Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fasting and Exercise

While kickboxing and spinning classes might go over well just before a breakfast of steelcut oatmeal and berries, a fasting body needs as much physical rest as it can get. The physiological work and repair that happens during the fasting detox, requires an enormous amount of energy that we want to reserve entirely for that purpose. It is however recommended that while fasting we do exercises that facilitate this process. These include walking, yoga, light swimming and breath work. As a yogini, I can attest to the very powerful detox benefits of yoga and breath work, not only physical but also spiritual and mental. 

The breath is the vehicle upon which our life force enters the body, so that when the breath is shallow, our thoughts and actions are shallow. When the breath is labored our thoughts and life are labored. More than anything, while fasting (and even on non-fasting days), I encourage you to notice the breath and breathe with intention. At every moment you can remember, drop in on the breath to see how it’s doing. Follow the inhale to a completely ballooned belly, brining in strength, health, energy, faith and peace. Exhale until the navel meets the spine, letting go of disease, fear, weakness, fatigue and tension. 

Attending to the breath will still agitating thoughts. When left unattended, these thoughts create agitation in the body, which often causes us to feel empty or “hungry” and so we attempt to fill that emptiness with food. Typically the types of food we choose when we are in this mindset are high in salt or sugar because these nutrients, when refined or in excess, act in the same way as drugs, changing the chemistry of the body, creating a diversion from feelings. Catch yourself breathing and you will be able to see more clearly the trajectory of your thinking. When we can see where our thoughts are headed it is easier to get in front of them and change their direction.

Yoga, on the other hand, twists and bends the body in order to allow for better circulation and flow of oxygen. It also wrings the organs and helps jumpstart sluggish glandular systems. The practice of yoga also incorporates breath, which stimulates the body’s ability to relax. A relaxed body is one that is more prepared to take on the task of cleansing and healing.

Be good to your body. Be Good to yourself. Breathe.


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MOMSWEB said...

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FastGirls said...

Thank you so much!

I wish you health and healing that spans the whole of your life.

Come and join us at our yahoo group, Keyword: FastGirls

We would love to have you!



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