Posted on: by Alistair
Fasting has long been used in Ayurveda and forms part of the langhana, or reducing, therapies. The practice of fasting can remove toxins, reduce aggravated Kapha dosha, and allows for many other benefits.
I am currently at a retreat center near Tangalle, in Sri Lanka, where a group of yogis have chosen to follow a fasting regime. The duration and variety of fasting varies from person to person – some are electing to “fruit fast” while others are “coconut fasting”. Some are fasting as long as 10 days, but others only for 3. I was relieved to hear that none are doing a complete water fast.
I am not involved in the fasting protocol or management so I am free to observe (somewhat objectively) the effects of restricting food intake. In Ayurveda, observation can take several objective forms – pulse, tongue, eliminations, etc. I have chosen to use the pulse.
The pulse is an good measure of the effects of the fast as it allows me to separate how the student feels with what is happening with the doshas. Often a fast can give one increased energy and the pulse can show the source of this energy (reducing toxins, aggravated Vata, or both).
Over the next two weeks I will update the progress of the students and hopefully show how the doshas have changed over the course of each individual fast.