Posted on: by Alistair
It’s the end of the first week of fasting and the impact of the fasting on the pulse has been very informative.
While fasting is used as therapy in Ayurveda, it is only recommended in specific circumstances. Certain dosha types are excluded from fasts (eg, Vata) as the act of not eating can cause imbalances that are not beneficial for that type.
A fast typically creates lightness that can, for Vata types in particular, aggravate the air element when a fast of any length is undertaken. Pitta types – having a strong agni that requires regular, good size meals to pacify – also do not fare well on extended fasts. In fact, the only type where regular or extended fasting may be recommended, are Kapha types.
Kapha types tend to suffer from congestive diseases as a result of their tendency to have a dense mass and excess tissue. For these types, regular fasting is recommended as it restores their agni and creates lightness that is contrary to their constitution. However, even for Kapha types, fasting is limited to one day a week at most during the cold and wet seasons.
Only in extreme cases may a physician prescribe extended fasting.
It is always important to consult a physician before commencing a fast and to be aware of the consequences of restricting food intake over the longer term.