Gate
PARIGHĀSANA (परिघासन)
(par-eegh-AHH-sah-nah)

 


‘Parigha’= two birds flying on each side of a traveler (seen as a good omen),
the gate of a palace, or crossbar used to lock gate, ‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Gate-Latch Pose
Beam Pose
Kneeling Triangle
Posture of Good Omen

Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Side-Bend / Kneeling / Stretch / Balance

1. Start in Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana), kneeling with your feet tucked under and your thighs over your calf muscles.
2. Engage your quadriceps and rise to your knees away from your heels. Make sure your hips, thighs, and knees are stacked over each other, that your knees are relatively hip distance apart, and that your back is straight. Your shins should be parallel to each other with the tops of your feet on the mat.
3. Continue to keep your back straight and make sure your shoulders are down and back. Extend your left leg out to the side and in line with your right knee. Your foot should be flat to the mat with your toes pointing to the side wall. Keep your right hip and knee stacked over each other and your foot straight back and flat to the mat.
4. Take a deep breath and press down through your right leg and knee. Exhale and start to bend to the left with your torso facing forward. As you do this, slide your left hand down your left leg to your shin, ankle, or foot (being sure not to rest your hand on your knee) and extend your right arm over your head with your fingers in Guyan Mudra or palms down.
5. Keep your shoulders down and your shoulder blades flat across the back.
6. Gaze up (or forward), keeping your chin off your chest, and your chest open. Feel the stretch through your right hip, up through your side, and through to the crown of your head.
7. Stretch through your legs and arms.
8. Hold the pose for several breaths and then slowly release and repeat on the other side.

Common Adjustments
• Arm is straight up instead of extended overhead
• Neck strained
• Back rounded
• Torso sinking into extended thigh
• Hand resting on knee
• Hip not in alignment over knee
• Shin not flat and straight back
• Extended legs heel not in line with alternate knee
• Foot on extended leg lifting off the mat
• Toes tucked under

Modifications
• For students with knee pain and/or injuries, place a soft folded blanket(s) or bolster(s) under the knee to protect and support the knee from pressure and stress.
• For students who need assistance with balance, have them practice near a wall so they can place their extended hand on the wall.
• Students with tight hamstrings or that cannot place the extended foot flat on the ground, can either: a) place a folded mat, blanket, or bolster under the extended foot, b) slightly bend the knee of the extended leg, or c) they can practice next to a wall so that they can place the ball of their foot against the wall.
• For students with a tight back or sides, it may be difficult for them to reach for their calf to foot. Depending on the level of flexibility, place either a fitness ball, chair, or block on the outside of the extended leg for them to rest their hand on.
• Students with severe knee injury or inflammation can practice this pose sitting in a chair. They can either stretch one leg out to the side (mimicking the full pose) or place their legs in front with knees bent.
• Students with sufficient range of motion in the hips and knees can deepen the pose by taking the bent knee and extending it out to the side. The thigh should be perpendicular to the ground and the hips should be flexed, so that they are resting on their sit bones. Then, if flexibility allows, they can reach one hand over their head to reach for their toes while the other hand reaches for the heel.

Counter Poses
• Camel (Ustrasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana)
• Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
• Rabbit / Hare (Sasangasana)
• Plow (Halasana)
• Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)

Anatomy
• Neck• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Chest• Biceps and Triceps
• Abdomen (Core) and Obliques• Upper (Cervical) and Lower (Lumbar) Back and Spine
• Hips (Psoas and Iliopsoas)• Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus (Glutes)
• Hamstrings and Quadriceps• Calf muscles
• Knees• Ankles and Feet

Benefits
• Stretches and strengthens the sides of the body, spine, hips, torso, abdomen, knees, hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles, and ankles which increases flexibility. Also opens the chest and shoulders.
• Stimulates the respiration systems which relieves symptoms of asthma and allergies.
• Massages internal organs which improves digestion. Boosts energy.
• Increases circulation, and stimulates the nervous system, reducing stress, anxiety, and mild depression, along with fatigue and insomnia. This also helps the kidneys, liver, spleen, and adrenal glands.

Contraindications
1. Students with sciatica, recent or chronic shoulder, back, groin, hip, or knee injury or inflammation should avoid this pose.
2. Students with knee and/or back concerns or high blood pressure, should practice with props, modifications, and guidance.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra Two:Sacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Three:Solar Plexus, Self-Power, or Manipura (lustrous gem) Chakra. This is the combustion, power, and energy chakra. Its goals are vitality, strength of will, and purpose. Its location is the solar plexus.
Chakra Five:Throat, Visuddha, Vissudha, Vishuddhi, or Vishuddha (purification) Chakra. This is the communications and sympathetic vibrations chakra. Its goals are clear communication, creativity, and resonance. Its location is the throat.



Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbooks

  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, this posture can be found in Chapter 8 – Seated Postures as “Parighasana – Kneeling Triangle, or Gate Pose”.
    • Watch the Chapter 8 video “Parighasana” found in the Web Resources that come with your textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini. This video gives you an additional example of how to practice this asana.
  • In the textbook “YOGA Anatomy – Third Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, this posture can be found in Chapter 10 – KNEELING POSES as “PARIGHASANA – Gate-Latch Pose”. **This textbook shows a slight variation where the hand resting on the leg is in in Guyan Mudra (instead of just resting on the leg).

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