Ayurveda — the ancient Indian science of life — recognizes the power and potential of simple morning observances, like this sun practice, to quiet stress and anxiety and improve your overall health.
Ayurveda reveres the sun as the ultimate bestower of amazing health. The sun is, literally, the source of all life. We are solar-powered creatures, and living in harmony with nature’s rhythms, as dictated by the course and direction of the sun, empowers us to live the healthiest and happiest lives possible. Anchoring my mind in the sun has meant, first and foremost, greeting the sun upon rising to offer my prayers, gratitude, and desire to embrace my innermost nature, which is as strong and powerful as the sun in the sky.
We can learn a great deal from the sun. The sun is completely independent: it shines whether or not it receives recognition or approval for doing so, simply because the nature of the sun is to shine. Like the sun, we are the source of our own light. A big source of mental stress arises from our expectations and desires not being fulfilled by others in our lives, whether our parents, siblings, friends, teachers, lovers, children, or coworkers. If we let go of these desires, we can fill ourselves up with love from the inside and actually become love itself. The Vedic spiritual tradition teaches that we are filled with abundant, universal love and light at the truest, deepest essence of our own being. Being love is about acknowledging our fullness, and acting from a space where we feel full, rather than empty or lacking.
A beautiful universal Vedic sun practice called Arghyam consists of respectfully offering water to the sun from a copper vessel. To do it, go outside on a balcony or in a garden. Pour the water around yourself in a clockwise circle, look at the sun, and touch your heart with your hands. In doing so, you affirm the inherent power and freedom of your own being.