What Is Sun Gazing? Health Benefits and Risks (2022)

The sun is one of the major resources responsible for life on Earth. Cultures around the planet have honored and worshiped the sun for its life-giving properties.

Most of us do not hold the sun with the same reverence and gratitude that earlier cultures did. They were more dependent on and involved in their immediate environment, and therefore more connected to nature’s elements and cycles than we are today.

Still, there are some who acknowledge and appreciate the sun for its gift of sustaining life, and who seek out ways to regain a deeper connection to nature like our ancestors did. One method that people practice to connect with the power of the sun is the practice of sun gazing.

What Is Sun Gazing?

What Is Sun Gazing? Health Benefits and Risks (1)

Sun gazing is a meditative practice that involves gazing at the sun. When sun gazing, one looks directly at the sun, most commonly during the first few minutes of sunrise or the final moments of sunset. According to those that practice this, it is said to fill them with the healing solar energy of the sun, which may offer many benefits from greater energy levels to enhanced psychic abilities.

Though there are many claims by proponents of sun gazing, there is not much research on sun gazing and its benefits and safety to back up these claims. Still, those that practice it often report that it increases their levels of energy, lowers the amount of stress they experience in their daily lives, and provides them with grounding and uplifting feelings.

Despite these claims, there are important precautions to keep in mind for anyone that is considering the practice of sun gazingthe most important of course is not to stare at the sun when it is fully risen, or to stare too long, especially if you feel any sensations of strain or pain.

Practicing Sun Gazing

The practice of sun gazing involves looking at the sun for several minutes when it’s rays are at their weakest—namely during sunrise and sunset. Participants claim that sun gazing connects us with the ancient spiritual power of the sun, and helps to charge us up with this solar energy. People that practice sun gazing often report feeling energized with an increased sense of wellness, inner peace and relaxation.

Regardless of the many health claims, one observation that is commonly reported by sun gazing practitioners is simply having a deeper respect and appreciation for this incredible massive star and the heat and light that it provides us with.

How to Practice

When starting a practice of sun gazing, it is important to start slowly. Make sure to stop immediately if your eyes begin to feel uncomfortable or strained in any way.

It is recommended to find an outdoor space to sun gaze that allows you to see the sunset or sunrise. When practicing, make sure not to wear anything that covers your eyes, including glasses or contacts. It is also encouraged to practice while barefoot on natural earth if possible.

The idea is to have no barrier between you and the sun's energy, so make sure you are outside and looking directly at the sun, not filtered through a window or screen.

It is also recommended to find a location that is natural, private and as secluded as possible. You want to be in a peaceful and receptive state while sun gazing, and ideally you want this to be a very enjoyable experience. Your environment can make a big difference in your experience, so being somewhere undisturbed outside in nature is great. Your backyard or deck, a local park, or a nature hike are great options for locations.

Sun Gazing Steps:

  • Once you’ve found your location, stand and look directly at the sun with your eyes open.
  • It may help to begin with only a few seconds of staring to get used to it, then to look away and stare again for a bit longer each time.
  • You can also look at the area surrounding the sun if it is uncomfortable to look directly at it.It is okay to squint too if you need.
  • Be mindful of your breath and release any muscular tension in your body. Allow yourself to be relaxed and open so that your mind and body are receptive to the sun's energy.
  • If you are sun gazing at sunset, the sun disappearing behind the horizon will naturally mark the end of your meditation. If you are sun gazing at sunrise, end your meditation when it feels natural or after a few minutes of staring.
  • End the practice with some deep breaths, some gentle stretches, or a nice quiet meditation.

It is recommended to start slow. Begin with observing the sun for only a minute or two at a time (or even less), and work your way up from there. It becomes easier to observe for longer the more you practice. Build up to the length that best suits you, and be sure to stop whenever your eyes feel strained.

Safety Considerations

Its important to know that most traditional healthcare professionals and ophthalmologists (eye doctors) don’t recommend sun gazing, and there is a lack of research regarding the safety of sun gazing. If you do choose to try it, it’s important that you do so safely and pace yourself, while also remembering to always stop if your eyes feel strained.

Most sun gazing practitioners agree that sunrise and sunset, when UV rays are at their lowest, are the best times to practice sun gazing.

Benefits of Sun Gazing

People that practice sun gazing believe that it can help you connect with a higher power, recharge and increase your energy, improve your mood, and attract positive energy into your life. It can be a peaceful and meaningful experience to intentionally connect with the sun as a source of life energy.

Some believe that sun gazing can activate the pituitary gland, a part of the endocrine system linked to the secretion of hormones. However, there is not enough scientific research to support this.

While the benefits of sun gazing are almost all personal reports from practitioners, there are many scientifically proven benefits of sun exposure.

Benefits of Sun Exposure

Many studies have observed the way that sunlight impacts our health. Aside from providing the body with essential vitamin D, regular sunlight exposure can regulate our hormones and circadian rhythm, as well as combat tiredness and fatigue and improve sleep quality. It may also improve certain skin conditions and support mental health.


The sun operates in a natural cycle, rising and setting every day. This natural cycle plays a major role in our body’s own natural rhythm, known as our circadian rhythm. Connecting with the cycle of the sun can also help to regulate our body’s own natural cycle.

In the center of our brain we have an important gland called the pineal gland. The main function of the pineal gland is to receive information about the state of the light-dark cycle from the environment and to then convey this information to the endocrine system.

When our eyes receive light from the sun in the morning, our pineal gland informs our adrenal glands to produce small amounts of adrenaline, the precursor to cortisol, to help us wake up and feel energized. At night, as the natural light begins to dim, the pineal gland produces and secretes the hormone melatonin, making us feel tired and preparing us for sleep.

When we are in touch with this cycle by exposing ourselves to natural light, as opposed to being shielded from natural light and exposed to only artificial lighting, it helps to regulate our circadian rhythm. This, in turn, offers many other benefits to the body, such as keeping our metabolism functioning properly.

Summary

The sun is one of the major resources responsible for life on Earth. Cultures around the planet have honored and worshiped the sun for its life-giving properties.

The practice of sun gazing involves looking at the sun for several minutes when it’s rays are at their weakest—namely during sunrise and sunset. Participants claim that sun gazing connects us with the ancient spiritual power of the sun, and helps to charge us up with this solar energy. People that practice sun gazing often report feeling energized with an increased sense of wellness, inner peace and relaxation.


Despite these claims, there’s isn’t much scientific research that supports sun gazing and most health professionals and ophthalmologists do not recommend it. There are also important precautions to keep in mind for anyone that is considering the practice of sun gazing.

If you are interested in starting a sun gazing practice, make sure you start slow and stop if you feel any discomfort. Follow the tips in this article and use the information here to develop a practice that is most suitable for you.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK550972/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24491882/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284776/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20875835/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12480364/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6830553/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010440X21000109

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