Sungazing: What is it? And is it Safe?
If you have read our blog post on grounding you know how beneficial it can be to put our bare feet or skin on the earth. But, what about sungazing? Is it safe? In this article, we will look at the benefits and any potential risks explaining when and how to introduce yourself to sungazing and the positive energy from the sun.
Sungazing is exactly what the word describes. Gazing at the sun. That big beautiful part of our lives that gives life to so much, nourishes the earth, keeps us warm and blesses us with Vitamin D. Whether it’s a clear day or not the sun is always there behind the clouds.
The ancient practice of staring at the sun is believed to overall improve mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Having this intention and practice of connecting and feeling and absorbing nourishment from the sun is said to enhance this practice.
Some believe that it also increases the size of the pineal gland as shown by a man named Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) who, in a study, showed scientific evidence of his pineal gland nearly 3x the average man.
In combination with grounding, this is also said to help as the reflex for the pineal gland is in the big toe and the other toes represent the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, thalamus and amygdala which are all vital for our overall functions as humans.
The pineal gland is our connection to our third eye. Our intuition. The pineal gland is a master gland and also controls the sleep and waking cycles of our bodies, perhaps this practice is something that is calling you!
How to Properly Achieve a Healthy Sun Exposure According to HRM?
HRM recommends during safe hours, start for 10 seconds, then increase by 10 seconds each day. At the end of the 3 months, you will have built up to around 15 minutes. HRM puts significant importance on a diet rich in all colours and is highly recommended especially during ongoing Sun Gazing.
How to Achieve Optimal Results?
Staring at the sun needs to be done slowly and safely. The best time to begin is within the first hour of daylight in the morning and the last hour of daylight. The reason for this is because the UV index is low and the rays are not as powerful allowing our eyes to absorb light from the sun. Damage to the retina can occur if staring directly at the sun.
The optic nerve that connects our eyes to our brain is said to be nourished by sungazing. The sun has photons and light that our brains can absorb and stimulate something called biophotons. Studies have shown this to be beneficial to the health and well-being of humans.
Sungazing can have a rich impact on humans and listed below are some of the many benefits of sungazing. When we take the time to sun gaze with intention it can put us in a meditative state. During this exposure, we as humans are connecting with the natural life force of the sun that we have access to – free of charge! When we allow ourselves this exposure to the energy from the sun we can capture it within us and then take that energy and utilise it throughout our day. The ultraviolet light floods the retina in our eyes, literally burning the exposed tissue so this powerful exposure needs to be done carefully and correctly to ensure no damage is done.
Increase Melatonin and Serotonin Levels
Both melatonin and serotonin are important naturally occurring hormones in our bodies. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter meaning it sends messages between different nerve cells in the body allowing for the regulation of sleep, appetite as well as overall mood. Whereas melatonin is a neurotransmitter-like substance secreted by the pineal gland in the brain and often referred to as the sleep hormone. The varying levels of melatonin throughout the day help to regulate our biological rhythms and our sleep and wake cycles. Allowing yourself to enjoy sun basking at the appropriate times of the day ensures these levels are optimal allowing you to feel awake in the morning and then produce adequate melatonin at night so you can sleep easier. Thus benefits of sun exposure allow these hormone levels to be produced naturally in the body.
As mentioned previously the appropriate production of the hormones melatonin and serotonin in the body are enhanced by the power of the sun which allows us to have overall better sleep. Adequate sleep allows for our natural circadian rhythm to flow and the qi, our life force energy, can flow in balance through its daily cycle. When we are in tune with this natural rhythm we can live life optimally and allow us to live according to our true nature and minimise stress in our lives. Making sun gazing a regular part of your day and waking well rested will allow you to reach our true potential.
If we are staring at the sun appropriately it is a way of sun eating. Getting nourishment from the sun enhances blood flow. When we have Vitamin D in our bodies it allows the arteries as well as the blood vessels to be loose and relaxed allowing for proper blood flow. Vitamin D levels can be stored up over time but if we have low levels of Vitamin D our veins cannot function properly and issues can arise.
Reduce Stress and Increase Inner Strength
Looking at the sun does show in so many ways that it reduces our stress. Allowing us to connect with nature and spend time in the sun as humans are intended to can enhance our overall well-being. In much of our modern lives, it becomes very common that we are spending a large portion of our lives indoors when compared to our ancestors. If we allow more time for exposing ourselves to the sun it truly can bring us back to our centre. Setting an intention for this time to decrease stress and allow our inner strength to come through.
Improvement in eyesight has also been reported as well as an increase in energy, emotional well-being. Studies have shown health improvements especially more reported in women. Bliss, joy, peace and calm have also been reported provided by the power of the sun. No adverse effects on personal health have been noted in studies, so either stayed the same or improved.
Directly Combats Depression
Included in the benefits of sun exposure is that there are many claims that it does combat depression. The energy from the sun gets the flow of qi in our bodies moving. If there is any qi that is stuck this flow prevents the stagnation of qi in the body. Depression involves stagnation in the body of qi. This blockage in the flow and movement of qi is often a cause of depression. If we have regular contact with the sun and the qi can flow harmoniously it will allow us to be in tune with our natural rhythm. Thus showing the great benefits of sun exposure.
Improve Your Bone’s Health
Because sun eating allows for Vitamin D to be absorbed from the sun in the body, this Vitamin D can be utilised for many functions such as absorbing calcium for our intestines to allow for strong healthy bones. As well as the calcium levels in the blood are regulated supporting our skeletons.The sungazing gives our bodies a natural source of Vitamin D compared to tablet form. Our bodies can build up a store of Vitamin D, unlike some other vitamins that our body cannot hold on to for long. Thus showing how sungazing at the appropriate hours can also have an impact on our bones.
It’s very important when you are sun basking to do so safely to ensure there are no damages from exposure to the sun. If sungazing is not done correctly there can be many damages related to the sun. Because our eyes are such a vital part of our lives we must be extremely careful. This article shows that a gradual approach is recommended and begins with 10 seconds a day as described in detail in this article.
Remember if it Hurts…STOP!!!
It is also important to note that this should be done without sunglasses, contact lenses, telescope, camera, magnifying glass or anything else when it comes to staring at the sun.
However, if you are feeling unsure you can start by closing your eyes while looking at the sun. If I haven’t mentioned enough this needs to be done, slowly, carefully and gently to begin with.
Try to Relax Your Face and be Sure to Blink as Needed.
*By relaxing your face muscles, you’ll be able to better experience the spiritual benefits of sungazing
*Make sure to blink constantly to lubrify your retinas and avoid damaging your eyes due to constant sun exposure
To ensure the sungazing has the maximum effect it is to be very intentional about the process. When we do things with intention it allows the process to have even more meaning. Like when you work certain muscle groups focusing on the muscle enhances the effect. It is the same with sungazing. It is also recommended to smile, take deep breaths and set your intention and visualise being empowered by the sun. Take in what this feels like. Harnessing this natural energy while being mindful of eye damage from the sun can be so beneficial to us as humans.
Keep Track of the Sun’s Direction
Don’t fret, sungazing can still be done when there is overcast. The clouds do provide some protection for sun damage to the eyeball, however please still be mindful during sungazing. When cloudy: gaze in the direction where the sun is beyond the clouds and feel that inner vision and your desires in life. Perhaps even imagining the warmth of the sun if you cannot feel it can make this stronger. The sun is always there behind the clouds, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Keep it an Organic Activity
For this to become a sustainable activity that you continue to take part in. It would be great to not ensure you don’t feel this as a strict daily practice, just make sure you don’t look at the sun too long without building up gradually over time. For example, women in Hong Kong heard from reports in Oriental Daily that “sun eating” could allow them to both lose weight and boost their health by staring directly at the sun for a prolonged period of time. The advocates for this believe that these benefits of sungazing would replace the desire for food as well as allow for a better quality of sleep and improved vision
Be on the lookout for sunburn and damage to eyesight. It is vital to ensure that you are not exposing yourself to too much sun too fast. We each have different tolerance levels of our skin and eyes and this variation among each person reinforces how important it is to be mindful of your exposure. Having too long of exposure time, especially when you are starting out can be harfum so it is critical to be mindful during sun basking.