I am one of those lucky morning people that opens their eyes at the first hint of daylight and happily springs out of bed, bright-eyed, happy and ready to seize the day. Thankfully, this gives me the opportunity to experience one of the most amazing and breathtaking moments of every day… sunrise! (Which is only ever topped by the most spectacular part of any day: sunset.)
I take such great delight in being able to experience them both, most days of the week. Not only are these the most beautiful and inspiring times of the day, they are also actually magical and life-improving moments in time for our hardworking little bodies. The Sun stimulates our bodies to change like a little sprinkle of fairy dust.
Did you know that the world’s ancestors recognised that the relationship between the Sun and health was important? Some say sungazing originated in India more than 2,000 years ago with the teaching of Lord Mahavir of Jain, also known as Mahavira or Vardhamana. However, many civilizations, from the Aztecs to the ancient Egyptians, practised sungazing. Many past civilizations revered sungazing as an esoteric practice for high-ranking priests and shamans.
The theory is that the Sun is the force of all life, and staring at it can infuse the body with large amounts of energy.
So what is sungazing exactly and how do you do it? It is quite simply the practice of gazing at the Sun during the safe hours, i.e. within the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset when the Sun’s rays are most gentle and UV is zero or very low, thereby not damaging the eyes. It is done barefoot in order to take in the Earth’s energy as well.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of sungazing:
• stimulates the pineal gland as the Sun’s energy moves through the eyes and charges the hypothalamus tract, which is the pathway to the rear of the retina leading to the brain;
• increases the size of the pineal gland. (Normally, as we age, the pineal gland shrinks. However, brain scans of a long-term practitioner of sungazing showed a pineal gland three times as big as normal.);
• boosts hormone levels;
• powers the brain and boosts production of serotonin and melatonin (the feel-good hormones);
• relieves stress and tension;
• activates the third eye and perception of higher dimensions;
• increases energy levels;
• boosts vitality;
• reduces hunger pangs since the body is nourished by the Sun;
• promotes weight loss. (Historical theories about sungazing state that the body and mind could be nourished by the Sun, reducing the need for food.);
• improves eyesight;
• opens the energy channels of Ida and Pingala in your body; and
• provides vitamin D for free, an important nutrient that has powerful effects throughout the body. (Vitamin D allows a more effective use of calcium, improves the immune system, helps prevent cancer and is important for brain function.)
My suggestion is to place a reminder on your phone for gazing at sunset first, as this is more achievable for most people to experience. At sunrise and/or sunset, when the Sun is closest to the Earth, stand barefoot on the earth and look directly at the Sun for 10 seconds. Start with 10 seconds and gradually work up to a longer period if you are comfortable. As my body benefits from the energy of the Sun, I am also building a feeling of gratitude and happiness within my heart and mind for being able to experience such a magical moment in time.
I will leave you with these words from singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd: “Follow, follow the Sun, and which way the wind blows, when this day is done. Breathe, breathe in the air. Set your intentions. Dream with care.”
Metta, Kim oxo
Kim White Yoga
One of the main motivations that drives Kim to teach Yoga is her desire to keep true, real Yoga alive; the propagation of Yoga for Yoga. She strives to achieve this through teaching and helping people fall in love with Yoga everyday. She gives you her yoga mind and yoga heart to guide anyone wishing to traverse the beautiful journey that is Yoga. Teaching group classes, private classes, yoga intensives & retreats across the Island.
Call +66 862 769 174