The most beneficial days for fasting are calculated according to the phases of the moon. And the position of the moon affects the tides; in our bodies, which is between 70 and 85% liquid, the attraction of the Moon also has its effect. In the days of new moon and full moon, the attraction is greater. In those days, or in the immediately preceding period, the liquid portion of our body tends to concentrate on the top of it, causing imbalances in the body. So as to control this imbalance, it is necessary to do a complete fast without water, eleven days after the new moon (amavasya) and the full moon (Purnima). This eleventh day is known under the name of Eka’dashi. Fasting without water helps to create emptiness in the stomach and in the lower part of the digestive system; this prevents the liquids from drawing up. It has been found that in the days of full moon, there is an increase in the incidence of mental and nervous disorders. Fasting helps control the effects that cause these disorders.

The precise day of Eka’dashi is computed according to the lunar calendar. Using a regular calendar, where the days of new and full moon are set according to the solar time some mistakes can be made. In order to have the exact dates you can contact any centre of Ananda Marga.

Who can fast?

Fasting is neither required in the case of children-until they reach adolescence-, nor in the case of pregnancy and illness

A day of fasting means to fast from sunrise of the day of fasting, until sunrise of the next day. The usual practice is not to eat anything after dinner of the previous day, to the next morning of the day of fasting.

Fasting is broken with warm lemon water and salt. Properly breaking the fast is often more difficult than fasting. It is important to break the fast by drinking at least one liter water (two pints) with freshly pressed juice of two lemons and two teaspoons of salt. The quantity of water, lemon and salt may vary according to individual needs but the effect should be that of a mild natural laxative. 

Once the bowels are clear it is good to take a light breakfast consisting mostly of fruits or boiled vegetables and a little natural yogurt. On the first day after fasting, appetite may be big but digestive capacity is less so it is important to eat light meals until the body has fully recovered.