Have you heard of sun gazing? Is it something you have started to practise?
Here at TCBE, we always try to get outside to sun bathe under the midday sun, as often as we can, to soak up some of the sun's magical rays. We also try to make time for sun gazing, where we spend a few minutes taking in the first rays of sunshine after the sunrise, and those last rays of sunshine before the sunset.
Two different ways to soak in the wonderful benefits that our life-giving sun has to offer. However, while we're all familiar with sun bathing, sun gazing is something you might not know as much about. Interestingly, men and women have been practising it for millennia. Ready to find out more about this holistic practise? This week we are diving into the trending ritual of sun gazing.
WHAT IS SUN GAZING?
Sun Gazing is simply the practise of looking intentionally at the sun during the half hour after sunrise, or the last half hour prior to sunset. It allows sunlight to directly enter your eyes, and it is done during those hours when the strength of the rays are at their lowest, so you won’t damage your eyes. For thousands of years, ancient peoples like the Egyptians, Greeks and Native Americans, have used Sun Gazing as a way to nourish, heal and strengthen their bodies. Getting outside and barefoot in the early morning or late evening is the ideal way to connect with the sun, which is a source of immense energy, and to give thanks for all your blessings and appreciate the beauty and wonder of this world.
Sunlight is a nutrient and taking the time to get at a few minutes on your eyes within half an hour after sunrise, or within half an hour before sunset, (without sunglasses, sunscreen etc) is said to help:
- energise mind, body and spirit
- balance your hormones (including Vitamin D
- regulate your circadian rhythm
- stimulate and strengthen your pineal gland
- relieve stress and anxiety
- increase your energy
- reduced inflammation
- increased fertility
These are the common benefits that people who practise sun gazing report. Many also believe that it will improve your eyesight when done correctly, at appropriate times of the day.
At the very least, even if its benefits are controversial and debated, no one can deny that there is something beautifully meditative and grounding about watching the sun rise or set, so we think it’s a practise worth trying to see if it’s something that benefits you.
HOW TO GET STARTED
We recommend checking out the work of sun gazer and researcher Hira Ratan Manek online, and to:
- Sun Gaze at the proper time – we like just around the hour after sunrise and before sunset, when UV rays are at their lowest.
- Go barefoot on earth, grass or stone, outside, to get the full grounding benefits while looking at the sun. No need for sunglasses. If you have a nice private garden there’s no need for clothes either!
- Start off slow. For the first time just look for up to 10 seconds. Build on this by adding 10 seconds to your time each time. You can build up to 10-15 minutes of Sun Gazing at these key times.
- Listen to your body and use common sense. If you feel you need to blink, look away etc then do that. The point is not to strain yourself but to be comfortable and build up slowly. Change your focus to a little off the sun, if needed. Let your eyes adjust. You can sun gaze through cloud too, if this helps you to get started.
- Use this time to meditate, clear your mind and visualise the sun’s rays nourishing and healing you. Breath deeply. Feel gratitude. Allow yourself to relax and be nourished.
- It should go without saying, that you shouldn’t look at the sun during the day when it is high in the sky and at it’s brightest, as this could damage your eyes. We only sun gaze ourselves during ‘safe’ hours, just right after sun rise and right before sun set (within 30 minutes of either).
If you want to know more about this ancient and revered practise we recommend looking into the detailed research compiled by Hira Ratan Manek to learn more about the potential benefits, and how to integrate a safe sun gazing practise into your daily wellbeing rituals.