The sun salutation—a yogic series of backbends and prostrations traditionally performed under the rising sun—raises energy levels and boosts moods. But, scientifically speaking, anything
you do in the morning light—as long as your eyeballs are exposed—may be beneficial. Many researchers have found that the morning light (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) is significantly more effective in curing winter depression than the late afternoon or evening light
. Why would dawn trump dusk? We’re still in the dark; researchers speculate that waking up early may therapeutically alter the onset of melatonin secretion and correct body rhythms that, due to a later sunrise, drift in the winter. The bottom line: Immediately after waking up, bask in 30 to 45 minutes of morning sunlight. It’s stronger than it looks.