Abstinence is abstaining or refraining especially from some indulgence. Abstinence is temperance. We speak of abstinence from meat, abstinence from whisky, abstinence from food or sexual indulgence.
Abstinence is continued temperance which gives longevity, good health, and keeps the body free from diseases.
Abstinence is a discipline which gives Vairagya or dispassion and helps the aspirant to march forward in the path of Yoga. Abstinence is the practice of Yama or self-restraint. lt is the ground-work of virtue.
Abstinence is the strongest fence against diseases.
Self-denial is giving up what one wishes. Abstinence may be refraining from what one does not desire. Fasting is abstinence from food for a limited time and generally for religious reasons.
Excerpts from “HOW TO CULTIVATE VIRTUES AND ERADICATE VICES” by Sri Swami Sivananda