“It’s not just a bodily discipline … it creates a shift in spiritual awareness and consciousness.” This is what scientist, author and researcher Rupert Sheldrake has to say about fasting. There are both physical and spiritual elements to doing a fast, and traditions of fasting for detoxification as well as spiritual cleansing go back a long way – in many different cultural and religious traditions.
Fasting serves to give the body a rest from the constant cycle of digestion. It also invites you to turn inward – initially to conserve energy. But this, in turn, gives rise to self-reflection and inner awareness.
What? No Food?!?
I’ve done several fasts. And yes, getting used to NO FOOD can be a challenge – especially the first time. But the rewards? Well, let’s just say they well outweigh the temporary discomfort of not chewing for several days. Usually I drink more than water though. Sometimes I’ll do vegetable juices a couple of times a day. Other times I’ll have one plain, raw salad (plus juices). And still other times I’ve gone for a big, 7-day detox at a retreat center, complete with twice-daily colemas, fresh coconut water, herbs, massages and saunas. A more stringent fast, to be sure. But the benefits of being in a supportive environment where everyone is fasting makes a huge difference in sticking with the program and then, the all important breaking of the fast.
Check out this short interview with Sheldrake on the effects of fasting …
It’s been a few years now since I’ve actually done a detox retreat and my body is definitely saying “it’s time!” So I aim to head out to my favorite Spa Island in the tropics this spring to do just that – yay! Now, my question for you is: Have you ever done a fast and detox? Would you?