Fasting And The Seasons
If one were to study the patterns of fasting in the ancient world, though they were all tied up with rituals
associated with religion, may of the fasts were observed during the time when the seasons changes. Was this a way
of protecting the body so that the changes in the weather did not affect it adversely?
It has often been noticed that many people are afflicted with colds, coughs or digestive problems at the time
when the seasons change. Fasting during this time seems to help to a great extent.
Let us look at when the fasts could be undertaken if you were to follow them through all the four seasons.
These fasts could be five to seven-day fasts, when you can drink only juices (the ones who are more experienced
in fasting could do a total water fast). You could do the spring fast in March when the world ushers in the season
of spring, this could be followed in June for summer, then September for fall and December for winter. A good rule
of thumb would be to start the fast during the solstices and the equinoxes.
How many fasts a year?
If you have a busy schedule, it might not be possible to do all four fasts in the year. This is true especially
during the festive season. What would be practical then would be to do just two fasts – in spring and in autumn. It
is also recommended that you do these fasts under the guidance of your doctor as unsupervised fasts are not advised
if you have conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
You could start the fast on a Wednesday evening and progress through till Monday morning. This gives you a
weekend in between if you are working. It helps if you were to cut down on the meats and heavy foods from Tuesday,
have vegetable and fruit juices through the fast days and then have something light on Monday so that your body
gets back to regular food slowly, not with a bang. It also helps if once you’ve started on the road to fasting, to
concentrate more on natural foods and less fried foods or foods with preservatives and chemicals. This builds up
the resistance in your body.
The number of days also depends on you and how busy you are. You could maybe do just a three-day fast if you are
very busy. However, while a three-day fast eliminates the toxins and cleans up the blood, a five-day fast starts
healing the system, making it more immune. A seven-day fast is great as a preventive to disease. However, anything
more than this might just become an addiction so you should be careful not to let that happen.
Why the seasons?
Well, they are Nature’s natural cycles. There are certain energies that change, certain cycles that happen. If
we are in tune with these, we then stay in tune with the whole universe around us and this probably makes us more
immune. Do take note that fasting should not be a one-off exercise but should become a part of your life. So once
you decide on that course, it would be good to have the strength of will to go through it for years. Once you
begin, your body is guided through slowly but surely to its pristine, natural state of health. We were all born to
be healthy and free of disease. Just a little bit of care on our parts can take us back to that early paradise of