The many benefits of fasting

Hi! Now that my degree is under my belt, I’m able to get back in the blogging swing of things! This month, my mind and body is focusing on fasting.

As you may be aware, it is Ramadan. Ramadan involves a month of fasting from dawn until sunset and has been a highly practiced religious process within the faith of Islam for many years. One of my very good university friends, Usman was kind enough to share an evening with me where we broke the fast together – known as Iftar (at this point I was not fasting but simply observing). As we chatted, I became intrigued as to why Muslims typically fast. Apart from multiple dietary benefits (such as losing weight and increasing your metabolism speed) fasting is supposed to increase your appreciation for multiple things in life by essentially putting your body through a testing time. The difficult practice is said to remind individuals of their connection to the poor and the hungry, to moderate excessive lifestyles and to allow the person to hone in on their spiritual connections. The last 6 months have been quite disruptive in terms of self-discipline, so I felt that by fasting, I could essentially detox to increase my mental clarity, as well as loosing some weight.

According to http://www.allaboutfasting.com, fasting typically:

1. Allows the digestive system to rest

2. Allows for cleansing and detoxification of the body

3. Creates a break in eating patterns

4. Promotes greater mental clarity

5. Cleanses and heals ‘stuck’ emotional patterns

6. Leads to feelings of physical lightness, increasing energy levels

7. Promotes an inner stillness, enhancing spiritual connections

I have become intrigued with this method of re-balancing and mentally re-aligning, as I result of this, I have told myself that I will be trying this for a month – in line with Ramadan (using my friend as a little mental crutch shall we say). During these times it will be tough as I travel across the world and work my butt off trying to repay my credit card debt. However, I will try my best to utilise the best part of the day for reflection and fasting. So far, I’m 6 hours in and absolutely starving – obviously. My friend suggested 12:30pm – 9:30pm as a starting point and it’s tough to say the least. I’m going to try and fight through this mental block that I am already experiencing and keep you posted. Here’s to clarity and a smooth running body!

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