Need an energetic boost? Try this short practice to channel some sun energy in these winter months!
Why We Need It
Most of us have heard of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, seasonal depression and mood variation which can be related to how much sunlight we receive. The easy solution for SAD, of course, is to get out in the sunlight, absorbing some vitamin D, increasing your serotonin (your happy hormone), and decreasing your melatonin (your sleepy hormone). But with short days and long hours at work, this is sometimes easier said than done. We CAN, however, take some control over our moods by mentally bringing sunshine into our bodies through meditation!
How To Do It
Find a comfortable position, either standing, seated, or lying down. One of the great things about this practice is that it can be done from any position!
1. When comfortable, begin by taking a few deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Then, allow the breath to fall in to a comfortable rhythm. If possible, focus on your inhales more than your exhales, finding a slightly longer inhale than exhale.
2. In your mind's eye, visualize the warm glowing sun above you. If you can't "see" the sun, simply feel the presence of the sun...know that the sun is there, extending its energy to you.
3. Feel this energy from the sun as warmth.
4. On a long inhale, allow your breath to guide your arms up toward the warmth, up toward the sun.
5. On an exhale, gather in this warmth and light and bring it down to the solar plexus (the belly), your body's power center. Hold your hands on your solar plexus, continuing to breathe, and feel the sun spreading its rays from the center of your being out to all parts of your body.
6. Inhale, arms reach up and gather. Exhale, bring that positive energy back to the body. Holding the hands on the body and breathing, feel the sun's warmth reaching out to every muscle, every cell, every fiber, every part of your body.
7. Continue for as long as you'd like, bringing your hands to the solar plexus each time or allowing your hands to land anywhere on the body that feels like it needs the sun's healing energy the most.
8. When finished, take a few rounds of quiet breathing in stillness, allowing the benefits of this practice to really be absorbed.
9. Open your eyes and smile about this newfound sunshine coursing through your being!