Swami Saradananda's blog

Spring Cleaning

OM

Spring is the time to clear out all the excess you've accumulated over the winter. A juice fast is the bodily equivilent of cleaning out your closets. It is also an excellent way to balance your Manipura (Solar Plexus) chakra

When your digestive fire, which has its seat in your solar plexus region, is strong and balanced, you digest your food well, absorb plentiful vital energy from the air you breathe and have an intelligent relationship with the world around you. Conversely, when there is a blockage, you tend to suffer from more from chronic conditions and psychological imbalances.

Abstaining from solid food to fast on juices for a few days in the Spring - or one day each week - can assist you in developing healthier attitudes of self-confidence. Drinking only juices enables you to take advantage of one of nature’s greatest healing agents. Fasting enhances your health and vigour. It gives your digestive system a rest, allowing your body to cleanse itself thoroughly.

Your body and mind feel lighter. Juice fasting lowers your ego’s defence mechanisms so that you are more open to positive inspiration.  It prepares your body and mind to better absorb higher energy vibrations and to be more fully conscious - and helps you to develop will power and mental resolve.

It is best to fast on days when you don’t have to work, when you can be as quiet as possible, perhaps on the weekend.

Drink 2-3 litres of freshly made juice on each of your fast days. This is in addition to drinking plenty of water; to flush out your system. It is most beneficial when you make the juice yourself, using no more than 3 fruits OR vegetables at a time, Don’t mix fruits and vegetables in the same juice. Carrots, beetroot, fresh ginger root and spring greens are particularly beneficial. Don’t use fleshy fruits, such as bananas or avocados. Cabbage can increase vata (wind) a bit too much.

Don't eat solid food, dairy products, caffeine or fizzy drinks. Avoid tea and coffee. Herbal teas, especially peppermint, are helpful. Do neti, kapalabhati and other kriya. If you don't know how to do these yoga cleansing exercises, see my book "The Power of Breath" - now in its second edition.

Use your time for quiet activity. Meditate as much as possible. Try to have your focus inward. Practice yoga asanas and breathing exercises to enhance the benefits of the fast.

If you experience a headache or nausea, drink some hot water with a little lemon juice.

 

Do not attempt to fast if you are pregnant, if you have had an eating disorder, or if you suffer from anaemia. It may be a good idea to consult your doctor or health care professional if you have any doubts.

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