It has been said that watching the sunrise gives you a better sense of gratitude for the earth, and let’s face it, if you can get up early enough to see it, it’s a beautiful experience, but it can have genuine health benefits too!
Posie Staveley, friend of Wild Beauty and Pilates teacher says of her love for the practice:
“The joy of seeing the sunrise really is very hard to beat. For me it really is nature at its absolute finest – that moment in time, that magic hour of the day with no humans around just watching nature ‘do its thing’. Watching the sunrise particularly in the summer allows me to start the day with a real sense of peace, happiness and gratitude with very few distractions. I am lucky enough to be able to do this on a regular basis from the beautiful spot where I live in the Yorkshire Dales, and I can therefore absolutely persuade anyone to do so, even if it does mean a few less hours of sleep! By watching this beautiful spectacle, we are allowing ourselves the opportunity to create a relaxed state of mind which means we are inevitably better equipped to tackle the day with a sense of positivity that can sometimes be hard to find amongst the busy-ness of our everyday lives”.
Health benefits from the morning sun
The sun is a natural source of Vitamin D, which is very important for our emotional and physical well-being and waking at sunrise helps keep the circadian rhythm or your internal body clock, healthy. The morning light is saturated in infrared light, which stimulates collagen and promotes healing, and natural blue light, which wakes us up by raising our cortisol levels, not to be confused with the very different digital blue light that is emitted from our digital devices.
There is increasing research that points to the fact that this early morning blue light may slow down the onset of depression, insomnia and cognitive slowdown associated with old age. When the eyes take in this blue-spectrum light found in the early morning, nerve cells in the retina send messages to our internal clock which sets up the body’s circadian rhythm. This then releases cortisol and other hormones that keep you alert and send you to sleep at night. But as you age, the pupils in the eyes narrow, meaning that less light is taken in, and this can throw off your natural circadian rhythm – which affects our sleep patterns, mood and alertness, thus increasing our risk of heart disease, cancer and other hormonal processes in the body.
Jo Fellows, yoga instructor and friend of the brand says: “I just love rising early and enjoying a sunrise on a clear-sky day. It’s a part of the day that feels filled with Prana (energy), and to me feels like a ‘freedom’ before the busy-ness of the day begins. That lovely sense of potential, possibility, peace, and the feeling that all will be well. It helps me to feel mindfully grateful for everything, more centred, and eager to take on the day. It’s a wonderful opportunity to start again, a fresh start to life each time the sun rises. It’s also a lovely opportunity to practice a yoga sun salute and feel at one with nature!”
Many doctors (such as Dr Chatterjee for example) and other practitioners are now suggesting that when we wake up, we go and sit outside for 20 mins to get that special morning light into our eyes.
So before the summer is over, set your alarm, grab a blanket and enjoy that sunrise!