Thursday, May 23, 2013

365 Inspirations—143: Fasting

"The best of all medicines are resting and fasting."—Benjamin Franklin

I love to eat and never skip meals. In fact, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it's also an important ritual my husband and I take part in. We always sit down and eat slowly. We listen to peaceful music, eat fruit, eggs, toast, coffee and/or tea. Sometimes Yoon walks up the street to get a paper. It's a very relaxing part of our day and it's never rushed.

But right now I'm fasting.

It's not really by choice. I have to have a medical procedure tomorrow that requires me to fast (I can only have clear liquids like broth, apple juice, tea, etc.). I don't think I've ever done it for more than a day, but it will be almost two days with no solid food by the time I'm done.

However, it doesn't seem like a chore to me. In fact, I am noticing some of the benefits of fasting and am thinking of trying it again in June just for an experiment.

Here are the benefits I've noticed:
  • I feel alert and clear-headed
  • I don't feel heavy, weighed down or tired
  • I have noticed that digestion is quicker
  • I feel a tingling sensation throughout the body
  • I am listening more to my body and am tuning in
  • Suprisingly, I do not feel hungry
  • I feel peaceful
  • I feel that my body is getting more time to rest rather than digest!
For this procedure, I'm also required to drink a lot of liquid (quarts of it). It's hard to get that much liquid down. It's making me realize that I probably don't drink enough water/liquids on a daily basis.

In ancient cultures, fasting was part of life. Many of my ESL students fast on a regular basis as part of their religion or culture. They always tell me that they feel very good when they take a break from food. It gives the body a time to rest and it's often a nurturing, introspective time.

During a silent meditation course I attended for 45-days, I did not eat anything after 12 noon. We could have tea or lemon water, but no solid food. However, there were exceptions for people who need it for health or medical reasons. 

For me, it is very helpful to my meditation practice to not eat after 12 noon on courses. The body is not moving much in deep meditation and I feel that it requires much less food. I have never felt hungry during a course.

I'm near the end of a quarter at school and I feel a very introspective time is coming up for me. I'll be going on a personal/writing retreat to my family's lake house in June where I plan to write, cleanse, do a little fasting, exercise, practice yoga and meditate. I so look forward to this time that is coming up soon. I will, however, continue to blog here!

Have you ever fasted? Have you ever done a cleanse or any other program specifically designed to nurture your body?

1 comment:

  1. I have never fasted but I have a friend who does it during some periods of Lent.