Today is Ekadashi (11th day of the lunar phase according to Vedic calendar). By tomorrow 6 am, I will complete 48 hours without food or water. And I want to share my amazing health experiences with you all!
I remember the first time I did dry fasting was on Karva Chauth. And I was so scared of dying out of thirst that i went to sleep for most of the day and woke in the evening to drink water and eat. I am more or less fine with not eating , however no water was a scary concept for me. So, if you also feel the same right now, I would like to welcome you to the amazing world of dry fasting!
I started Ekadeshi fasting 2 years back after my teacher asked me to try it. Initially, I started with a fruit based diet and it worked well. After 2-3 months, I turned to a zero food fasting for 24 hours, sustaining only on water.
After a few more months, I started feeling better and more comfortable with the idea of dry fasting. With Apara Ekadashi of 2018, I started monthly twice dry fasting on Ekadashi. The fasting is normally for 24 hours. However, it extend to 36-48 hours for the people who believe in vedic astrological basis of Ekadashi fasting.
Here are some of my health observations regarding dry fasting –
Initially, when I started with the normal fasting, there was not much change in my health except better digestion. However, with dry fasting I saw a radical change!!!
As a child, I always had some or the other respiration issues, not very sever but I remember never going to sleep without Otrivin in my nose. And the feeling of breathlessness is quite terrible for a child! In fact, many of my family members have had severe respiratory problems.
A few years back (2015) I developed severe chronic cold. I would start sneezing the moment I woke up. My feet felt so cold that I would be wearing socks even in the summer mornings. And at the same time I also developed a severe breathing problem. I would feel breathless most of the time, esp at night.
I am severly allergic to all allpathic medicines. Therefore, Ayurveda is the only relief for me. However, even as an Ayurveda physician, I practiced Ayurveda the allopathic way, that is I always relied on Ayurvedic medicines. I completely forgot or never absorbed the fact that elimination of the root cause is the fundamental step of Ayurvedic treatment. All these diseases that I was blessed with, helped me to recall the basic concepts of Ayurveda.
When I started the dry fasting, I would feel a mild but constant flow of mucus from the head region towards the food pipe. And this would continue throughout the day. Sometimes, I would get some tiny lumps on mucus in my mouth as well. However, this would not happen on any other day. And with this experience, I felt lighter in my head after every Ekadashi. And with this observation, I can safely conclude that there was a huge built up of mucus in my sinuses. I never felt any pain and therefore it was easy to ignore other minor symptoms.
Here, I have an important observation to make. On 29th Oct, 2019 I fasted for Chadra Darsgan (new moon sighting, another traditional fasting day). I was supposed to eat at night after a full day dry fasting. However, there was a constant mucus flow from the head and I did not feel like eating.
However, I wanted to eat something. So, I convinced myself of so many health reasons, and that I might feel hungry at the middle of the night (you don’t feel like getting up then), and had a good meal of sweet potatoes.
The mucus flow instantly stopped and I started feeling itchy in my nose. By the next morning, I had a fully blown cold, with watery nose and heaviness in head. This was a very interesting incident and we can conclude a lot of things from it. However, the bottom-line is that never go against the digestive system. Your body knows what it needs and when! Another inetersting read is – Go Dinnerless !
And with dry fasting , all this mucus gradually dissolved and disappeared from my system. There was so much of mucus that it took a whole year to be completely eliminated. Now when I am fasting today, I feel no mucus discharge from the head region. However, I am sure that now the fasting benefits will be channelized to some other metabolic improvement!
Earlier, I would catch a cold if my feet or head was wet even for a few minutes. Cold shower appeared deadly. Today, it is been almost 2 years since I caught a cold, even a minor one.
Also, now I have a cold shower every morning before sunrise no matter what the season or place may be, and I face perfectly no problems at all. And all this happened without any medicine at all!!! only by neti neti, not eating or drinking anything.
Thus inspired, I started adding more traditional fasting festivals to my monthly list like Chaturthi, Ashtami, Chaturdashi, Poornima, Amavasya (4th, 8th, 14th, 15th day of lunar phase respectively). I do a normal fruit fasting on other days, eating a single fruit meal at night.
In Dec 2019, I discovered the amazing concept of Bigu, Chinese fasting technique and sun gazing techniques. Now I am fully convinced that material food is only a very small part of the total energy that our body can receive from the environment. Will be writing more about my excellent experiences about permanent, zero exercise weight-loss (approx 20 kg) with dry fasting.
May God bless you with great health and a peaceful mind!