“The sun is new each day.” ~ Heraclitus

Sunrise is a magical time. Every morning as the sun sneaks above the horizon casting warm rays of golden light across the world, it marks the beginning of a new day. A day in which people will be born, die, laugh, fight and make love. A day full of possibility, potential and hope.

Each morning the miracle of life awakens again. This rebirth, this new ocean of possibility is there to be experienced by all. When the sun bathes us in its light we connect with the sheer wonder of the world being born anew and we know what it means to feel truly alive. As the sun rises, we awaken and come into harmony with the planet.

The Honorable Sun

Practices of worshiping the sun are a recurring theme throughout history. The light of the sun is the life force energy of all beings on our sublime planet. The power of the sun has created us, grown us and sustained us. It returns daily to nourish us and remind us of the divinity within all. This inner flame unites us, providing commonality and connection to all living beings. It is our shared divine nature. When we make the choice to wake up in body, mind and spirit to salute the sun, we honor our divine nature and the inner light we all possess. (More on connecting with the Divine in Sadhana Revisited.)

Sun Salutations

On the surface, Sun Salutations may appear to be merely a flowing sequence of asanas meant to warm up the body before yoga. However, they are a practice far deeper than an exercise routine. They are a devotional ritual intended to awaken us to the divine that is outside and inside ourselves. (Learn more in A Morning Routine for Conscious Living.)

On a physical level, when we practice Sun Salutations, we warm up the entire body. Through the dynamic sequence, every muscle has the chance to awaken and become energized. We focus on the vitality of the sun as we expand, stretch and strengthen our body. We humbly bow before the sun’s beauty and then we open ourselves up to be filled with its light. Sun Salutations build heat in our bodies. They ignite our inner fire and light us up with energy and vivacity. As a deeply enlivening practice, they prepare us perfectly for the new day ahead.

Benefits of Saluting the Sun

The union of physical movement with our awareness and breath as we salute the sun first thing in the morning, provides a perfect opportunity to come into alignment with ourselves and the planet. We find absolute synchronicity and harmony between our bodily rhythms with those of our mind and breath and the rotation of Earth. There is power in this.

Saluting the sun first thing in the morning gives us the chance to really awaken. We breathe ourselves into consciousness. With our entire being we salute the sun and all that it represents, in our world and in ourselves. When the time comes for the sun to set, we trust and hope that the miracle of it rising will begin anew tomorrow.

“No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn.” ~ Maya Angelou

Begin your day with beauty, spirit and light. Wake up and salute the sun. (Read on in Best Time of Day to Practice Yoga.)