Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vitalist Pracitces:Sun Bathing

No, I don't mean sunbathing by laying on the beach for hours at time slathered in baby oil and frying to a crisp.

But some amount of sun is a neccesary and healthy thing for our bodies. Back in the days before brick and mortar homes, layers of clothing, and 9-5 work days at an indoor job, appeneded on either end by a commute in a car, we spent a lot of time outside, in the sun. When we did so our bodies developed the ability to product Vitamin D from the sunlight on our skin. Vitamin D, long touted as moderately toxic, is a very important vitamin to our physiology, acting more like a hormone and beneficial in maintaining bone health, immune function, moderating inflammation, improving mood among many other things. Recent research is coming out of the woodwork indicating the very vital importance of vit D on our health, and the safety of supplementing with up to 10,000 i.u. per day.
Not ironically, 10,000 i.u. is about what your body would make naturally if exposed to sunlight. It takes about 20 minutes of full body sun exposure in a caucasian to produce 10,000 i u. of vitamin D naturally.

Obviously, we don't spend a lot of time naked outside, especially in the cold winter months. But we can spend some time outside in this simple vitalist practice that is sure to improve your mood, decrease your stress, and improve your health.

We've had some warm days interspersed with cold, wintery ones. On those warm days I've been taking the oppurtunity to get a little sun. You can do the same. Get as unclothed as you feel comfortable getting. Naked would be ideal, but not always possible. I sit out in a tank top and a sarong that I can hike up to my thighs. Make yourself a cup of tea, and step outside and make yourself comfortable. Sit in a chair, in the grass, or just on your porch. Sit for 15 min and enjoy your tea.
Take in the sunshine. breathe deeply of the fresh air. listen to the birds, or the squirrels chattering.
Make some vitamin D.
DO this several times a week, weather permitting. Every day if it is warm enough.

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~