There is an ancient practice in India called Ekadashi, which in Sanskrit just means 11th day. This is a day when people fast and it happens twice per month on the 11th day after the new and full moon. There are two main purposes for fasting on this day. The first is to reset the digestion which is mainly to prevent disease and sickness.
The second is to go into deep meditation and connect to your inner wisdom to clear yourself energetically with the clarity provided on these specific days.
This originally was a day of fasting that meant no water or food, but for people who still work on this day and need to keep up, it can be a fruit and juice cleanse day or just fruit and vegetables. It is ideally a day when you don’t eat anything heavy such as beans, grains, meat and processed food.
The moon is the closest to planet Earth and because we are made of 70-80% water, it has the largest effect on us. This practice has been observed to be effective by ancient yogis but also inn modern households. Here are some straightforward ways that adding this habit to your life can help you.
This high energy day is said to reset the glandular system and metabolism. Your glandular system secretes your hormones. It is what in the most technical sense, creates our emotions. The adrenal glands are a part of this system which govern our motivations, impulses, metabolism, sleep, sex drive, menstruation, elimination and tissue repair.
Fasting in general has been found to assist in weight loss and lowering blood pressure, as well as reducing cholesterol because after the metabolism uses the glucose in the body it will burn fat during a fast.
This day your metabolism and glandular system will reset, so it’s a good time to clean out our insides instead of adding to them. This can help if we have overindulged or if our system has not properly let go of the heavier things we have eaten.
It’s a great day for liver cleansing as well and taking the daily pressure off of our filter organs can be extremely beneficial to overall health. If we have a build up of toxins and hormones in our body it can cause skin irritations and emotional upset and fasting can also help reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals created by toxins in the body.
A fast should be broken with liquids as the stomach shrinks and eating food too quickly can cause stomachaches. One should avoid alcohol after fasting as it can cause acid reflux. This day is a good reset for the intestinal tract which can flush out and cleanse with the fruit fiber and juice.
This can reduce toxins in the blood which can cause lethargy, inflammation and a weakened immune system. We can reduce indigestion and increase energy because we are not working so hard to process food. Fasting is a part of many cultures because of the tremendous benefits.
If you’ve been irritable, anxious, you can’t focus or sleep and are having skin or weight issues, this could help you balance the systems in your body. The glandular system includes the pancreas, thyroid, pineal, adrenal, thymus and hypothalamus glands which are constantly interacting to help us maintain emotional homeostasis and balance the other systems in the body.
When our blood has less toxins, our mind is more clear. We can get tasks ordered and accomplished and feel more energetic because we have lower stress. Taking time to meditate when our body is cleansing can help us see our own relationship to food as well. We can see if we’re eating because we are hungry or because of habit.
This can help us reduce overeating as well as emotional eating by making us more conscious of our choices.
It is said that the 11th day of the moon is the most energetically powerful of the month. It is a day when we are able to finish up tasks and projects we’ve begun or to see our efforts come into effect. It’s not a day to start something new or push yourself too hard physically. The moon phases have the greatest effect on our emotional state.
Often the lull between the new and full moons can leave us in a bit of a depressed state, but finally, when we reach the 11th day, we feel a renewed sense of hope which is why so many people heighten the energy by fasting, even looking forward to it. Based on the moon’s influence on our bodies in it’s cycle, we can expect our energy to perk up especially if we fast.
The fast is meant to be from before the sun comes up to sundown and is broken at dinner. Some people choose to have some sea salt with lemon or lime juice as their fast while others will have fruits and vegetables in small amounts.
Everything happens in cycles and when you tune into the cycles larger than the 24 hour day, you can access greater health and manage your own emotional tides easier. Getting in tune with the planetary biorhythms was a major focus for the ancient yogis and present day yogis alike.
When it comes to work, you’ll work much more efficiently if you start your projects on the new moon and not after the full moon. We just don’t have the mental clarity to begin things at that time and it will be very frustrating. Usually we will start to see the changes in our lives around the 11th day of the moon and in a full moon.
The full moon is another good day to fast, as well as to consume extra water or be around bodies of water.