I want to share with you parighasana or ‘the gate’ pose. The side stretching nature of this posture is a great way to relieve the very common stiff back. Just leading up to this month we celebrated Asarnha Bucha, a time of reflection on the teachings on suffering and how to alleviate its effects in our daily lives.
So as our gate posture is releasing your stiff backs, why not take the time to also close the gate on any emotional or mental tension that may be troubling you. Combine the release of physical and emotional tension together using each passing exhalation as the tool and breathe your way to a less-burdened life.
The benefits of this yoga gem are enticing:
- Great stretch for the pelvis and hamstring
- Better back mobility due to the lateral extension and flexion in the stretch
- Tones the abdominals
- Stimulates the abdominal organs and lungs
- Relieves back stiffness
- Opens the shoulders
Let’s talk about the steps we need to follow to add ‘the gate’ asana to our daily lives:
- Start in a kneeling position
- Extend your right leg out to the side, keeping the right leg in line with your left knee and torso
- Keep the right leg straight and turn the right ankle and knee to always face upwards.
- Extend your arms upward on inhalation and feel a long stretch from left knee to fingertips.
- Exhale (beginners to this posture may want to place the right hand on the right leg for a bit of extra support see photo one). If you are comfortable and want to progress keep your palms together and arm extended overhead, move your torso and arms towards the right leg, keeping the chest sidewards and the right shoulder in line with the right knee (see photo two).
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Always inhale when bringing your body back to centre.
- Repeat on the left-hand side.
Kim White is the owner of Sala Samadhi. She offers authentic Hatha yoga instruction for private and group sessions. Contact: www.mindbodyyogasystem.com or 086 276 9174.
The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.