SIVANANDA YOGA CENTRE, GURGAON
“Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way.”
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Meditation and Fasting Course
The meditation and fasting course is a simple approach to detoxifying the body and the mind.
It is spread across seven continuous days.
The classes are in the morning, 7.00 to 8.00 am.
The Meditation and Fasting course is meant to make us realize the power of cleansing, detoxifying, removing the unwanted; the power of frugality, of silence and stillness, of simplicity, of looking inwards.
Come, let us all fast and meditate, at this very beautiful season of the year, when nature around us is changing, reviewing, reconnecting, with itself.
Anyone can meditate, no prior experience is required. Anyone can learn and adopt fasting, no prior experience is required. During the fasting lessons, you will be asked to pick a fast, and attempt it, according to your ability and inclination.
There are many conducive seasons and times for fasting, slowing down, introspection, cleansing and rejuvenation.
This transition from summer to autumn is one such period.
The meditation and fasting course will take advantage of this auspicious time, and help participants to withdraw, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
It will be a time to be with yourself, to introspect, to inquire, to reflect and to reconnect with your true nature.
Fasting is a ritual in most cultures and traditions across the world.
Today, modern science and medicine are using fasting to save lives, and to cure incurable diseases. It is even being suggested by research that it can cure cancer.
Fasts have been undertaken for various reasons, in various different ways and for various different time periods, throughout human history.
During the course you will be asked to pick a fast and follow it.
Some of you will already be used to a certain kind of fast – maybe a religious or personal fast. You can step up, and do a bigger challenge – maybe a longer fast, or a stricter one. It is up to you.
You may be new to fasting – in which case you can try the relatively easier kind of fast.
The types of fasts are briefly outlined below.
16 hours + two meals in a day
Fruit and vegetables
Water only (maximum 72 hours not more)
One meal a day
Raw food fasting
Fasting on giving up any addiction – tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee, sugar or salt for 7 days
You can break your fast any time.
What to expect
If you are habituated to eating, and have never fasted before, the first day, and the first three days can be quite a challenge.
For example, you may have a headache, body ache, fever, or a feeling of nausea, acid re-flux, neck or lower back pain, or even simple cravings and the desire to eat.
Some of the feelings are psychological, the feelings that emerge when we cannot do what we have been used to doing for a long time.
Some of it is physiological, the real withdrawal symptoms, when the body craves for the things you have been normally giving it.
It is normal to have feelings of weakness, a desire to rest, some bad taste in the mouth, sometimes excessive sweating, and even loose motions.
Some old aches and pains may emerge once again, or you may feel restless, for the first couple of days.
All this is a sign that the body is letting go of the bad stuff – the toxic matter, which is accumulated deep inside our tissues.
Confront the upheaval in a calm manner, as a witness, and try to continue the fast without wavering.
Soon, a beautiful lightness, a feeling of freedom and joy will start emerging. Wait for this.
Sipping plenty of warm water is an excellent way of helping the body in the process of detoxification.
By the way, you may not feel any symptoms at all, and may sail smoothly through the entire fast!
It is advisable to slow down, take rest, and engage in less diversified activity, to do yoga, meditation, pranayama and savasana.
It is suggested that you seek the support of your family and friends in the fast, to keep the temptations down, and to also help you to succeed. It is a very sacred, very special venture, and it should be treated with respect and reverence. This way, you will succeed.
You can break your fast any time, or not do it at all. You can, at this time, take the step of just understanding the theory behind fasting, in the course, and listen to the experience of others.
Or you can take a small leap, and try!
Meditation is a practice as well as place. As a practice, which is what most modern people understand it to be, it is called by various names – focusing, mindfulness, introspection, reflection, concentration, relaxation, silence, and of course, meditation.
The guided meditation practice, and a way to be meditative through these seven days, is the goal of the course. We come together to sit for a while in silence, and be guided by the teacher all the eight days in class.
Thereafter, some guidance on how to take this cultivation of inner silence to the daily activities, and make it beneficial.
Human beings have meditated for thousands of years. It is something that you eventually seek, are attracted towards, and grow into. Meditation is both a path and the goal of human life.
In the course you will have an opportunity to be introduced to the 12 point guided Sivananda meditation technique.
You will also learn the role of diet, yoga, pranayama, and lifestyle on your meditation practice.
Through the seven days, you will establish a strong foundation for a lifelong meditation practice for yourself.
What to expect
You may be a beginner, or an advanced practitioner. No prior experience is expected in the course. If you cannot sit on the floor, you may use a chair or sit on the bed.
We will do some light stretching exercise, like surya namaskar and a few asanas, and basic pranayama, prior to starting the meditation practice. If you cannot manage to do these, you may observe the others.
The meditation is a guided practice. All you need is your willingness, your attention, and a quiet space for about 30 minutes.
There will be questions and issues and doubts.
The beauty of meditation and fasting, is that there is no better answer than to try it out, and experience all the answers for yourself!
Come, let us meditate and fast!