Today April 5th, 2016 I have successfully completed a 21 day meditation and liquids only diet called Nirahara Samyama.
It began on March 15th, exactly two days after I returned from my life changing trip to India. The program, Nirahara Samyama, was designed by Sri Paramahamsa “Swamiji” Nithyananda with the purpose to teach the participant that through proper training the body becomes capable of manufacturing food without dependence on external sources.
“Need for food, need for love, need for energy from outside of you are bondages. Need for food is the bondage with the physical world, need for love is the bondage to the emotional world, and need for energy from outside of you is the bondage that keeps you away from the spiritual world.”- Nithyananda.
How to do Nirahara Samyama:
If you are interested in doing Nirahara Samyama please visit this website at bfoodfree.org and sign up. The program is free and consists of 3 levels.
- Level 1 is 2 days liquids only, and one day eat normally.
- Level 2 is 7 days liquids only, and one day eat normally.
- Level 3 is 11 days liquids only. The total program duration is 21 days.
Steps and requisites of Nirahara Samyama.
- Register and begin exactly on the date and time specified by the program organizers. Once the program has begun, you will only consume liquids as specified in each level. No solid foods that require chewing.
- Take one teaspoon of Haritaki powder every night. Haritaki supports the body’s detoxification process. It increases energy, oxygen flow to your brain, and awareness.
- Do the Banyan Tree meditation daily. Sit comfortably. Breathe trough both nostrils, and mouth simultaneously. Hold for as long as possible. Visualize that you are the tree, and that you are receiving all energy from space. Breathe out from both nostrils. Repeat for a total of 21 minutes.
- Daily chant one mala of 108 beads OM HREEM NITHYANANDAYA NAMAHA. Watch this video for instruction and pronunciation.
- Watch satsang (discourse) at nithyanada.tv or on Swamiji’s YouTube channel.
- Be active. You will be tempted to believe that because you are not consuming solid foods your body does not have the capacity to exercise or do normal daily activities. This is absolutely not true. The first week of Samyama, I did my normal workout routine with light weights. By week two, I had a lot of energy and I upped the weight and intensity of my routine. I never experienced lethargy or weakness.
What I learned, and the results I obtained from the program.
Imagine how you your life can change if you become independent from addictions, lust, greed, jealousy, self-doubt, obesity, eating disorders, lack of energy, and all negative associations, and beliefs that have to do with food. Here are some examples of patterns I was struggling with and destroyed by doing the Samyama.
Alcohol indulgence and “Drunk” binging. Oh yes, Friday night. Partying like a rockstar, and eating like a pig. My drink of choice was Jack and Coke, chased by Cheetos, and a night cap of Taco Bell Seven Layer Burrito. No wonder I had a muffin top regardless of how hard I busted my butt working out 5-6 days a week!
Eating when I am nervous, bored, happy, sad, mad, depressed, or ecstatic. What an emotional mess. I was munching for the sake of chewing. Using food to fill not just the void in my stomach, but also the one in my soul.
Self hatred, self doubt, self denial. Since the age of 12 I was obsessed with diets, nutrition, exercise, my weight, my butt and my hips. Trying to “conquer” my appetite, my jean size, and my association with food was always a loosing battle. By doing Nirahara Samyama, I learned that we don’t conquer anything. Approaching a situation with the wrong attitude of “strong will” and “hard work” is the worst you way to go about it. Failing to lose weight, controlling my appetite, and overcoming cravings always led to self hatred, self doubt, and denial.
Eating because it is time. Or because I will get sick, and die if I don’t. We have been grossly misinformed by society, culture, our family, school, and medical “experts” that we need food three times a day every day to survive. The abuse and over consumption of food results in disease. Learning how to eat only when you are truly hungry will result in better health.
Overcoming these and other patterns in this 21 day span was an adventure. Fortunately, I had the love and support of my Sangha (spiritual family) and “Teamily” (friends and family) to keep me inspired and motivated. It was not always easy. There were days when I was moody and grouchy because I wanted solid food. Somedays, my stomach was puffy and bloated (I was detoxing, and my body was getting used to these changes). One weekend, I went to the movies, and sipped on juice my friends ate pizza and popcorn next to me. It took a lot of integrity to stay true to my commitment to completing the program. There were times when my mind freaked me out. I had stupid thoughts about getting sick,or loosing my strength. However, the sincere decision to do Nirahara Samyama with integrity and to the best of my ability overpowered and squashed all obstacles.
In the end, the results were awesome. Physically I lost 10 lbs. I had a lot of energy, gained muscle, and most importantly, I learned how to truly love and respect my body. I chanted and meditated almost everyday. My connection to my Guru and my friends who were also doing Nirahara became stronger. During meditation, I experienced Kundalini awakening, and had very strong visualizations. My healing abilities multiplied. My intuition sharpened, and so did my wits. Consuming Haritaki daily, and doing the Kriyas (breathing excercises) has helped me think more clearly. Also, I have been sober, and have not had any cravings for alcohol. I continue to visit bars, concert venues, attend parties, and social gatherings. I feel no pressure or desire to indulge in the lifestyle of drinking and late night eating.
Update: on April 22nd I had my yearly physical exam (which includes bloodwork) and also an allergy test. I was found to be low on Vitamin D. Was given a four week supplement and instructed to spend more time in sunshine 🙂
All of other areas I was fine, and I only have a slight allergy to peanuts and sesame seeds. My weight has been stable and I still enjoy soup.