Live Fast, Day Five – Why Fast?

Why do we fast?

There are many reason why one would fast.  Akin to becoming a vegetarian or vegan, the reasons may be ethical, environmental, religious, spiritual, economic, cultural, or for health.

Fasting is integral to all the major religions and several lesser known ones; such as, Hinduism and Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, Judaism and Christianity, Islam and Baha’i Faith, Rastafari’s and many tribal folkways all fast.

And they all fast for different reasons – from non-violence to reciprocity, from compassion to animism, from politics to the development of negative traits, and from the enhancement of mystic awareness to vibrancy.  Nor are any of these new ideas, for the Classical Greeks and Romans fasted for health, longevity, and harmony with nature.  Finally, among many American fasters, the two most commonly cited reasons are detoxification and healing.

In any event, a true fast begins after the 12 to 24 hour mark, and from a chemical perspective, not until the body’s carbohydrate stores are accessed for energy.  (One never wants to tap into the body’s protein stores, for this is the beginning of starvation.)  Other true fasting indicators are (generally in order):

-Reduction in body temperature (due to a slowed metabolic rate, reduced function in the digestive and other systems);

-A drop in blood sugar, which prompts the use of glucose reserves (found in liver glycogen); and

-Reduction of the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which conserves the body’s energy levels.

After these have occurred the Human Growth Hormones (HGH) and the Anti-Aging Hormones (AAH) are released, prompting a greater efficiency in overall hormone production.

So that, fasting – for whatever reason (environmental, ethic, religious, et all) – is a proven means of body and mind rejuvenation and extended life expectancy.  It is the best way to rid the body of toxins that have accumulated over the years in the fat stores (all the more reason not to be overweight – toxins cling to fat!); and fasting allows the body to heal – to repair even damaged organs.

Shanti and Metta!

Yogini Valarie Devi

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