How to Do Parighasana (Gate Pose): Complete Benefits Guide

Parighasana helps in supplying oxygen to those parts of the body, where it hardly reaches. As it does so, the intercostals muscles that connect your ribs also get a good stretch. You can say that this asana is very beneficial for your spinal system as well as your respiratory and digestive systems. Parigha means an iron beam that is used to lock the gate. Asana means pose or posture.

Parighasana (Gate Pose) Benefits

Image Credits: Flickr

What you should know before you start practicing this asana:

Before you do this asana, it is important that you keep your stomach and bowel empty. Make sure that you have your meals at least 4 to 6 hours before you do this asana. This way the food you eat is digested and there is enough energy in your body to practice the asana. The best way is to practice Parighasana in the morning. If you do not get enough time to practice it in the morning, then you can practice it in the evening.

  • Level: Basic
  • Style: Vinyasa flow
  • Duration: 30 seconds on each side
  • Repetition: Once on each side
  • Stretches: Vertebral column, hamstrings, sides of the torso
  • Strengthens: Respiratory system

How to do Parighasana?

  1. To do this asana, first you have to kneel on the yoga mat in such a way that your toes are curled under. This pose will give you stability and it is also good for opening up the soles of the feet. Alternatively, you may also place the tops of your feet flat on the mat.
  2. Now you have to stretch your right leg on to the right side. Rotate the hip outwards in such a way that your knee cap now faces the sky.
  3. Make sure that the leg you have extended is in the same line as the knee of your kneeling leg. The kneeling knee should be right under the hip of the same leg.
  4. Next you have to inhale and stretch your left arm over your head in such a way that the side of your body is extended. Your arms must be kept beside ear and your shoulder blade is to be pressed firmly against your back.
  5. Now hinge over to the right side. As you do so, you have to exhale. Let your right hand rest either on your thigh, ankle or your foot.
  6. Look at the sky. As you do so, remember to keep the back of your neck long.
  7. Breathe deeply and stay in this pose.
  8. Inhale and draw the inner thighs close together and pull in your belly. Lift up to release from the pose.
  9. Now exhale and slide your outstretched leg back. Relax for a few seconds and then you can repeat the asana on the other side.

Contraindications and Cautions:

Before you do this asana, you have to keep in mind some of the following points of caution:

  1. Avoid practicing this asana if you have suffered a knee injury. Under such conditions, instead of kneeling down, you may sit on a chair and practice.
  2. If you have pain in your neck or if you are feeling dizzy, then you can look straight ahead instead of looking up at your hands.

Tip for Beginners:

When you are a beginner, you may find it hard to press the foot of your straight leg on the floor. In that case you can place the ball of your foot on a blanket or you may take the support of the wall to do the pose correctly.

Benefits of Parighasana or Gate pose:

  • This pose gives a good stretch to your hamstrings, adductor muscles and calves.
  • This is also good for stretching the intercostals muscles that are present between your ribs. These muscles aid in breathing.
  • Even the muscles in the torso are provided a good stretch.
  • Practicing this asana regularly is a good way to open the chest and the shoulders.
  • This asana is beneficial for stimulating your lungs and the abdominal organs.

Scientific reasons behind Parighasana:

Practicing this asana is very beneficial for energizing the sides of your body and it allows the breath to become three dimensional. Parigha means a bar, which is used to shut the gate. When you take the Parighasana pose, your body really resembles the bar. When you have a cough or if you take a bad posture, the intercostal muscles become tight. This can lead to the constriction of respiration and the movement of the rib cage. By doing this asana, you can give a good stretch to your intercostal muscles. This way it helps in getting you relief from various respiratory problems like asthma, cold, flu and different types of allergies.

When you combine breathing with the asana, it helps in calming your nerves and also cleaning of the circulatory system. It also provides nourishment to the abdominal organs, which helps in improving the digestive functions. The coordinated breathing is also good for relaxing your mind. For getting these benefits, you have to breathe and create a wave beginning from your pelvis to your upper chest. Remember to inhale through your belly and expand the rib cage and fill up your chest. This asana helps in giving a wave like motion to your breathing.

Preparatory poses of Parighasana:

  • Adho mukha svanasana
  • Baddha konasana
  • Prasarita psdottanasana
  • Supta padangusthasana
  • Upavistha Konasana
  • Utthita parsvakonasana
  • Utthita trokonasana
  • Virasana

Follow-up poses to do:

  • Trikonasana
  • Utthita parsvakonasana
  • Parivrtta janu sirasana

Now that you have seen hoe to do this asana and the benefits of this pose, start practicing Parighasana and open up your lungs.

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