An Easy Guide to Gate Pose, or Parighasana
Gate Pose, or Parighasana, opens the shoulders, so its great for practicing at the end of the day to alleviate stiffness. This pose also stimulates the lungs, increasing oxygen flow to the body, helping yogis to feel relaxed and calm.
Gate Pose is a great sideways stretch, for the pelvic region, spine, neck, hamstrings, thighs and calves, that makes us feel graceful and poised - like warming-up ballet dancers. 'En pointe' everybody.
Watch a clip for this yoga pose
How to do Gate Pose, or Parighasana in easy steps
Come into a kneeling position.
Extend your left leg out to the side, heel flexed and toes up, outwardly rotating at the hip so that your knee cap is facing towards the ceiling.
Press the left foot into the floor and bring the foot in line with the right knee.
Bring the right hip directly over the right knee. Keep the right foot on the floor or tuck the toes under to help balance. Take a few breaths - stabilise.
On a next inhalation, lift both your arms to shoulder height.
As you exhale, slowly bend to the left and lower your left hand on to your left thigh, shin or ankle. Whatever you can get.
Inhale and reach your right arm overhead and then extend towards the left on an exhalation.
Lengthen the entire right side of your body while creating space in the right side of the torso by lifting the right ribs upwards.
Lengthen the tailbone down towards the ground.
Move the shoulders away from the ears and let the shoulder blades sink down the back.
Either gaze forward or look beyond the elbow of your extended right arm.
Spend 5 to 15 breaths in this position. When you're ready, extend up through the right arm to lead the torso back to centre.
Yoga pose category: Kneeling
Although this is a beginners’ yoga pose, at first, many yogis will struggle with placing the foot firmly on the ground. Try placing a yoga block, or cushion, under the sole of the foot to raise it slightly. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect just yet – with time and effort, you will soon be able to master the Gate Pose.
Sanskrit words meaning:
Parigha - beam, bar used for shutting gate
Asana - pose
Yoga pose health benefits:
Like all yoga poses, Parighasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:
Yoga pose contraindications:
Don’t practice Parighasana if you have any of the following health conditions:
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is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.