Many readers will of course know that Surya Namaskara means Salute to the Sun – but did you know that Atapa Snana is the yogic phrase for the healing science of the suns rays?
There are numerous benefits of responsible sunbathing – for a start it increases our levels of vitamin D – essential for building healthy teeth and bones and great for supporting the immune system and even fighting cancer. Then of course there is the whole ‘feel good’ factor which shouldn’t be underestimated.
Before you get your deck chair out, it is important to understand that it’s recommended to build up your exposure to the sun slowly. The use of sun screen has it’s pros and cons – smothering yourself in chemicals has been found to have drawbacks and certainly, if the idea is to improve your levels of vitamin D, you do need to let some light in!
The benefits of sun light should be considered in conjunction with the negative effects on the skin – especially the delicate areas of skin like the face. There are lots of articles on the web for and against sunshine… I found this one particularly interesting…
As will all things – you have to have a balance. Around 25 minutes of sun light exposure is recommended per day, although this would be difficult to get with our miserable winters. You can supplement this with eating fatty fish to ensure that your levels of vitamin D are maintained throughout the year. There are suggestions in some health reports that keeping up your vitamin D can help fight off colds.