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May 15, 2018

Nourish your Body and Mind with Healing Sunlight

Sun Gazing
Sun Gazing
In ancient times sunbathing and sun gazing practices were common among many religions and cultures. Ancient people knew how to use the power of the sun to heal the illnesses and bring about radiant health.

Today, the sun has gotten a bad rap; granted, too much of it can cause sunburn and trigger those early signs of aging (wrinkles, sunspots, and sagging of the skin), but in its essence, the sun and the light (and heat) that it gives off are central to our existence—and to our health. Moderate exposure to sunlight is very important for us and it has many relatively unknown and surprising health benefits.

A moderate exposure to sunlight reduces your risk of stroke, autoimmune diseases and at the same time boosts the vit. D intake which is essential for optimal bone health. It also triggers the release of hormones in your brain. The serotonin hormone helps uplift your mood and prevent seasonal affective disorder, while melatonin regulates the body's sleep-wake cycle.




Healing Sunlight

Ayurveda endorses the therapeutic power of sunlight and its ability to improve circulation and cleanse the body by inducing sweating. However, moderation is the key as overexposure can damage the skin. Half an hour of full exposure before noon is recommended. If your kapha is high, you can even consider one hour of sunbathing.

Your exposure to morning sunlight may slow the onset of common aging-related illnesses such as insomnia, cognitive slowdown, and depression. When your eyes take in bright light, especially the blue-spectrum light found in sunlight, nerve cells in the retina send messages to the brain's internal clock. This helps set your body's circadian rhythm, the syncing of physiological processes with the 24-hour solar cycle. Among other things, the circadian rhythm governs the timing of the brain's release of cortisol and other hormones that keep you alert during the day, as well as melatonin, which puts you to sleep at night.

At least 20 minutes in the sun early in the day: "Daylight is bluest in the morning, so it's the optimal time to set your body's clock."

Generally, the time between 7 am to 9 am is considered to be good for our health. The level of UV rays is lowest at this time. This time may vary region to region. Mostly it’s the one or two-hour window after sunrise and before sunset.

Following Are The Benefits You Get From Moderate Sun Exposure:

  1. Sunlight boosts levels of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a body’s natural happy hormone. 
  2. The major source of vitamin D for children and adults is the exposure to natural sunlight. Vitamin D is also known as Sunshine Vitamin. Sunlight stimulates the body to produce vitamin D which gives strength to bones by increasing absorption of calcium in the intestine. Vitamin D also lowers the cholesterol in the blood and helps in heart problems.
  3. Staying in sunshine enhances the generation of T-cells. T-cells are the type of white blood cells (WBCs) which kill bacteria and viruses inside our body. The Sunlight also increases oxygen-carrying capacity of Red Blood Cells.
  4. Exposure to sunlight and adequate amount of vitamin D plays a vital role in the prevention of diabetes in people. Sunlight also controls blood sugar level.
  5. Helps To Prevent Multiple Sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system, leading to tremors and even paralysis.
  6. Exposure to the sun can help to heal skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections. Regular controlled sun exposure is often prescribed for sufferers. In Ayurvedic Sunbath, the diseased parts of the body are exposed to the sun’s rays for 10 to 15 minutes. When the affected area becomes hot after leaving it in the sun, it’s brought into the shade and massaged with cooling oil like coconut for 15 to 20 minutes. This routine is generally done under the early morning sunlight.
  7. According to a research vitamin D provided by sunlight can actually help to significantly reduce your risk of cancer. A study carried out by the US National Cancer Institute found that people exposed to high levels of sunlight were significantly less likely to die from breast and colon cancer. A similar effect was seen in ovarian, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and other cancers.
  8. Not many people are aware of it but the lack of sunlight exposure also causes depression. Increased exposure to natural sunlight is beneficial to treat depression. Get out for a walk in the morning and sit outside under sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes. This will boost your mood.
  9. Controlled sun exposure also lowers blood pressure level. It’s very important to get the regular sunlight exposure to maintain heart health.
Sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D. When you get your vitamin ‘D’ from the sunlight, your body takes what it needs and removes any extra amounts.
So rather than being a generation deficient in Vitamin D due to fear of Sun, it is time to moderately expose the body to the powerful and healing Sun.


You may be interested to read: 

  1. Sunshine and Vitamin D: A Comprehensive Guide to the Benefits of the "Sunshine Vitamin"
  2. Sun, Moon and Earth: The Sacred Relationship of Yoga and Ayurveda


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