Springtime Fasting for the Doshas
Taking time to reset the digestive system is one of the best ways to transition from winter to spring. Ayurvedicly, almost everyone is a “mixed type”. Choose the dosha you are mostly displaying, and start there. If you are experiencing a major imbalance, fast to correct this imbalance by focusing on the excessive or depleted Dosha. Consult an Ayurveda expert if you aren’t sure.
Fasting in the Ayurvedic sense does not mean going without food; rather it means following a light to very light but type-specific diet in reduced quantity. While for one person a light, vegetarian lunch and hot ginger tea over several weeks is sufficient, another person may need three meals a day, put together to provide optimum support for his or her purification. For sensitive types, it may even be best to just have one soup day per week.
Kapha Types can withstand the longest fasts, upwards of a week, adding teas like dandelion root and even honey if dizziness occurs. Pitta Types do best with a moderate fast, several days, incorporating soothing mint/fennel teas, aloe vera drinks and coconut water. Vata Types do best with shorter lengths, maybe up to two days, but don’t push it. Incorporate warming teas like ginger and cardamom, honey if feeling light headed, and perhaps even fruit juice.
For ongoing maintenance, give your body a rest from eating now and again. For one day each month, try eating just fruit or drinking herbal teas or fruit juices. This is an excellent way to give the digestive system a break and to cleanse the internal organs. Helpful cleansing teas include dandelion, or triphala. Eating light foods with digestive spices like ginger, fennel, coriander and cardamom is also a good way to cleanse the body and tissues. One should only fast under the supervision of an experienced Ayurvedic therapist or take advice beforehand from an Ayurvedic doctor or an Ayurveda clinic.