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Namaste Journal

Sun Wind Warms the Heart and Opens the Mind

This post is part of Sadhana, a 26-week exploration of each of the Namaste Yoga sequences. It’s never too late to join! All that is required is to try a new Namaste sequence each week – and don’t forget to post about your experiences to be entered in our monthly contests. Read all the Sadhana posts here or connect with others participating in Sadhana on our Facebook wall.

"Truth is not far away, it is ever present," ~ Dogen Zenji


The Sun-Wind sequence uses leg extensions and delightful chest lifts to generate heat in the body. This dynamic flow stirs you to express each pose with your whole heart and soul. When you do, you are rewarded with clarity of mind and a lighter heart, exactly the tools you need to act with honest effort and bring even more beauty and creativity into your day!

The Earth-Rain breath body link begins this practice. Kate encourages you to be fully aware of your belly tucking up into your spine on the exhale breath. It is interesting to note the contrast in this moment: as you are drawing oxygen down into your body, your arms are moving upwards through your center. As if somehow the capacity of the air you've taken in has caused your arms to be pushed upwards towards the sky. On the exhale breath, the arms open and descend back to center.

This mentality carries through the Extended Leg Balance. Inhale and imagine your arms and legs as the very rays of light that stream from the sun. Extend through every corner of your body: reaching outward with your arms and extended leg; pushing down through the grounding leg; lifting and reaching through the spine, the neck and the back of the head.

Forward Fold is the breeze that cools the sun's rays. Kate instructs you to "hinge from the hips" as you sink into this delicious and restorative posture. Make space in the body for your next inhale breath by walking the hands forward and pressing into Downward Facing Dog.

The breeze soon stirs you to alight gently upon the earth in Pigeon Pose. Feel the gentle stirring of the breeze as you deepen into the pose, and finally extend your arms up in its full expression. The lift in the chest feels radiant!

Just as the spring breeze would compel a pigeon to take wing, your next inhale breath calls you into One-Legged Down Dog. Inner radiance again shines through extended arms and legs! In many poses, the focus is on keeping the hips square. Kate brings the body in a new direction now by encouraging you to allow the hips to open. There is an incredible stretch along the arms and sides of the waist. You can get a very real sense of the width and strength of your shoulders in this pose.

Lower into Plank, then back to Down-Faced Dog. Back to a cooling, restorative moment, and a reminder to always balance the heat of inspired energy with moments of calm and clarity. Savasana serves to fertilize this grain of truth as Kate encourages you to bear witness to the feelings of effortless calm, weightlessness, an emptying of the mind and the burdens of the soul. With an open heart and clear mind, the truths of our lives are much easier to find.

Master Yunmen once said, "a coin lost in the river is found in the river," Kate emphasizes the point with this sequence. We have both sun and wind within us, and with that, the ability to make air move to clear mental clutter, and light to shine brightly and reveal personal truths.

"By giving and receiving equally, we balance the energy of the body and bring harmony to our lives," Kate says.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Heather Gregory is an avid Namaste yogini and has been practicing the sequences nearly every day for three years. We enlisted Heather to embark on Sadhana, our 26 -week journey, and blog about each sequence. You can contact her at

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