Parigha means gate, crossbar or beam. In this posture, the body looks similar to a cross beam, which is commonly used for closing a gate.
Benefits of Gate Pose
- Opens the lower ribs, facilitating deeper breathing.
- Provides a powerful stretch for the adductors, the muscles in the pelvis, and the muscles in the side of the body.
- Opens the vertebrae on the sides of the body, a movement that is not often incorporated into our daily lives.
- People suffering from knee pain or injury should avoid this pose and practice supine or standing (lateral bending) asanas instead.
- Begin in a kneeling position.
- Stretch the left leg out to the side and slightly in front of your hips approximately 20-45 degrees in front). Bring the sole of the left foot flat.
- Hinge at your left hip crease and place your left hand on your left leg.
- Side bend toward your left leg, extending your torso and creating as much space between the vertebrae as you can.
- Reach your right arm overhead, mimicking the arc created with your laterally bending torso.
- Activate your extended leg and allow the muscles of the leg to embrace the bones.
- Keep your pelvis stable and neutral.
- Feel the armpits lift up into their domes while you relax the shoulders down over the armpits.
- Feel the shoulder-blades sliding down your back.
- Create space across the front and the back side of the shoulders.
- Lift up and out of the pose through the fingertips of your top arm, using your oblique abdominals.