I started fasting in Navratri only 2 years ago and continued keeping it for both the seasons. I was more interested in the scientific aspect of fasting, i.e. during the period of season change human body is more prone to external infections than rest of the year. Also praying to “shakti”, the power or energy which is source of all the actions and is best represented by solar influences is not only part of Hinduism but every religion believes in it. So this exercise of fasting, for me, is to maintain both physical and mental balance during climate change.
The rules of Navratri clearly say that, we should not consume meat, alcohol, grains and regular salt. I always take enough calories which can keep me going all day, so I don’t feel any difference from other days. There come few moments of weaknesses when I can feel that my stomach is empty and I can’t have anything to eat (because I don’t have access to kitchenL) and when I want to eat something “chatpata” and again I can’t have it(because I am not allowed to L) . Most difficult of all is 8th day when it seems impossible to go on anymore and that too in a place where everyone else can eat pizza and chili potato. The people around you also affect a lot about how you feel in these days. It’s a lot easier to keep fast when I am at home.
In a nutshell, 9 days of navratri are more about self control. The human body is detoxified due to this practice. In the end when it is over I can feel significant changes, I feel good because it becomes easier to avoid unhealthy meals. Basically this exercise is effective in long term.