(NaturalNews) Reserved for the elite priests and shamans of ancient sun worshiping civilizations, sungazing was considered a powerful tool for spiritual and physical transformation. Today, the practice has been revived and embraced once again - gaining popularity with those who seek heightened vibrancy and joyful states of being. Proponents also believe sungazing reduces hunger and helps to maintain a slim body.
How to feast on sunlight
The fundamental sungazing protocol is quite simple. During sunrise or sunset, stand barefoot on the earth and gaze at the sun for 10 seconds. Each day, look 10 seconds longer until you build up to 44 minutes - about 10 months' worth of daily practice. Remain relaxed and calm, do not squint or strain. Once you have reached the 44 minute mark, the program is complete, further sungazing isn't necessary - although many continue the practice throughout their lives.
Physical, mental and emotional merits
Scientific research supports the advantages of sungazing. According to Dr. Edward F. Group III of the Global Healing Center, a few perks of the practice include:
Enhanced production of melatonin and serotonin - Research has found when direct sunlight enters the eyes, it moves through the retinal hypothalamic tract and continues into the brain. The pineal gland is then stimulated to secrete both melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that regulate sleep/wake cycles and positive states of mind, respectively. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant which slows the ill effects of aging.
Increased pineal gland size - Bombarded by fluoride, toxins and electromagnetic pollution, the pineal gland shrinks and calcifies as we age - compromising melatonin and serotonin production. Sungazing has been shown to enlarge the gland. Brain scans of a long-term, 70-year-old practitioner revealed a pineal gland three times the size of an average man.
More energy - Sungazers report heightened vitality. Dr. Group believes this is due to the release of melatonin and serotonin.
Sungazing also curbs the appetite and aids in weight reduction. When we don't receive enough sunlight, vitamin D levels drop which leads to weight gain. Cravings for carbohydrates and sugar also increase due to low serotonin, triggering false hunger signals.
The benefits of the practice are substantial, but it isn't for everyone. As Dr. Group points out:
"Sungazing is an interesting practice that touches the spiritual and psychological realms, which are very personal things. Everyone is wired a little differently ... If you choose to partake, do your own research, be careful, be cautious, and document your experience."
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.