One of the most revered Indian festivals, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great devotion and religious fervor by Hindus in the honor of Lord Shiva. Celebrated to mark the day on which Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati, Maha Shivaratri literally translates into the Great Night of Shiva.
On the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, devotees observe a day-long fast and worship Lord Shiva with great ardor. It is also believed that whoever worships Lord Shiva on this day attains Salvation, and that by fasting on this day, one can reap the benefits of a whole year’s rigorous prayer. The scriptures quote Lord Shiva as promising that whoever worships him on Maha Shivaratri and fasts will be dearer to him than his own son Kartik.
So, if you are all set to soak deep in bliss by fasting on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri, here are a few tips you’d like to note to stay healthy, hydrated, and come out detoxified and rejuvenated physically and spiritually:
Prepare Yourself Mentally
You are fasting for a pious and pure reason, so staying happy, calm, and prayerful will help you sail smoothly through the day. Any kind of stress or anxiety can drain you emotionally and physically, leading to changes in your prakruti (innate nature). Imbalance in your prakruti can make you sick and hence incapable of maintaining the fast.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drink at least eight glasses of water while you are fasting so you can ﬂush away toxins and waste. If you are fasting on water alone, the intake quantity can be increased to match your bodily needs. This will also help you stay energized. Dehydration can cause you to feel tired and hungry. But if your Pitta (acidity) levels are too high, fasting on water alone is not recommended since it releases toxins too quickly and leads to highly unpleasant detox symptoms.
Avoid Heavy or Strenuous Physical Activity
A heavy workout or any physically challenging work / activity should be avoided while you fast since it increases the metabolic rate of the body and can make you feel hungry, thirsty, or over-tired. Instead, choose desk work, read spiritual books, listen to devotional music, or simply meditate to rest your body and mind.
Liquids for Detox
Fasting with a variety of liquid foods is a healthier option for people who find it tough to go hungry or have health issues to consider. For instance, pregnant women, people with Diabetes, digestive issues, severe weakness, and so on. Include juices, milk, milk shakes, herbal tea, yogurt, or buttermilk in your diet to help you get through the fast.
Eat Light (if you must)
If you choose to include fruits and light meals to your fast, make sure the food is soft and in limited quantities. Raw foods, chewy foodstuff, or simply too much food or fruits should be avoided, since the physical act of chewing signals the stomach to activate the digestive system and release digestive juices, which may lead to additional discomfort, such as causing heartburn. Fruits such as banana, papaya, or melons and foodstuff such as tapioca, potatoes, and yam could be included in the diet to avoid discomfort.