During the workout, the side of the body is often neglected, but the work on your body sides with the gate pose.
Name in Sanskrit: Parighasana
- Loosens the shoulders
- Stimulates the lungs and organs in the abdomen
- Stretches the spine and sides of the torso
- Stretches the hamstrings
Kneeling with any severe injury might be challenging or difficult. In this situation, you can sit on a chair to perform this pose.
Place both legs ahead of your torso, then keep your knees bent at angle 90-degree (right angle), or you can mimic the full pose by stretching one of your legs to the side.
- Downward facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
HOW TO PRACTICE THIS ASANA
You start by kneeling on the ground. Stretch out your right leg towards the right and press firmly to the ground. If you find it difficult, you can support yourself with a yoga block. Ensure your left knee is directly under your left hip (your thigh should be perpendicular to the ground), then align the right heel with your left knee.
Slightly turn your pelvis to in the right direction (in a way that will bring the left hip point in front of the right); however, make sure your upper back torso turns to the left. Keep your kneecap pointed to the ceiling, you will have to turn the right leg out in order to achieve this.
Breathe in, then place your arms out at the sides, ensure it is parallel to the ground and your palms faced down. Bend your body to the right over your right leg and place your right hand on your ground, ankle or shin – whichever you find suitable –outside your right leg. Keep the right side of your torso contracted, and stretch your left.
Keep your left arm on the left hip (outer part) and lower your pelvis towards the ground. After that, take your hand up to your lower ribs on the left and left it towards your shoulder, forming a space in the left side of your waist.
Move your left arm above the back of your left ear as you breathe in. Your torso drops towards the ground as a result of the side ben. Turn your upper torso away from the ground without pushing your left hip backward (ensure you keep rolling it slightly forward).
Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
Breath in as you come up, draw your torso upright by reaching through your top arm.
Return your right knee to the left and repeat this routine with your legs reversed.
Doing the full pose requires a deep bend on the side. From the start position described in the second step, lean your body to the side of your leg that’s straight. As much as you can, bring the underside of your torso towards the top of your straight leg.
Press the top of your foot with the back of your lower hand, then move the top of your arm above the back of your ear and bring your palms together. Complete this routine following the description in the fourth step.
How to do the Gate Pose (Parighasana)
Beginners may find gate pose difficult to press the straight leg’s foot flat on the ground. You can do this in two ways; it’s either you work against a wall, pressing the ball of the foot against the wall or you raise the ball of the foot on a thickly folded blanket or yoga sandbag.
Your partner should stand facing the side of your straight leg; we will use your right leg in this example. Breathe in, then move the right arm to the side, ensure it is parallel to the ground.
Allow your partner to hold your wrist, and simultaneously, use his/her toes in pressing your right groin.
Allow your partner to push on the groin and pull on the wrist as you tip to the side. Stretch your sides, under ribs and arms away from the deepening groin.
Have your partner let go once you attain maximum stretch. Then move your body to the side to do the full pose.
Magda Felcio, a certified Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher in Brazil, is deeply passionate about the grace and transformation this practice offers. With a commitment to empowering her students, she creates harmonious and flowing sequences that focus on alignment and mindfulness.