Ekadashi is much more than just body purification. It is a bridge for individual spiritual growth and well-being (1).
Ekadashi time is a time for fasting and self-cleaning. You may calculate the date of Ekadashi according to the Moon phase. On this day, approximately twice a month, the body does not need any food and may withstand without food easily and clean itself from the inside.
While following the Ekadashi calendar, one should keep in mind – the Moon is not on a phone app, but the Moon is also in the sky.
Benefits of fasting (or lighter food) on Ekadashi
The first signs that I have started to listen to my body’s needs and connect them to the Moon phases appeared a few years ago. I remember once I was eating, and I felt like a fool [fo͞ol] because I got full [fo͝ol] so quickly, just with a few bites. I decided to read about Ekadashi, and here is a whole story and knowledge for you.
The toxins of the body, which are created due to the residue of the digestive process, should be cleaned regularly. During Ekadashi days, the digestive process is even slower, so it is time to clean the system and take a food break, not to engage in nutritional replenishing.
The origin of most diseases is within the digestive tract. By cleaning our body, especially the bowel system, and detoxifying ourselves, we may contribute to the wellness of our bodies without specific or expensive costs.
Fasting kills the disease, reduces the deficiency, and nourishes the aspirant. Keeping fast does not mean starving but it means a way to remain alert, trim, and slim //…// It is a sure way of resting, repairing and getting rid of accumulated wastes //…// A lot of energy is spent in the digestion of food //…// Observing a fast can do wonders, as it will help one remain physically, mentally and spiritually alert and beautiful. A weekly fast is sure to refresh, strengthen and improve the health and metabolism (2).
Nowadays, fasting is being integrated into the cure of diabetes 2 types (3, 4).
The toxins of the body, which are created due to the residue of the digestive process, should be cleaned regularly.
How does Ekadashi work?
From the 5th to 11th days of the Moon phase (after the Full or New Moon), the digestive process is slower than usual. To avoid chronic health complications, it is imperative to clear up the digestive tract of previous residues every 11th day of the Moon cycle.
Tidal waves are a consequence of changes in air pressure in the atmosphere. High tides are obvious because of strong gravitational force, but from the next day after the Full or New Moon the pressure recedes. Hence, on the 11th day from New Moon or Full Moon days, the pressure is almost nil. That is why fasting on an Ekadashi day is much easier – because the atmospheric pressure will not put a strain on the body.
On the next day after Ekadashi (the 12th day from Full Moon or New Moon), it is suggested to have food early in the morning to avoid any pressure on the body (5).
Connection between immunity and Ekadashi
These two young guys from India make me proud of the World we are living. They explain how to score your immunity by observing your body’s signs and show the natural ways to boost your immunity. By the way, the natural ways are usually the hardest to follow, but they are worth it.
According to Satvic movement, 8 signs of good immunity are:
- Daily bowel movement
- No excess weight
- Clear skin
- Absence of laziness
- Strong sense of hunger
- Deep sleep
- No pain in the body
- Positive thoughts
Today I am dealing with the 5th point – a strong sense of hunger. Yep, I am very very hungry but feel happy about that. And as assistance from Nature – Ekadashi day is coming. Are you ready?
No panic if you are not ready for Ekadashi mentally!
No panic. Nobody is going to rob your food or terminate your food supply forever. You are free and relaxed, just take it easy. Today it could just start and finish with thinking only. Moon is going rounds and rounds, so, there are an infinite amount of “next time” you can join Ekadashi fasting!
– May be we should stop?
– We don’t quit, we don’t quit, again! again! The epic dialog from the movie The Pink Panther – ” I Would like to buy a Hamburger”.
Moon is going rounds and rounds, so, there are an infinite amount of “next time” you can join Ekadashi fasting!
Day before Ekadashi
Actually, the body system starts to prepare for Ekadashi on the 5th day from the full Moon or a new Moon. Therefore, day before Ekadashi is a proper day to prepare digestive system for self-cleansing and detoxification.
Food preferences and foods to avoid on Ekadashi
- You may fast, or your food should be lighter than on regular menu:
- For meat/fish eaters – go for cooked vegetables;
For lacto-ovo-vegetarians – go for lacto-vegetarian food;
For junk vegan – go for a day of fresh vegetable salad.
- For meat/fish eaters – go for cooked vegetables;
- Avoid flavor and taste enhancers:
- This includes salt, sugar, E-number ingredients, garlic, mustard, vinegar, and dressings (because they usually contain sugar, vinegar, etc). Food enhancers would enhance abnormal suck for overeating.
- Why sparkling water?
- Carbonated (or sparkling) water usually is mineral-rich water that includes magnesium. In higher amounts, it helps to soften the stool and is therefore beneficial before fasting day.
- Why to avoid lots of fruits?
- For meat/fish eaters going directly on plenty of fruits most likely would cause indigestion, flatulence, heartburn, etc., because meat + fruit = rot in the stomach.
- meat + fruit = rot in stomach.
- One could say: “I am going not to eat meat this day”, but the answer is “For meat food to decompose properly in the stomach it takes 2-3 days, and after all, what about the circulation of meat by-products in blood? It takes even more time”.
- Yep, going on the vegetable day would be the right decision, vegetables benefit from cleaning a bowl and are less aggressive in the detoxifying process.
- No junk mixtures of fruits
- Different specific ferments are involved in digestion. Because of that – citrus fruits do not match with sweet fruits. For example, orange does not match with banana. Some fruits are neutral (apple) and match both with citrus or with sweet fruits.
- Overdrinking water
- No need to put gallons of water in a poor stomach. Better to drink it wisely, glass by glass in the first part of the day – till 2-3 pm. Drink water between any meals, even if you think to eat fruits. Excess of water in the late afternoon and evening leads to hard-working kidneys – that is what would be wise to avoid too.
- Our bodies consist of approximately 70 percent water. We agree with it when trying to put extra water by drinking, right? But what about the statement, which is reverse-to-consumption? It appeared that the body does not demand much food concerning Moon phases. As the human body is composed of 70 percent water, it is affected by Moon accordingly.
- Avoid rice or any other grains!
Generally, rice is not consumed on Ekadashi. According to a mythological story, sweat fell down from Lord Brahma’s head and took shape of a demon. When the demon asked the lord to give a place to reside, Brahma asked him to dwell in rice eaten by men on Ekadashi and get converted into worms in their stomach (6).
On Ekadashi, avoid rice or any other grains as they retain water in the body.
You may say this is a legend, but there is also a scientific explanation for “no rice on Ekadashi”. The scientific reason says that having rice or any grain on Ekadashi can cause trouble to your body due to the position of the moon. Grains retain water and as we know the position of the moon impacts all water bodies on the earth, it also applies to the fluid inside our bodies. Therefore having rice or grain on this day can harm your health (7).
Dates of Ekadashi for each country
You may find the dates of Ekadashi for your geographical location on the internet because Ekadashi dates depend on the Moon’s position in your geographical location. Just select and find the dates! Ekadashi Fasting days (see reference 8).
- in US (Chicago), the nearest Ekadashi begins 06:35 AM, Jan 17 and ends 04:33 AM, Jan 18;
- in Australia (Melbourne), the nearest Ekadashi begins 11:35 PM, Jan 17 and ends 09:33 PM, Jan 18;
- in Lithuania (Vilnius), the nearest Ekadashi begins 02:35 PM, Jan 17 and ends 12:33 PM, Jan 18
- in Germany (Berlin), the nearest Ekadashi begins 01:35 PM, Jan 17 and ends 11:33 AM, Jan 18;
- in Japan (Tokyo), the nearest Ekadashi begins 09:35 PM, Jan 17 and ends – 07:33 PM, Jan 18.
My playful verses about Ekadashi
Cherries are berries
Good for trim bellies
Berries are cherries,
Eaten as jelly
Eaten as jelly –
Sugar in belly.
Eaten as jellies –
Goes to feed caries
Cherries are berries
Eaten on ferries
Sweetness in cherry
Is some kind of fairy
Bellies are cherries
If feed them with berries
Cherries are berries
Eaten by Alice
Berries like cherries
Good for the bellies!
Verses by Dr. A. Palatronis
- What is Ekadashi and the Significance of Ekadashi Fasting at https://isha.sadhguru.org/in/en/wisdom/article/ekadashi?gclid=EAIaIQobChMInuOftL2Y6QIVE6WaCh0-Eg90EAAYASAAEgKJVvD_BwE.
- Verma M. Fasts and festivals of India. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd.; 2013.
- Kalra S, Bajaj S, Gupta Y, Agarwal P, Singh SK, Julka S, et al. Fasts, feasts and festivals in diabetes-1: Glycemic management during Hindu fasts. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Mar-Apr;19(2):198-203.
- Saboo B, Joshi S, Shah SN, Tiwaskar M, Vishwanathan V, Bhandari S, et al. Management of Diabetes during Fasting and Feasting in India. J Assoc Physicians India. 2019;67:70.
- Ekadasi and the science of fasting during specific moon phase by The Yoga School, available online: https://www.theyogaschool.in/component/easyblog/ekadasi-and-the-science-of-fasting-during-specific-moon-phase?Itemid=101.
- Scientific Explanation: Why you shouldn’t have rice on Ekadashi, 31st October 2017 by Shalu Singh, available online: https://www.indiatvnews.com/lifestyle/books-culture-scientific-explanation-why-you-shouldn-t-have-rice-on-ekadashi-31st-october-2017-409380.
- Devotthan Ekadashi facts and why you should not consume rice during Ekadashi, Nov 19, 2018, online source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/devotthan-ekadashi-facts-and-why-you-should-not-consume-rice-during-ekadashi/articleshow/66693191.cms#:~:text=The%20scientific%20reason%20says%20that,the%20fluid%20inside%20our%20body.
- 2020 Ekadashi Fasting days https://www.drikpanchang.com/vrats/ekadashidates.html?geoname-id=2950159
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