The holy month of Ramadan, is one complete moon cycle of faith, sacrifice and trust. Billions of Muslims living in all continents across the globe are required to fast from dawn to dusk every day throughout Ramadan. Ramadan is also an opportunity for Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and compassion for those less fortunate. It restores benevolence and charity. Fasting re-directs the soul away from distractions, with its objective being to purge the soul by freeing it from contaminations.
These rituals performed in the holy month of Ramadan has a great significance in Ayurveda as the principles in both are evolved from the same root. Ayurveda has a long tradition of employing fasting as a vital practice for sustaining and regaining health. Fasting and Cleansing sometimes can be the same in Ayurveda. Cleansing lasts longer and hence it can be ideated to the concept of Ramadan fasting. Through fasting in Ramadan, the human body is cleansing itself. And if we compare many ayurvedic concepts to that of Ramadan fasting, we can find similar aspects. This article will give you such integrated ideas regarding the concept of fasting in the Ayurvedic guidelines.
Ayurveda advocates waking up in the Brahma muhoortham which is the suhoor time. Brahma muhurta (time of Brahma) is a period (muhurta) one and a half hours before sunrise- or, more precisely, 1 hour and 36 minutes before sunrise. This is the time to take a Suhoor meal. People who wake up at Brahma muhoortham every day won't have sleep deprivation problem at the time of Ramadan as it is a routine for them.
According to Ayurveda, fasting for a long period effect in detoxifying. And according to ayurvedic terms, this requires a good amount of sleep every day. Fasting can reset the digestive fire and this will allow it to rest and strengthen. The detoxifying nature also supports the body’s own natural mechanisms to remove built up toxins from the body.
Ayurveda suggests that the best time to fast is the Kapha season. Kapha season starts at the end of March and ranges across May to June. Spring season is best suited for fasting. This is similar to that of the thought of Fasting for Ramadan. This is because of the natural balance in this season. Kapha season is heavy and watery and thus, it won't affect the body so hard in that climate.
Ayurveda recommends a light diet when breaking the fast. In order to break the fast, Ayurveda suggests breaking the fast with rehydrating foods such as tender coconut and dates. This will calm the digestive system and will regulate health. A healthy meal can be consumed in half an hour after breaking the fast.
Apart from these key points, Ayurveda suggests taking a head bath with cold water, including regular prayer and avoiding all bad habits during the period of fasting. This is parallel to the basic theory of fasting for Ramadan which includes being clean inside-out, regular prayer five times a day and avoiding bad habits. Healthy fasting leads to a feeling of lightness in the body, clarity in the mind, and increased energy.