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 All Forums Forum
 Yamas & Niyamas - Restraints & Observances
 Diet transition from terrible to spiritual
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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 11 2017 :  1:27:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I just changed my diet from terrible(way too much food and unhealthy ingriedients) to a much lighter and more holistic fare. Also, after reading Yogani's lesson on fasting, I have decided to attempt a spiritual fast every Saturday where all I consume is pure water with added salts and dissolved minerals.

I've only just begun but I've enjoyed some pretty amazing spiritual strides since starting this change in diet. For instance, it was on the day of my spiritual fast that I experienced a state of apsolute stillness during my second daily meditation. Afterwards I had a profound feeling of calmness and peace. Also my prayers that day were far more real and emotional than they have been for a long time. And one more thing: that fast seemed to have awakened my taste buds, as I have really enjoyed the much blander and more natural diet. Previously, I dispised bland food and preferred sweets with lots of refined sugar. Now I've sworn off sweets as I'm very close to being a diebetic.

Any suggestions or encouragement is always appreciated.


Edited by - Herb on Jan 11 2017 1:55:03 PM


257 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2017 :  12:25:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Herb,

That's a wonderful step to take and a very effective one indeed!

I had similar experiences in the past when making substantial changes in my diet and doing short fasts, along with the AYP practices.

If one advice, I would say make the first meal after a fast also a part of the fasting intention. I mean by that to eat slowly and very light (fruits are ideal) on the first meal after the fast.

I say this because it could be that you will feel more hungry after fasting (not necessarily, but it is possible). If this is the case and we eat faster or heavier at once, some of the benefits of the fast could be diminished.

You could also look at it this way. When coming out of bed in the morning we move somewhat slower and more gently than after we're fully well awake. After a fast also, the digestive system has been at rest and it's helpful to let it wake up gently with a light meal.

Good luck with the healthy eating habits and weekly fasts!


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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2017 :  4:46:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I really like your suggestion Omsat. Thank you!

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1165 Posts

Posted - Jan 12 2017 :  10:16:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I've only fasted for colonoscopies, and was pleasantly surprised a 24 hour fast isn't that onerous for me. I should test myself with occasional fasts. You being a borderline diabetic is a great reason to eliminate as much sugar as possible! Use lots of herbs Herb and good luck, keep reporting in!
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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2017 :  02:20:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Dogboy. I was a dog man in my previous life. So far my light, holistic diet is going well. My appetite has increased so much that I no longer need to heat my lunch at work. I park my work truck beside a 7-11 to have lunch and could easily heat it in their microwave, but there is no need. I slipped only a bit with a small bit of coffee this morning with cream and sugar. I had a large one, but threw it away after drinking a small bit. With my mentality a week a go I would have had two today.

I will report again after this coming Saterday fast. This one will be a better test for me as I was last Saterday which helped. I've lost 8 pounds since starting this program of diet and fasting. I have about 25 pounds of body fat still so loosing weight is a good thing.

Edited by - Herb on Jan 13 2017 04:46:54 AM
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947 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2017 :  05:39:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Herb - You have inspired me to try a Saturday fast as well.
Omsat - I will add that little piece of wisdom

Thank you

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257 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2017 :  07:35:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2017 :  1:21:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Good news Sey. I will be with you in spirit.

Edited by - Herb on Jan 13 2017 4:24:16 PM
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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 13 2017 :  6:02:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Here are some words of wisdom on this subject from my favorite Karma Yogi, Mahatma Gandhi:

"A man who chooses the path of freedom from restraint, i.e. self-indulgence, will be a bond slave of passions, whilst a man who binds himself to rules and restraints releases himself. All things in the universe, including the sun and the moon and the stars, obey certain laws. Without the restraining influence of these laws, the world would not go on for a single moment. It is discipline and restraint that separates us from the brute. If we would be men walking with our heads erect and not on all fours, let us understand and put ourselves under voluntary discipline and restraint.

True happiness is impossible without true health and true health is impossible without a rigid control of the palate. All the other senses will automatically come under our control when the palate has been brought under control. And he who has conquered his senses has really conquered the whole world.

One should eat not in order to please the palate but just to keep the body going. When each organ of sense subserves the body and, through the body, the soul, its specific relish disappears, and then alone does it begin to function in the way nature intended it to do. Any number of experiments is too small and no sacrifice too great for attaining this symphony with nature."
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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 15 2017 :  10:57:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
My first full week of healthy eating and doing weekly one day spiritual fasts is now over and I just finished my second fast. The most callenging part of the fast was going grocery shopping at Costco with my wife. What was especially different about that was being disgusted by the idea of eating sweets(they offer lots of free food samples), but highly attracted to the healthy samples. When I watched my wife chow down two servings of ripe persimmons, I think I may have actually been drooling haha. I have just exposed the idea that "going to sleep hungry is difficult", as a myth! I do not fall asleep easily and I had no problem going to sleep last night even though I was VERY hungry

I have tried fasting several times since going into a spiritual dark night of the soul back in the fall of 2014, but since begining to study the Hindu science of Yoga, I am finding renewed drive. Keep in mind that the focus of this change in diet is for my "spiritual" development and I am trying to unattach myself from the physical benefits.

I have been practicing Bhakti Yoga and I know that this has been where my added drive to make this transition is comming from. I have suffered from sugar addiction all my life. I may even have been born with it as my mother may have indulged heavily in sugar through the pregnancy.

Yogani's constant talk of cleansing throughout the lessons has hightened my desire to cleanse my body to aid the Yoga I am learning. And his lesson on fasting rekindled all my previous knowledge of the great aid that fasting does for one's spirituality. I look at it this way: if selfish self-indulgence in harmful food is a sin that hinders my ability to commune with God, then my new diet is an opportunity to show God that I love Him more than the harmful food that brings me pleasure. Sometimes, when I'm tempted to indulge in harmful food, I simply turn that situation into an opportunity to pray earnestly to God and prove that I love Him more than food.

I'm aware that all you who do not struggle with food addiction and are athiests or agnostics will think me nuts, but people have used fasting for thousands of years to aid their quest to find God for real. There is a clear connection between diet and spirituality. And I'm so happy that Yogani is teaching us about how meditation cleanses our nervous system. I must confess that I was ignorant of that fact before coming here. I wonder if anyone can comment on how or if nutritional and phycological/nerveous system cleansing might be related, and if so, how this cleansing might aid all Yoga practitioners in the ultimate goal of Yoga: to unite us with God/Universal Consciousness?

Edited by - Herb on Jan 15 2017 7:34:41 PM
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947 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2017 :  02:51:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Herb - I wish I could report that I managed to fast for the day - but no. As soon as my brain heard the word "fast", it started screaming for food.
I should have sneaked up on it - don't say anything just don't eat.

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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2017 :  09:32:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Sey I hear you. I used to fast and detoxify regularly when I was young, but since becoming spiritual in my fifties I have struggled with fasting. Funny thing is, spiritual fasting is only something I can do when my faith in the existence of God is high. When I first realized God back in April of 2012 I was stuggling with food addiction and weighed well over 200 pounds. With the help of my new found faith my food addiction problem was over and I took control of my diet. That and with spiritual fasting my body fat plummeted and my fitness increased until I was a lean mean 160 pounds in record time.

Then in the fall of 2014 my faith hit the wall and my weight has been climbing back up. However, since practicing Bhakti Yoga I have again found the drive and needed resolve to do spiritual fasting. However, between the fall of 2014 and just recently, I have attempted many fasts and failed every time. So I empathize with you.

I reccomend you practice Bhakti Yoga intensly for a few weeks and try again. Also I reccomend you study Yogani's lesson on fasting and the above quote by M. Gandhi between now and your next attempt at fasting over and over.

Good luck
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34 Posts

Posted - Jan 19 2017 :  10:06:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I would like to introduce to you something I learned from my Ishta, the great Karma Yogi M. Gandhi, "Renunciation for the sake of Service." To illustrate this concept I will give you an example of it's application to fasting. Since becoming spiritual I have developed a great desire to help the poor. My dear wife does not believe in charity so giving of my time and resouces to help the poor has been a challenge. However, while my faith in the exsistence of God is high I have done the following many times and the impact on my spiritual life as a result has been nothing short of amazing:

My wife is dedicated to me in many ways and an amazing cook. My work mates have always commented that I have the best lunches. So, with my desire to help the poor in heart, one night it struck me: I eat all I want before I go to work each day and have all I want to eat, again, as soon as I come home. Why not fast all day at work, heat up the large beautifully prepared meal that I have in the microwave at work before leaving, and go find some poor hungry homeless dude and ask him if he wants to sit in my car and have a nice warm meal! And I did that over and over. Then, so as not to offend my dear wife who doesn't believe in charity, I take my hunger firmly in hand when I get home, and eat like I'm not famished.

I must say that it's an amazing experience to go out hungry with the smell of a warm tasty meal in the car, drive around till you find someone hungry, and then pour love and compassion on him/her as they hungrily eat. While they eat my love and compassion always disolves my hunger. It's an amazing experience. And very spiritually rewarding!

Warning: inviting homeless people into your car will put you at risk! I am a normal sized man with a background in all forms of martial arts and have great confidence in my ability to defend myself. Do not attempt to do this alone. A less extreme way of applying the pricipal of renunciation for the sake of service to fasting would be to fast while you are serving food to your family or friends which is actually quite common. Or, if you don't have much opportunity to do that, try volunteering at a homless shelter and fasting while you serve them food.

Edited by - Herb on Jan 19 2017 1:20:20 PM
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