How to Do Gate Pose (Parighasana) and What are Its Benefits
Gate pose or Parighasana is a side bend that completely stretches the side body. The Sanskrit name Parighasana comes from the word parigha which means a bean that is used to lock a gate. When done, the pose looks like the locked gate. The pose is preparatory position for stretching and standing poses like Extended Side Angle pose, or Extended Triangle Pose. This yoga posture energizes and lightens the side of the body. The Gate pose provides a gateway for the oxygen to enter those areas in the body that are left out. It also connects our rib that connects with intercostal muscles.
Steps to Do Gate Pose
1. Kneel down on the yoga mat with your buttocks and hips lifted up off your legs. If you don’t find this comfortable you can also place a folded blanket under your knees and feet to have the extra padding.
2. Make sure that your inner knees should come together and should be perpendicular to the floor.
3. Now, extend your left leg out to the side while keeping your right leg in line with your body. Point your toes to the left with kneecap pointing towards the ceiling.
4. Try to press the sole of left foot onto the floor while keeping your legs straight.
5. Inhale and slowly, extend your left hand along the left thigh and ankle. Turn your right palm upward and then stretch it towards the ceiling. Reach your right arm overhead, in a way that your biceps rest against your right ear.
6. Keep moving your right hip slightly forward and turn your torso away the floor.
7. Be in the posture for a minute, release, inhale as you lift through your right arm to draw your torso upright. Lower your arms and move your left knee next to your right to maintain balance.
8. Repeat this final pose on the opposite side.
Benefits of Doing Parighasana
• It stretches the intercostal muscles between ribs and also helps in breathing.
• Parighasana pose is beneficial for lungs and abdominal organs.
• It opens the shoulders and stretches the sides of spine and torso.
• Gate Pose provides nourishment to the organs thereby improving digestion.
Do not perform pose if you are having a knee injury. Practice the yoga asanas only under the guidance of yoga experts, always work within your abilities.