Category Archives: Fasting

How to Break a Fast with Juice, Fruit, and Probiotics – Day 8

The long awaited day has finally arrived! It’s funny too because through the latter half of the 7th day and waking up this morning I felt terrific, as if I could have gone on for a few more days actually. Well, there’s always next time. This morning I got up to an amazing sunrise and managed to practice pranayama without falter, wavering focus, or energy dipping so low I need to lay down. It was just easy and beautiful with an amazingly clear intention set during the last antar kumbhaka(retention of inhalation).

“Love, Happiness, and Health are my nature and expanding in all directions”

After practice I cleaned myself up and got everything ready for my debut back in public. My prime objective: to return to Vikasa Yoga and make juice! I brought with me something I made last night to aid in friendly flora love returning to my digestive tract. A weakly fermented coconut juice. I used the meat, the juice, another 50% water, and about one teaspoon of a special probiotic product from Japan called EM Probiotics(which smells delicious!) It has a large variety of healthy bacteria stabilized in molasses. This was the first thing I had this morning, mixed with another 50% water. The leftovers of this blend is also for making my first coconut “cheese” later!

It’s a rose quartz, yea.

I let it set in and moved to the real deal. Juice. I think most juice concoctions have been invented but I seem to have come up with this one independently. A lot of cucumber, some aloe vera, not too much pineapple, and a little bit of mint. I also added more fermented coconut water. The first day breaking a fast is a delicate matter. You should avoid strong concentrations of sweetness and keep everything soft. Mostly green juices mixed with a little bit of fruit and probiotics throughout the day are ideal. Then go to soft fruits. The flavor explosion was ecstasy. I sat in a chair, reveling in the mint and pineapple twist, cooled by the cucumber, while I munched thoroughly on the un-blended aloe chunks and looked into the trees and greens around me. Did everything look this bright and colorful ever before? I must admit I probably looked funny. That aside, success! No “pit” feeling in my stomach and only a slight sugar high. I lay around and talked with Vikasa friends for about an hour before making my next juice. The day continued on like this and my power quickly soared. I went out to do errands, set up work projects and practiced a few Asana.

Preparing one tasty juice!

Delicious CUcumber, Pineapple, Aloe, and Mint

Today’s Intake:

8:30                     Fermented coconut water, aforementioned juice
9:30                     Cucumber and Orange juice 60%/40%
11:00-12:00    Coconut Oil Massage
1:00-2:00 2x   Carrot, Parsley, Celery, and Orange juice then a spoonful of coconut yoghurt 4:00                     1 Shot of Wheat grass with an orange slice(first solid thing requiring chewing!)
5:00-6:00        2 Dragonfruit with fresh lime juice
6:45                     1 Orange
7:30                    1/2 glass carrot juice and Coconut Milk soup rich with lemongrass, Kaffir Lime leaves and Carrot, little bit of chili powder!(couldn’t resist!)
7:45                    1 spoon of cashew “cheese”

On Carrot Juice and Vitamin A or β-Carotene…

While having dinner I talked with Stan and Catherine, mostly about fasting. Both of them informed me having either too much Vitamin A or beta-Carotene after a fast is bad for the liver. I had never heard of this so last night I checked it out. Thanks guys. Like many things, moderation is best. It turns out that these beneficial nutrients can be harmful in excess. While Vitamin A is detoxifying for the liver, in excess it itself is toxic. Beta-Carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A. The duodenum uses a special enzyme to split in half making…Vitamin A. So, you were both right! The question here is how present is the enzyme after a fast? Beta-Carotene does not seem to be toxic in excess since the body stores it in the skin to no ill effect, but it will make you turn orange. Moderation again. Most sources I checked said no more than 8-24 ounces of carrot juice a day for normal diets. For fasters and breaking fasts I’d recommend two 6-12 ounces mixed with green juice twice a day.

What would I do different?

Next time I need to bulk up more, especially if I want to do a 10 day water fast as I’m intending. This has always been a challenge for me as I’m a very active and Yoga seems to turn anyone who practices lithe and lean. I didn’t have a scale around to measure the weight differences but I got really skinny in 7 days. It’s also difficult because healthy eating does not put on fat easily.

So…how will I do it? I’ll keep researching but I plan on keeping this coconut yogurt and cheese in my life. A week before  I’ll eat a lot of nuts and avocados, and alternate dinners between fatty fish and hearty pasta or grains.

Take more Bentonite clay during the fast. I had never used this substance before so I was using it modestly. Some people recommend taking 1-2 tablespoons mixed in water every morning. It seemed like a lot of clay to me. I slowly built up to a full teaspoon by my last day and now think the full tablespoon is a good idea to get maximum effectiveness.

After this carrot juice lesson I think I’ll drink less carrot juice as well when I break a fast. I didn’t exceed 24 ounces and my body felt fine drinking it but I did have a lot and again for dinner, lots of carrot. So, little less next time for moderation sake. Feeling great and looking forward to tomorrow!

Namaste 🙂

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How to Water Fast with Supplements and Colonics – Day 5 of Fasting

Fasting Journal – Day 5

My water fast has been quite the interesting challenge but not without it’s high moments as well. I’ve been in solitude mostly for the last 3 days. With less stimulation my own internal experiences seem clearer, as if I can see the point from which my thoughts emerge. A lot of songs I know, some from recent times, and some I haven’t heard in years come tinkling up out of my subconscious at the most unexpected moments. Physically I’m exhausted, as to be expected. I do a little bit of swimming and stretching feebly and even managed to do a slightly wobbly headstand today. Since my digestive tract is completely empty I’ve also managed to learn how to do nauli kriya while in a sitting position. The majority of my time I’ve been napping, laying around, reading books, and using the internet to watch movies about yoga or high paced action anime like Ghost in the Shell.

Water fasting gives your body a chance to purge toxins and generally chill out. The first night’s nausea and dizziness hasn’t come back but my mouth has had a foul taste as my tongue expels heavy metals. My skin has broken out a little bit but as a whole is more uni-tone and healthy feeling. Water fasting also gives you a chance to develop a better relationship with food and eating. When I go back to eating I plan on eating the freshest, healthiest, best combinations and definitely cooking more of my own food once I leave the Vikasa organic cafe. I’ve also been thinking about the underfed and will organize some yoga charity events to get food to people who need it. That being said, the last two nights I’ve dreamt about eating. The first night it was steamed Thai green veggies the name of which I’m not sure. I was hanging them above my mouth, slowly lowering them in and savoring the flavor. And last night it was at a salad bar on a boat at sea. I was absolutely magnetized towards the eggs and nuts.  My body is definitely craving protein and fats. As long as I stay in generally the same state I’ll continue my fast. It’s only two more days and I think they could be the most beneficial as even as I’ve been writing this I’ve felt a little more uplifted and energetic.

How to Fast with Supplements and Colonics

Since before I started the fast I’ve been taking the liquid light mineral supplement that Kosta gave to me as a birthday present and he said it helped him through his last fast. It also has a detoxifying affect for the body as it is a natural electrolyte, increases cell permeability, is the strongest chelating agent(removes heavy metals) in nature, and supplies 92 different trace minerals to keep all cellular functions operating at optimum while there is no calorie intake.

The other two items, Psyllium husks and Bentonite Clay, assists with the removal of toxins. Psyllium husks are the shells of seeds from the Plantago psyllium which grows in the Middle East and India. It’s fibrous bulk absorbs a lot of water and helps to brush off stuff that is stuck in the colon. Most people doing a detox of any kind will take it 3-5 times a day, about a table spoon in a glass of water. Drink it quickly or it will bulk up into a thick mush! Because of how much water it absorbs you should drink another glass of water immediately afterwards and plenty throughout the day. Once a day I’ve also been adding in the bentonite clay. Just a teaspoon. This clay attracts and attaches to positively charged pollutants in the body. It’s also very small so it can clean deeper than the psyllium husk. Clay has many other uses like cleaning the skin as well. Check out the link for all the ways you can use it.

Now…Colonics. You can do this yourself and it’s not scary or difficult. The only thing that can be scary is what comes out. Because I’ve done some light fasts before, all the yoga practice and a mostly healthy diet, this time I don’t have too much of that stuff, but, it’s still surprising. Even after 5 days of no eating and 3 days of colonics already, there is still a bit of waste coming. Anyhow….a simple colonic kit can be used any bathroom you can hang it up above the floor. Essentially a bottle connected to a plastic tubing with a soft tip, and a stopper is all you need. Fill the bottle with water, lay down, and with a little bit of lubricant like coconut oil, slide the tip of the tubing where the sun don’t shine. Make sure it’s in at least about 1 inch. Then release the stopper and let the water, about 1 or 2 liters, fill up your colon. When it’s empty, or you feel full, take the tube out and stand up. Work to hold the water and move your body around to shake the water and loosen up any accumulated fecal matter in your colon. I like to twist quickly, pulse my abdomen, and do nauli kriya as well. Eventually you will feel “it’s time”. Take a seat. Let go. Sometimes it takes a little while for all of it. I’ve been doing this process twice in a row to get out all the stirred up toxins. Afterwards do something refreshing, like take a shower, and then go for a swim and relax. It’s also really good if you can get massage during this time. You could also give yourself a coconut oil massage. I forgot to get a brush, but skin brushing is also good to help the lymph system clear out as well.

Just two more days! Next post I’ll share how to know when to finish a fast and how to go about eating again. For those that are excited about the detoxification and regeneration a fast can provide just make sure you do it under guidance the first few times unless you are extremely healthy and tuned in with your body. And start easy with juice fasts for just a few days. You might still be surprised!

Peace,

George

P.S. If you were curious for some male perspective on our recent teacher training @ Vikasa Yoga here are links to blogs by two of our gentleman/yogi/vikasa teachers.

Michael

from Brussels

Yoga Teacher

Teacher Training Journey

 

 

 

 

Alex

from Brooklyn

Yoga Teacher

Teacher Training at Vikasa

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First Vikasa Yoga Teachers and my first Water Fast

Congratulations to our first Vikasa Yoga Teacher Graduates!

What an amazing month! The course ended spectacularly with deep practices and insightful discussions. Kosta covered the business of yoga; how to market yourself, build networks, set attractive deals and membership packages, and gave advice for free-lancing and managing a studio.

Ram lead a very deep final lecture on all the implications of being a yoga teacher and how to flourish as well as be genuine to your spiritual practice. We also re-kindled the lantern of the most sincere aspects of the nature of Yoga and human evolution to which I added many of my own thoughts. We breached controversial subjects such  as the future of Yoga Alliance, national governments interaction and view of the yoga community, and how once you’ve blossomed into a more expanded consciousness, there is no going back. It’s about seeing what is possible and it’s always more than you can know at this moment. Ram concluded with chanting an entire chapter from the Vedas, which has been the duty and honor of his family’s lineage to memorize for a long, long time. He recited more syllables in 10 minutes than anyone I know does in a day. It was beautiful.  I had profound experiences listening to Ram. I could see subtle yantras opening in my mind as if I was being pulled through a portal. I also felt old emotional events being dredged up and resolved into peacefulness. Straight up, it was cosmic. Thanks brother Ram.

I was also able to join Tingting’s last sessions which were very opening as well, to one another as humans. With everyone arranged in two lines, holding hands, so close you touched your partner toes, she had us stare deep into each others eyes while instructing us to look sincerely into that person and be completely open ourselves. To allow our entire soul to be visible through our eyes. Yes, there was laughter. Yes, there were shifty eyes. But a few of you…my, did we ever look deeper and deeper until a mirror like sense of vertigo occurred and you couldn’t be sure who was who! I also felt  energetic sensations and used vibrant auric visualizations of peace and spiritual power with my “strong” partners who I thought could handle it…

Classic… On Consciousness

Finishing Up!

The very last day we kept practice bright and light in the morning. 6:00 We started our pranayama session in a big circle on the fine, soft sand at the beach. Once everyone was done I got the group to stand up, hold hands, and then make it’s way into the ocean for aqua yoga! What ensued was a fun yoga poses in the water, laughter, and picking each other out of the ocean to be tossed back in again. We gave the students some free time before meeting back at the studio later.

9:00 Back at the studio we commenced with some partner practice and basic acro yoga led by Tingting and I. We did some very relaxing back to back seated poses with breathing, twists, and forward folds. It felt great to be the acro base for some of our students and give them a little massage love.  One student got over her fear and felt liberated while hanging on my feet allowing her spine to relax and elongate towards the ground. Acroyoga is a great practice I’m glad it’s part of what I can offer people.

The last day for the teacher’s we did a photo and video shoot at sunrise on the beach. Jon, the camera man Kosta hired, has done some amazing work for us already. He’s also a very friendly guy and I like hanging out with him. His history is rather inspiring too. He’s currently rehabilitating from an accident and only one month out of his wheel chair. Yoga has helped him immensely and he’s already climbing all over rocks and anything else to get the good angles for his shots. Here are some of my own behind the scenes shots by myself and my brother Michael.

Students Blogs

Many of our students kept blogs about their experiences for the course and some will continue to use them for their own yoga careers I believe. Here are a few if you are interested in the Vikasa Yoga Teacher Training program and the student’s experiences.

Nicole fitness instructor

from North Carolina, USA

OM Away from Home

 

Edin

super star make-up artist

from Reno, Nevada

On a Bender

 

 

Aline the animal activist and linguist

from Montreal, Quebec

Ally in Yogiland

 

Jackie

business owner

from British Columbia

Vikasa Yoga via Floost

 

 

Amanda

musician and DJ

from Singapore

Evolution of Yoga Teacher Training

*

Water Fasting

I had decided sometime during the course that once everything was finished up it would be a great opportunity to do another fast. It’s been over a year since the last one where I tried the “Master Cleanse” drinking only a lemonade of water, lemons, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. This was pretty easy with the maple syrup. I felt pretty great the whole time, lots of energy. The lemon alkalize your body and the cayenne pepper has many benefits such as stimulating circulation and anti-inflammatory properties. This time I am doing a 7 day water fast. The tissue detoxification will be deeper. After approximately 24 hours of zero calories to ingest the body changes gears. It will begin purging toxins from the intestinal walls and other tissues. It also puts most of the glands into a state of rest. Most importantly, for yogis, fasting can elicit more subtle understanding of the mind as it becomes rather quiet, which can cultivate spiritual awareness. Finally, it gives one a much greater appreciation for food, healthy, delicious, fresh foooood.

What you eat before fasting is important, especially if you have never fasted or have lots of toxins. You should prepare up to a week in advance, or really all the time, with a mostly raw, and mostly vegetarian diet at the least. You should also consider supplements like spirulina, intenstinal cleansing herbs, and liquid minerals. My last day before starting I ate the following.

7:00 1 Wheat grass shot, then a slice of orange

8:00 20-ish mangosteens

13:00 more Durian than I’ve ever eaten…a lot, so much it made me feel high

13:30 – 16:30 random bananas think I had 4 in total?

20:00 1 salad loaded with celery, garlic, carrot, avocado,coco oil, lime, and apple cider vinegar

20:45 3 more huge sticks of celery

The first night I joined friends and students at a Japanese restaurant. It was amazing how sharp my sense of smell was. I could smell each individual item of food all together at the same time. I didn’t feel the least bit impulsed to eat however about 30 minutes into everyones meal, about 23 hours after my salad the night before..I started to get headache and nausea. I excused myself and went to lay down in another room of the restaurant which had some comfy cushions. The Yoga Vacation director, Vadim, gave me a lift back to my room after they finished dinner. Whenever I lay down I felt fine. I rode in the back of the pickup truck on the bench, clutching the side railing and looking up at the stars. When I got home I promptly fell asleep.

This morning I went for pranayama on the beach, as I do everyday I’ve been here, and had a great practice. Everything felt open and easy. My physical energy is very low however today. I don’t have the nausea of last night but my legs feel achy. My muscles just don’t want to do a thing, which is fine. People are being very nice to me. While on the cushion last night I talked with my girlfriend on the phone. She called this afternoon to check on me during her short break. Thank you Si! Other people have been giving me rides, and I also got a massage today from a co-worker. Thank you Alisa!

I’m practicing a shut down, to assimilate the experience of the last month, to rest my organs, cleanse my skin, go into some deep meditation, and come back with more life and motivation than ever to be a giving person and renowned and wise yoga teacher. Tonight I’ll teach my last class at Vikasa Yoga for the week and then move up into the mountains to basically be a recluse where Kosta will join me for the last three days of my fast. It will be comforting to have someone around.

I’ll be updating again near the end of the fast with how it’s going and to also breakdown how to come out of a fast, which is even more important than how you go in.

Peace and Good Food(or water)!

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