Yogis do not practise abstinence in order to punish themselves for no reason (sounds obvious but some people do believe this). For some, it seems ridiculous to deprive the body of something it enjoys, like food or sex. So, why is fasting or celibacy important to a dedicated yogi? Only because of the self-discipline and transcendental vision they facilitate.

Before going any further into this, I’d like to make clear that I am not a strict yogi. I practise yoga as and when necessary because it has health benefits for the mind, body and soul. I lead a relativity ‘normal’ life, although try to practise moderation, balance and purity (selflessness) of mind.

However, I can see the power that abstinence can give IF it is practised with TRUE belief and choice. To leave all the hankerings of the flesh and go deep within one’s self, overpower the small mind which chases after temporary pleasures and give one’s self the space and time to be one with the greater mind. If this is something that can happen naturally in a person’s life, then surely it represents a level of contentment within that person.

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