Parighasana comes from a combination of two different Sanskrit words. “parigha” refers to a bar or beam used to lock a gate. Asana can also be translated as posture or comfortable seat.
In this yoga asana, you will get an excellent workout for the muscles between your ribs. These muscles are a part of the process that controls breathing. The muscles on one side of your torso will stretch while the muscles on the other will constrict. It makes it possible to supply oxygen to areas of the body that don’t typically get much of it on their own. In addition, stretching your adductor muscles in Gate Pose is another of its many benefits.
GATE POSE WILL HELP YOU OPEN THE DOORS TO HEALTH:
Through consistent practice, you will be able to increase your awareness of and flexibility in areas of your body that are sometimes overlooked. It has the potential to serve as the foundation for more in-depth side stretches and improved breathing patterns. If you include Gate Pose in your regular yoga practice, it will help improve your posture, grace, and range of motion in day-to-day activities.
STEPS FOR GATE POSE:
- Kneel on your mat with your knees spread approximately the same distance apart as your hips. Make sure that the pelvis is in its natural position (not tucked or arched), and gently draw the navel toward the spine. Roll the shoulders back and stretch the spine to achieve a tall standing position (or, rather, a tall kneeling position). Make an effort to stack all your joints, including your knees, hips, and shoulders, in a single straight line. Put your hands on your hips in a relaxed manner.
Take some slow, deep breaths right now.
- As you exhale, move your right foot outside to the right side of your body and stride forward. The left knee and the right foot are aligned with one another (which is on the mat).
Put your right palm on the side of your thigh while raising your right ankle into plantar flexion and turning your right toes to point upwards toward the sky. During this, only the right heel will touch the mat.
- While inhaling, reach your left arm toward the ceiling as far as you can, stretching your body’s left side. The stretch will be felt from the outer thighs (quadriceps) to your fingertips. The left arm rests close to the ear, while the shoulder is positioned further away from the ear.
- As you exhale, lean to the right side while keeping your chest open toward the front of the room. The left fingertips are repositioning themselves to hover above the right toes. The target of the exercise is not to touch your toes: instead, it is to achieve an excellent lateral stretch.
The right-hand travel down the right leg until it reaches the knee or the shin bone, resting. It should be allowed to slip down towards the ankle without force.
- As you take your next breath, rotate your chest, facing upwards toward the ceiling, and thrust your right hip forward. In this position, the right hip tends to compress; to prevent this from happening, continue to drive the hip forward, also known as hip extension. At last, after you’ve finished exhaling, turn your head so that it’s towards the ceiling. Remain in this position for eight to ten breaths.
- To release the posture, exhale and slowly bring your torso back to the center while sliding your right hand back to your right thigh or hip. This will allow you to leave the stance. Put your left hand on your side and bring your left arm down to your side. Take a deep breath, then move back to stand on both knees with your right foot.
In this spot, you will have the opportunity to relax in Balasana before swapping sides and performing the identical sequence on the other side.
Benefits of Parighasana (Gate Pose)
- Stretches, Strengthens, and Lengthens:
On the side of the body where the knee is resting on the floor, this stretch targets the psoas muscles (hip flexors), the quadriceps of the outer thighs, the obliques, the intercostal muscles, the triceps, and the latissimus dorsi (the largest muscle of the back). Additionally, it helps stretch the iliotibial band, another reason why this pose is so useful for athletes, runners, and other sportspeople.
- Hip Opening and Increased Range of Motion:
Gate Pose helps with the lateral extension of the hip flexor, making it an excellent pose for increasing hip flexibility. The ‘Quadratus Lumborum,’ which begins on the pelvic floor and extends up to the lowest rib, is targeted by the lateral stretching exercise.
A person’s ability to release the stiffness in the lower back, which helps enhance the range of motion of the spinal muscles, can be attributed to the practice of parighasana.
- Chest, Diaphragm, and Breath:
Rigidity in the intercostal muscles might cause one to take shorter and shallower breaths since the lungs cannot expand to their full capacity, leading to shortness of breath.
When one side of the chest is extended further than the other, the intercostal muscles on the side that is extended are strained, which helps the lungs expand to their full capacity. This will facilitate taking fuller breaths even when one is not practicing the actual asana.
- Stimulations and Organs:
The Gate Pose helps stimulate the internal organs by stretching and tightening the deeper muscles in the body. The gallbladder, liver, and large intestine are on the right side of the abdomen, whereas the stomach, small intestine, and pancreas are on the left side.
When performing a lateral stretch, one side of the abdomen is compressed, reducing the amount of blood circulation in the surrounding area. This produces a “squeeze and release” motion on the organs, which, once the blood circulation has been restored, causes the organs to function more effectively. The stretched organs on the side get a stretch, which helps stimulate any stagnancy that may have developed in those organs.
- Psychotherapy and the Healing Benefits:
Parighasana contributes to an increase in the body’s resistance to illness. To begin, the chest can expand to a greater degree than it could in the past, contributing to an improvement in the functioning of the respiratory system.
Second, moving the arm overhead activates the lymphatic system. The armpit is home to lymph nodes, which are an important component of the immune system and are activated when the arm is moved overhead.
Because of the lateral stretch, this position also helps to promote digestion. It is especially advantageous for people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) illnesses and can alleviate back pain.
- Chakra and Balancing:
A Lovely Practice That Is a Delicate Heart Opener, Stimulating the Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra), While Ensuring Balance in the First Two Chakras This wonderful practice is a gentle heart opener, which stimulates the Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra) (Root and Sacral).
The side bend is beneficial because it helps to promote the flow of prana from the heart to the Third Eye Chakra, which in turn energizes the body.
When you release from the stance, there is a downward flow of energy called Apana vayu, which means “removing the excess out.” This ensures balance in the energy and, ultimately, balance in the first four chakras.
- What are the points to consider while practicing Gate Pose for beginners?
- Ensure that the leg you have extended remains straight and that your body is in line with the thigh you have extended.
- Only bend down as far as your flexibility will allow you to do so. You will still be able to benefit from the pose, even if the difference is only a couple of inches.
- Avoid placing your lower hand squarely on your knee and avoid resting your hand there. When this is done, there is an excessive amount of pressure placed on the knee joint.
- Before and after the posture, try practicing the Three-Part Breath, also known as Dirga Pranayama. This will help you relax your intercostal muscles and stretch them even further.
Observe the change in your ability to breathe both before and after you stretch.
- Maintain an open chest and a raising posture. Do not round your chest or let your shoulders fall forward.