About a month before I left to come to India, I went to my doctor’s office for a basic check up to make sure all the wheels in my body were turning right. I didn’t want to have any surprise mishaps when I got here, knowing I was going to be here for 3 months, and I wanted to make sure I was in tip top shape.
One week after my check up, I got a phone call saying I was Vitamin D deficient, nothing too major, but definitely something I need to boost in my body. The first thing my parents jumped to was, you don’t drink enough milk, so of course you’re going to be low in Vitamin D levels. This is true, I don’t drink a lot of milk. Maybe one glass a day, and here in India, I don’t drink it at all. I don’t like the taste of it. I’m also at a point in my life, where I am really questioning the true benefits of milk, and really how natural it is for us to be consuming milk (we’re the only species consuming milk of another species after infancy). There are definite benefits of milk. This, I am not arguing with. But, these benefits can definitely be found in other sources such as plants and vegetables. Okay, my last thing about milk and then I’m moving on to the point of this post, I have a huge thing about what dairy farms are feeding cows which is then going into our own bodies. I mean, cows are supposed to be fed grass and walk around in fresh air, not be cooped up in some barn thing and fed processed, fortified, extra-hormone-added crap. All that in turn, we are feeding our body. If you’re gonna drink milk, drink organic. I have found no final conclusion on the milk issue, and if I ever do, I’ll let y’all know.
Okay, so back to my point. Is milk the only way for us to receive Vitamin D? And the answer is false. There is one source of Vitamin D that is free for us to use, and is one of the best sources-The Sun. Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you may think. And, we all know the reasons: kids choose video games over playing outside, we’ve become so engrossed in our work that we neglect our own physical health, and we become so tired by the end of the day or week, that we sleep in late. When was the last time you took a walk outside during a sunrise or sunset?
The sun drives our planet. It is the ultimate source of energy for all beings on Earth. And, best of all, it’s free for us to use! We don’t have to pay 5 something dollars for just one gallon of it! The benefits of the sun are tremendous! But, then why do we stay cooped up in our house all day long?
A practice I’m trying to develop as a habit here in India to bring back with to the states, is Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation. It is said that if you are able to only practice 2 things for your wellness, Pranayama and Surya Namaskar are both beneficial enough to keep your body, mind, and spirit healthy. And I don’t doubt it at all. Surya Namaskar is seriously an all body work out. After just one or two rounds on your first few days, you will wake up sore the next. It is no understatement when I say you are literally harnessing the energy of the Sun, and bringing it into your body. After a few rounds, you will be energized and ready to take on the day.
The Sun, so powerful, that we literally don’t know how life can go on without it. We have a relationship with the Sun (read my post about it here), but we’ve forgotten that relationship. It’s time we rekindle it, and really reap the benefits.
In the Geeta, God himself states: “Yadadityagatam tejo jagadbhasayate’khilam | Yaccandramasi yaccagnau tattejo viddhi mamakam ||” This translates to “The light in the sun, that illumnines the entire solar world, and that which shines in the moon and that too which shines in the fire, know that light to be Mine.”
We have the ability to take in light straight from the Supreme himself. Let’s start taking in that light, and empowering ourselves to truly be healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Here are some great articles on the benefits of the Sun and Surya Namaskar:
Also, if you’re wanting to learn Surya Namaskar, check out your local yoga studio, college rec center for courses, ask a friend, or check out YouTube. The options are limitless. Don’t let excuses get in the way of a healthy life.