Historically, water fasting is found in all traditions, and has a time-tested track record for enhancing physical health, as well as mental well-being.
Many articles have been hitting the press lately about the numerous physical benefits of fasting, but the cultural trend is towards intermittent fasting - simply because it is more approachable in our busy culture. We are so allergic to taking time out of work to actually fix issues, that we are happy with the compromise, and intermittent fasting has show wonders in key national killers - like weight loss, cholesterol levels, etc.
See more on the merits of fasting generally here
Thus, in our comfort-oriented society, a week-long water fast seems like a bit of a stretch for the imagination. And it is, indeed, not for the faint-hearted.
While the body is happy to take full advantage of the complete break from digestion, the mind can find it a terribly hard place to be. As well as affecting notable physical conditions, water fasting can take one deep into the murky underbelly of our emotions, where many are loath to venture. But as well as propelling us through the dark lows of despair, it has also traditionally been used to bring humanity into the shining heights of spacious bliss. Easily forgotten in the retelling of such a process.
So, long ago, here at Sura Detox, we chose to offer the juice fasting option publicly, with all its certifiable benefits and relative ease.
Saying that, once with us, our guests have always been encouraged to drink as little juice as they can, to explore the limits of their comfort zone, and move as close to water fasting as they dare, and with some caution, as it is not for everyone.
Our guests often return year after year until they are comfortable with juice fasting, before they switch to a water fast.
However, over more recent years, we have seen a growing number of people looking for a safe place to do a water fast, and we are more than happy to manage this for those willing to go deep.
Even for those on a juice fast, we encourage people to drink as much water as possible during the week, as it is the water that acts as a means of carrying toxins from the system.
The herbal teas don’t necessarily detract from this, but their real role is only to bring some variety to the experience.
We have been encouraging people to drink as little juice as they can get by, based upon the principle that as less nutrients & energy come in, the body switches to other forms of nourishment, and has to drill into it’s own fat reserves & toxin stores to get what it needs. Therefore the less juice, the deeper the cleanse.
See more on the structure of our retreats here
But each person needs to be happy with their overall energy levels, and feel safe with the emotions that arise throughout the fast, so each person is managed differently.
But everyone is given this mantra to adhere to :
If you’re thirsty, drink water
If you’re not thirsty, drink water
If you don’t know if you’re thirsty or not - drink water
We provide glass water bottles for everyone, but if you have your own, bring a water bottle to carry around with you at all times.
As the cultural acceptance of fasting has widened, the number of our guests moving to a water fast has escalated.
In the last year or so, since an explosion of fasting research has made the idea of ‘intermittent fasting’ popular, and brought the subject of fasting generally to the public’s attention, around half of each group will move swiftly and easily to a water fast.
So, if you are looking to explore the possibility of a water fast, you will not be alone in doing so.
And it is always clear that those prepared to go the deepest, will come up the shiniest at the end of the week. Like the mythical lotus flower, rising from the muddy bottom of the lake, and snaking its way up through the murky water, we come shining and radiant, pure white into the clear air above.