfindulgent. Many religions expect their devotees to fast like among the Muslims in the month of Ramadan devotees fast throughout the day. Similarly, Hindus also fast during several festivals and also for personal salvation. Fasting needs to be performed in a particular prescribed way as otherwise it would affect one’s health. Just fasting the way one wants to is not recommended. Be it a juice fasting or water, there is a procedure to be followed. What Procedure to Follow While Fasting?

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People go on short and long term fasts. Some go on a 2 cycle program or a 14 day cycle program. In both the cases, the initial period of fasting lasts for 7 days. Before beginning one’s fast one must be clear as to why one is fasting? Is it for spiritual reasons or dietary reasons or for guidance or for God’s help in a crisis? Then one has to decide the method of fasting, whether one wants to fast for a few days or for several weeks or for 40 days. One initially can begin with few days of fasting and then slowly stretch it to more days. One has to be clear as to what type of fasting one will undertake, will it be juice fasting? Water fasting? Or fruit diet. In case it is juice fasting, then one must decide how many times one would like to drink? And how much? Then one has to decide upon which cycle to follow- 7 day cycle or 14 day cycle.

7 day cycle – One has to prepare one’s body three days in advance. In case you are on medication or suffering from a chronic ailment then it is better to consult your physician. Prepare the body to eat small amounts and avoid sugary food foods and those high in fats. For 2 days before the fast, eat raw vegetables and fruits . After the 7 day cycle is over then again prepare your body so that it is in position again to have normal diet intake. 14 day cycle – Make sure all your clinical tests are over such as blood test, urine test etc. Once the cycle has been completed then the tests are conducted again

colon problems and ulcers. Drink only herbal tea. One can take non-carbonated drinks and low mineralized water. The best form of juice is lemon juice. Cooked foods need to be avoided immediately after the fast as the desired effect of the fast would be negated. “Green drinks” such celery. One must limit the intake of dairy products as well. juices and avoid drinking coffee. While fasting for 7 days one must stick to low mineralized water. The cabbage juice must be drunk as soon as it is prepared. drink plenty of vegetable juices as well as fruit juice. Also. beet and apple juices are also very good. One whole month. They break their fast by eating dates and plenty of fruits.Preparation for the Fast 2 weeks before one starts to fast. noncarbonated drinks as well as herbal tea. the holy month of Ramdan is auspicious for fasting. non-carbonated drinks. Only in the early hours of the morning they eat. These will upset your stomach or cause headaches. Among the Hindus. grape juice. All the juices must be diluted with water adding about 1 part water to 3 parts of juices. Add juice of 1 lemon to some warm water. Shivaratri is an auspicious day for fasting. Fasting in different religions Procedures vary in different religions with regard to fasting Among the Muslims. Kind of intake to be taken While on fast one must take an 8-ounce glass of steam distilled water during the day and juices and 2 cups of herbal tea per day. the devotees fast throughout the day without taking any water. carbonated beverages and alcohol. when married Hindu women keep fasts in order to ensure long life for their husbands. Avoid orange and tomato juices and do not take juices with sweeteners or other kinds of additives. it looses out on its vitamin content. Many women fast the whole day. on other occasions also they fast. before fasting one must not go on a binge. In fact. Many unmarried girls fast in praise of Jai Santhoshi Maa to secure a good husband or wives fast in praise of her to protect their husbands from any evil. In case of constipation one can take salt. one must avoid taking meat. They are very good detoxifiers. Karva Chauth fast is very popular in the North of India. If it sits too long. white bread and sweets. Raw cabbage juice is very good for cancer. After seeing the moon in water they break the fast. tea. One must avoid alcohol. They break the fast for the day in the evening. The first meal after the fast must be a small meal. Cabbage and carrot juices are very good. . 2 days before fasting one needs to eat fresh vegetables and fruits.

Fasting should not be done in light heart manner. Those who keep a fast throughout the day tend to have a heavy dinner at night. Take pure fruit juice which does not contain any sugar. How to Break Your Fast? Fasting is done for religious as well dietary reasons. Fresh juices that are bottled are pasteurized and the enzymes are deactivated. It is therapeutic in nature. One should try to squeeze the juice by oneself and then heat it up. after fasting many go on binge as they feel they have been deprived of food throughout the previous day or throughout the day. This also proves to be heavy on the digestive system. Similarly. This “heavy meal” proves to be heavy on the digestive system. Many people have a heavy dinner the night before as they feel they will be fasting the next day and not eating anything throughout the day. One has to of course follow certain guideline while fasting. It is very therapeutic in nature and makes one feel rejuvenated. the question that rises in our minds is what should we eat after breaking a fast? In other words. It is a difficult task indeed. It requires a lot of will power. one may make a success of it. . One must do it according to prescribed procedures as it may affect one’s health. the temptation to eat is there. The enzymes in fresh juices shock the digestive system. but the problem arises when one tends to eat more before fasting and do the same after fasting. Naturally. One has to be careful of what one has before the fast. It is not just question of staying away from food. Do not have a heavy meal immediately after breaking a fast. during the fast and after the fast. In other words juices which one has bottled or heated to kill enzymes. with the food remaining in the stomach throughout the night. The special diet should consist of dead fruit juices or perhaps herbal teas. Grape fruits and acid fruits are the best to have. Fasting involves refraining from food. how should one break a fast? Here are a few tips: Steps for breaking longer Fasts: • • • • • • Have one special meal for every five days you fast. After all. No doubt. Simmer the contents for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature and then let it cool down.

• • One meal consisting of fresh fruit each day of the fast. One can break a juice fast by eating small amounts of raw vegetables and fruits for the initial five to about six days helps the digestive system to “waken” up. People often fast for religious reasons. then the first three meals should consist of fresh fruit. the bacteria does not get destroyed or the digestive system does not get shut down. apathy and depression. On the third day one can have the same menu as the second day. more confident and vibrant as one can lose weight if necessary. Fasting is good for health as it restores the digestive system. The only addition is some raisins or dates. For lunch one can have a small bowl consisting of vegetable salad. . one feels fresh. Yogurt has “good bacteria” which helps in restoring the intestinal flora. In case. After that one can take a bowl consisting of raw vegetables for lunch. Do not over load the digestive system with food as it causes sluggishness. One has to follow certain guidelines while fasting. On the second day one can have soaked figs or prunes for breakfast. On the fourth day you can come back to your chosen diet. Only one should have small meals. but the effects are physical in nature and mentally. On the initial day immediately after the fast. one can eat a piece of fruit in the morning. This can be had in addition to fresh juices as well as broths. By fasting one is able to give relief to usually “overburdened” digestive system. Other Steps to Follow to Break Fast: • • • • • • • • One can take plain yoghurt after fresh juices. One day fast should be broken with fresh fruit.Steps for breaking shorter Fast: In the case of shorter fasts. In between meals one can have perhaps two apples or fruit salad. chew the food properly and eat when one is hungry. Eat when you are hungry. which is fresh. one fast for three days. How to Fast? Fasting is good for the body as it restores the digestive mechanism. One needs to eat right before and after fasting. 15 Interesting Ways to Fast. of course. For dinner one can have some vegetable soup without salt.

except water giving the body complete rest. eat whatever one considers best. How to Fast? – Tips for Fasting • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Begin with a moderate approach then become more stricter in your fasting regimen. . One abstains from all kinds of substances. To prepare for fasting one has to overcome some habits such as consuming alcohol. In other words. Let us have a look and see in what way fasting benefits physical health. headache etc. Take more liquids. Eat fresh fruits and raw vegetables or rather salads. The detoxification process will be slow in this manner. Initially. taking caffeine and sugar. One can also on partial fasting like skipping one meal. Do not binge at the time of ending the fast. Water fasting is also very popular. tea or vegetable snacks to avoid symptoms of irritation. many fast as they feel they would gain in many ways. Spiritually. Physically. It requires a lot of will power. One has to follow a particular kind of diet in order to keep a fast. Benefits of Fasting Fasting is performed as a ritual in many religions such as Islam. One can also take fresh fruit juice. Reduce calorie intake by 20 to 30%. One should not fast when one is not feeling too well. It is both spiritually and physically good for our body system. fresh fruits. poultry and red meats etc. but in due course you will be able to adjust to it. but that does not imply that one can just fast the way one wants to. you may feel irritated or hungry.Fasting no doubt means abstaining from food. Avoid performing strenuous tasks. It can be a vegetable meal consisting of starch or protein. One has to take a proper diet consisting of fresh fruits and juices as well as raw vegetables. Do not overeat the day before the fast or after the fast. Christianity and Judaism as well as Hinduism. of course. They try to appease the Gods. Do not avoid meals. those fasting feel that it has a positive effect on the body system. Let us try to understand this better. Many argue that fasting is good for physical health. Fasting is done in many religions. Beginners should start by small fasts each day. Have a meal consisting of juices.

Fasting helps in the treatment of chronic conditions. Reduction in core temperature of the body system. Detoxification takes place. Addictions can be got over by fasting. then one loses weight. lungs. When to start Ekadasi Fasting? . When one is fasting one is consciously diverting energy from the digestive system to the immune system. colon. Organs are given rest when one fasts. Good for the digestive system. How to observe Ekadashi was narrated to Arjuna by Lord Krishna and is found in the Bhavisyottara Purana. It provides a sense of spiritual and physical well-being. It requires a lot of will. Fasting is helpful where surgery or drugs have been recommended. Fasting is good for the body system. http://www. Strengthens will power. The effects of the health conditions are lessened by fasting.herbal-home-remedies. Who would not like being slim after all? The slimmer you look. Toxins in liver. Eating less can result in psychological well-being. the better your selfesteem. Growth hormones get released when one fasts as there is increased efficiency in the production of hormones. One feels rejuvenated and a sense of life being extended. This is one of the most popular Vrat observed in Hinduism.Benefits of Fasting The top fasting benefits are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Fat stores in the body get burnt. Those who have weight problem will be able to control their tendency to eat much and as a result lose weight. Provides temporary relief to the digestion process which is strained throughout the other days on account of our consumption of food. lymph glands as well as skin are neutralized. Any person would like to lose that extra How to observe Ekadasi – Ekadashi Vrat Fasting Method Ekadasi Fasting is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is observed on the 11th day of waning and waxing phase of moon in a traditional Hindu calendar.power and determination. kidney. Once this is over and burning of protein in the body begins to produce energy. Healing system in the body is promoted by fasting.

Things needed for Ekadasi Puja and Prayer • • • • • A picture or photo or idol of Lord Vishnu Fruits Tulsi leaves (The tulsi leaves should not be picked on the day but on the previous day) Yellow bananas And other normal puja items Observance • • • • Wake up early in the morning. the day before Ekadasi. You can also opt for a partial fast by avoiding food made of rice. Take bath and offer prayers. (What food can be eaten on Ekadasi for those observing partial fast?) Those taking partial fast can consume fruits and milk. . Complete fast or Upavas on the day is the main observance. If there is a Vishnu temple nearby visit the temple and witness morning pujas and rituals. Lord Vishnu blessed her that anyone who observes Ekadasi fast will be freed of their sins and will attain Moksha. please consult your doctor before deciding on fasting. Ekadasi Fasting • • • • • Fasting is for 24 hours. Happy with her divine act. If you have any health problem or are taking medicines. honey. Strictly avoid eating rice and grains. Perform a simple puja to Lord Vishnu at home by lighting a lamp and offering fruits and Tulsi leaves. It is believed that a partial or total abstinence from food on Ekadasi is rewarded with bliss. Pray or meditate for few minutes. Some people only take a single meal on the Dasami day. Do not apply oil on the day.Lord Krishna advices Arjuna to begin the Ekadasi fasting in the autumn season with Utpanna or Uttpatti Ekadasi occurring during the waning phase of the moon in November – December. Ekadashi Vrat Fasting Method Ekadasi is the name of the Goddess that arose from Lord Vishnu to defeat Demon Mura. Do not eat food made from rice on Ekadashi. meat and eating on a bell metal plate.

But those devotees who have health problems sleep at night.Afternoon Take bath and offer prayers to Lord Vishnu Evening Prayers • • • Take a bath in the evening. take rest at night and avoid keeping vigil at night Next Day Morning The fast is broken on the next day (Dwadashi) after taking bath. Prayers for Ekadashi • • • • Vishnu Ashotharam Vishnu Sahasranamam Simple Chanting of – Om Namo Narayana Or any prayers dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Sri Krishna No Sleep of Keeping Vigil at Night Staunch devotees who observe Vaikunta Ekadasi fasting do not sleep on the day. Offer prayers to Lord Vishnu by lighting a lamp and then you can break the fast. . Repeat the morning puja to Vishnu Visit Vishnu temple and witness the evening puja and rituals. They spend the whole night at Vishnu temples or by singing prayers or listening stories dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Those people who work.

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