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Events | Aug 4, 2010 - Jan 31, 2011
Fasting as a Higher Practice
This month I broke a fast of 14 days with no food. Only drinking The Master Cleanse (water, lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper). Yes, you read correctly…NO food! I do this at least once a year as a cleansing, to give my system a rest and as a yoga tapas practice (austerity). As you can imagine, there is some serious transformation during a practice like this. And, each time I take this journey, I have some pretty powerful realizations. I want to share with you how this Fast works, and what I was awakened to during this journey.
There are some useful lessons that come with it.
1- The first one is: We eat way too much stuff!
More than necessary. More than the body needs or even wants. Most species eat because their body needs something. Humans eat for fun. It’s like a sport. This is ok SOMETIMES! But when it becomes the norm, it is time to take a look at what we are doing to our bodies.
After a few days of drinking only this healthy lemonade, the body becomes quiet, relaxed and starts to purify. After we stop stuffing the body with food for a few days, the body starts de-toxing. We start to eliminate so much crap that has built up over time.
After a couple days of de-toxing, the digestive system gets to take a holiday. And this means MORE energy for our body. You see, we typically are using up to 40% of our energy on digestion. All throughout the day this system is working from our stomach, to the small intestines, to the colon. It rarely stops. So, when we reach the point of having no solid food in the system, we have an energy surplus of up to 40%. And this extra energy can be used by the body for healing. Healing both acute as well as chronic imbalances. Stomach problems, ulcers, sinus problems, migraines, skin problems, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, etc… It all starts to disappear.
As the body is becoming healthier, the eyes and the mind start to open to see things that we don’t usually notice. One thing we notice is.….
….that we can be strong, energized and active with so much less than we typically consume with our bodies.
Another thing we notice is how much time and energy is consumed around the activity of food. Traveling to the supermarket, shopping, preparing, eating and cleaning up for every meal. Or the ritual time built around the restaurant experience, which can go on for hours!
So, when we are in this clear Fasting state, we suddenly become aware of all this extra time that we have to ourselves. Time to work, time to practice, time to be with our family, time to be with our friends, time to be with ourselves. Time to be Present! And this is when we can start to see things even MORE clearly. On an even deeper level. We wake up and start to see things as they really are! And THIS is one of the goals of our yoga practices.
2- I was awakened to a big one during the Fasting Practice this month:
We create way too much waste!
And so much of this WASTE revolves around our eating habits. At the supermarket, we fill up our cart with many, many products that are packaged in plastic, paper, Styrofoam, carton, glass, etc. We put everything into plastic or paper bags to transport it all home. These bags get trashed immediately, or stuffed into a drawer with many other bags. Eventually they will become trash, as they are filled with other trash.
Much of the product packaging that holds all our new products is immediately trashed when we unload our groceries. What packaging is not trashed immediately, also eventually will be when we consume the contents within. And because we prepare so much food, we need to have plastic Tupperware to store the leftovers.
As I was clearly seeing these details, I realized that we all grow up in a disposable society with this idea that we can just throw everything away. But there is no “away”? Where does all this stuff go? What happens to all the garbage that we create? It just goes someplace else.
During my fast, I was simply cutting lemons, mixing them with maple syrup and cayenne pepper right into one glass bottle. This same glass bottle went everywhere with me for 14 days. I was consuming no plastic or paper bags, no plastic water bottles, and no to go cups from the juice bar or Starbucks. No paper napkins. No packaging from food products. My diet was creating practically zero waste.
Therefore, the contrast of what I saw being created in my own home from just one other person’s daily activities was astounding. And my neighbors waste, and my towns waste, and the state, and this country, and the next country, and on and on. I then felt myself scream to the world, ‘STOP! Stop making so much crap! So much stuff that is not necessary. That just ends up getting ‘thrown away’!
Well….. it didn’t work. It didn’t stop. It kept coming and it will continue to come, for now.
So, here is your invitation for this month. Don’t worry; I’m not going to ask you to starve yourself ! This month, I invite you to make an effort to pay attention to the choices you make. To what you buy and how you buy it. Each product that you buy, think about what is there that you are NOT going to use. What will happen to the part that you ‘throw away’?
Maybe you buy your fruits and veggies in bulk, instead of buying a bag or a box of something. Pay attention to how many plastic or paper bags you are walking away from the market with. Eliminate as many as possible. And better yet, bring your own cloth bags that are used over again and again.
Try this! Everywhere you go, strive to have a thermos, your own food compartment, a cloth napkin, your own eating utensils and a cloth bag or backpack. Try to never be served your juice, tea or coffee again in a paper or plastic cup. Never accept another set of plastic eating utensils. Never need to use paper napkins. And never use another plastic or paper bag that is not necessary.
Try to be more conscious about what you take home from the supermarket. There is so much crap out there that is feeding the idea of our disposable society! There is so much crap out there that is designed for us to contaminate our planet…That is designed to contaminate our bodies.
Read not only the ingredients of what is in the product. But see what the packaging is made from as well. Is it made form recycled materials. Or better yet, is the package biodegradable.
If it is a clean, healthy product for your body, that is not in ideal packaging, maybe you still buy it. OR, if it is biodegradable packaging of a product that is not the most healthy for you, maybe you still buy it. Maybe it is your ONE junk food item for the month.
BUT, if the packaging is going to contaminate the planet and what is inside the package is going to contaminate your body, leave it on the shelf!
Thanks for your time!
If you want to learn about the process of doing the Master Cleanse Fast, download this free PDF, Master Cleanse . It will teach you safely how to do it. Do NOT try this Fast before reading this PDF!