Turning into a vegetarian is one of the best experiences of my life. It takes effort to break the old patterns of the mind and choose what you consider to be wise.
Navratri season began in India (and many places abroad) from yesterday. This is the time for a new beginning every year. Rituals are performed that help you let go of the past and start afresh.
There are many things that happen during Navratri and each has its own benefits. Here I want to talk about fasting. It is during these pious 9 days of Navratri when most people observe fasting.
Fasting simply means saying no to heavy food for a specified period of time. Fasting gives us a short term relief from our cravings and the mindlessness we all seem to live in.
All of us have a daily routine and with that routine come some habits and patterns that we live by. The idea is not be slave of the habits, break the routine for a while and in general, feel good.
Navratri is celebrated with vibrant colors and folk dances from Gujarat like Dandia and Garba that have become internationally popular now.
According to Ayurveda, fasting helps in cleansing the accumulated toxins in the body. We do not go totally without food in all fasts. For example, during Navratri fasting, most people live on fruits and fruit based food items. There is a huge variety of preparations that can be done with fruits alone!
This keeps the stomach light, body energetic and mind alert. We also cut down common salt completely during these days and some use Pink Himalayan salt.
Looking at it spiritually, fasting takes you a step closer to detachment; you become more aware of yourself and the cravings of your mind.
You start to see the difference between what you need and what you want. This realization starts with food but can be extended to other spheres of life as well.
Fasting has a tremendous affect on the body and the mind. You begin to feel better health with every passing day. If you have not fasted before, you may just start with observing a fast on first and last day of Navratri.
A balanced lifestyle is also recommended with fasting diet which includes eating and sleeping at the right time, drinking lots of water, chewing your food well and doing little exercise like yoga and stretching etc. All these when combined together get you greater benefits.
Navratri fasts make me realize that by changing a few habits we can really make big changes in our life – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
You too can break the habits that have held you back in the past towards a better healthier life and Navratri season is the best time to start!
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