Upavasa: The Oldest Technique for Healing

Our shastras, sacred scriptures, have prescribed several levels of upavasa for healing our mind and body. Our gut, like our body, grows stronger with rest. Energy circulates better without blocks when our body is lighter. Upavasa is an ancient technique associated with daily practices to rest, restore, rejuvenate and heal your gut. Here are some upavasa techniques you can try daily or frequently.

Daily Upavasa

Rest your gut for 12 hours every day.  For example, rest your gut from 8 pm the previous night to 8 am the next morning. Unless you are taking medication, you can get by drinking plain water or herbal tea if you feel hungry during the upavasa times. The 12-hour fast works well to completely digest your food and regulate your gut. Gentle exercise such as walking after dinner and vigorous morning exercise helps to keep you in optimal health and boost your energy levels through out the day.

Extended Upavasa

Continue your fasting from previous night until around lunch time. For example, rest your gut for 12 hours, and do not eat until it is time for lunch the next day. You must continue to take water or herbal tea. Refrain from taking anything that has calories like fruit juice or lemonade. This type of upavasa is usually observed by householders or Gruhastas.

One-time meal Upavasa

In this type of Upavasa, followers eat one meal full meal. Then, they refrain from food throughout the day. Such a meal has perfect balance of protein, fiber, carbohydrate, and fat. Loading on one type of nutrient is not allowed in this type of Upavasa. These meals are usually taken in the afternoon. If you are observing Upavasa until night, and want to break it with solid food, the food should be taken 3-hours before you got to bed. A lighter version of the full meal is served with a perfect balance of nutrients.

The benefits of upavasa is described in the graphic above. Please share it and use it to aid your search for information regarding the benefits of upavasa.

Hope you will try one of the Upavasas described here. If you have any health condition, please consult with your doctor before you start these steps. However, if you start the practice and include prayer in the practice, you will get extended benefits. Please feel free to give us a feedback on which one you tried and how it helped you.