Fasting is more than another diet trend and especially when we fast according to our birth chart it can serve as an extremely powerful remedy for all the obstacles we may face in our life.
If a planet is unfavorable according to our birth chart, then by fasting regularly on the days ruled by that planet, we naturally perform the perfect remedy. For example; Sun – Sunday, Moon – Monday, Mars – Tuesday, Mercury – Wednesday, Jupiter – Thursday, Venus – Friday, Saturn – Saturday.
What happens when we fast
When we eat food, the agni (digestive energy) in the body gets activated to perform the process of digestion. Every day the agni, which is the element associated with the day (dina), changes based on the planet that rules the day. So on Tuesday the digestive energy will contain more of Mars’ energy, on Saturday it would be more of Saturn’s energy and so on.
Through fasting (eating less), we consume less food and therefore have a lesser amount of the planetary energy of the day rising in us.
In Sanskrit, fasting is known as “vrat” and it refers to self-imposed restrictions. So when we fast, we are put ourselves through a self-prescribed “lack”, which removes any other lack in our lives. When we take a resolve to fast, we are also strengthening our mind from temptation which otherwise is an almost impossible task.
Astrologically speaking, fasting is a remedy for the 12th house. In astrology, the 2nd house is connected to eating and the 12th house is connected to fasting. So fasting is the perfect remedy for the 12th house of loss.
For improving relationships, for example, there is a point in your birth chart called (Upapada) that signifies relationships, this point is in a sign, which is ruled by a planet, so fasting on the day associated with the planet is a magical remedy to combat relationship issues.
In the align27 app we have worked out all the days you should fast according to your birth chart and you can see these in the rituals section.
There are also many generic planetary periods during which it is good to fast, see below. These are also shown in the align27 app.
Fasting and the Niyamas based on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
Niyama is one of the 8 limbs of the spiritual path as outlined by sage Patanjali in his yoga sutras. He lists five things we should do to make spiritual progress.
- Saucha: purity
- Santosha: contentment
- Tapas: self-discipline, training your senses
- Svadhyaya: self-study, inner exploration
- Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender
When you fast – your body is purified of toxins leading to inner purity as well. Food is the basic necessity of living beings, but because most of us have access to food, we do not really appreciate its value in our life. But when you fast, you realize the value of food through hunger. And when that feeling of hunger in you is not satisfied, something amazing dawns in you. A sense of deep gratitude arrives when you break your fast and you feel content. While fasting we go through tapas and refrain from the umpteen temptations that arise. We should use the day of fasting for self-study or inner exploration by meditation and Japa. And all of the above slowly but surely leads us to complete surrender.
Important Days to Fast
Mahashivratri (February 21 2020)
The day when the energy of Shiva, the first yogi, is said to be closest to Earth. On this night the planetary positions in the northern hemisphere are such that there is a natural upsurge of energies.
Fasting during this time detoxifies the body and purifies the mind. The body feels lighter and the mind’s restlessness reduces. At the same time, the mind becomes alert. When the mind becomes alert, it is better prepared for prayer and meditation, which is central to the celebration of Mahashivratri.
Navratri (October 17 – 25 2020)
Navratri is an important festival celebrated twice a year–during the spring (Vasant) and fall (Sharadiya), the two major seasonal changes when our bodies become more susceptible to imbalances.
Observing fasts during this period of time is considered auspicious as our bodies experience internal variation due to this seasonal shift. It also makes that inner journey towards bliss and joy easier to make by reducing the restlessness of the mind, becoming easier for it to turn inwards and meditate.
“Why fasting is combined with prayer all over the world and in all religions, is because when you are fasting, you are detoxified, and your prayer becomes authentic and deep.” – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Full Moon (Purnima) and New Moon (Amavasya) (Once a month)
Our ancestors believed that each phase of the Moon required different ways of nourishing the body.
It is ideal to fast or eat light on Full Moon and New Moon days, as it reduces the acidic content in our system, slows down the metabolic rate and increases endurance. This restores the body and mind balance.
Ekadashi (11th day after each New and Full Moon)
There is an ancient practice in India called Ekadashi (meaning 11th day in Sanskrit), when people fast. It happens twice per month on the 11th day after the new and full Moon.
There two main purposes for fasting on this day are to reset the digestion, to prevent disease and sickness and to go into deep meditation and connect to your inner wisdom, to clear yourself energetically with the clarity provided on these specific days.
As per the science of Ayurveda, if you follow healthy fasting tips and take light and easily digestible foods during these days, it will help to improve the digestive fire, detoxify the body of all the impurities.
Pradosham (13th day of every fortnight)
Pradosham (literally means removal of sins) is the thirteenth day in the lunar fortnight of the Hindu calendar. Each month has two Pradosham days, being the thirteenth day of the ‘bright’ and of the ‘dark’ fortnights respectively. Larger energy level Pradosham occurs when one of the 13th moon days falls on a Saturday.
During Pradosham it is good to fast as it is believed that the energy during this time makes it easier to dissolve and release karma.
What kind of fast should you do?
Start your fast in the morning and end it with a light breakfast on the following morning if possible. If you’re new to fasting, try to keep your diary as calm and stress free if you can. If feasible, scope out some afternoon nap time.
There are many ways to fast; full fast, partial fast, water fast, fruit fast. The important thing is that you fast in some way possible and you do it according to your own limit. You should feel a pinch, but you should not do it to the point that you feel ill.
Start with a partial fast of fruits and water between sunrise and sunset, after which you can eat your regular meal.
The rules, if any, would be to refrain from non-vegetarian food and drink plenty of water and if and when you eat, then eat freshly cooked food with high prana (life force energy).