Gate Pose - Parighasana

Gate pose, also known as parighasna stretches the side of the body and is very useful for toning the abdominals, improving circulation and increasing the flexibility of the spine. This pose stretches the muscles connecting to ribs, thereby increasing the capacity of the lungs for deep breathing.

This can be a very good cure for asthmatics. Doing this pose by kneeling on the blanket or mat reduces the pressure on the knees.

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If you look straight ahead instead of looking past the elbows will help neck. Placing the heel on the floor with toes pointing upwards will provide a good stretch to the foot, back of the calf and hamstrings. Perform this exercise cautiously if you suffer from knee, hip or shoulder problem.

  • How it is to be done – kneeling on the floor.
  • Suitable for - Everybody.

Steps - actual procedure for that asana.

  1. Kneel on the floor such that your knees are hip width apart and thighs parallel.
  2. Stretch out your right leg to the right side.
  3. The sole of the right foot should be flat on the floor and toes should be pointed forward. The right leg should be straight without locking the knee.
  4. Place the right hand on the outer edge of the right thigh.
  5. Inhale and bring the left arm overhead, and fingers pointed towards the ceiling with palm facing your right side. The left upper arm should be close to the left ear throughout.
  6. Exhale while bending from the waist as you stretch out to the right.

    Your left shoulder should be back and relaxed at this time.
  7. Bring the right hand down the outer edge of the right leg. It should be straight but elbow should not be locked.
  8. Look past your left elbow.
  9. Press the right foot into the floor while extending out through the finger tips and the crown of the head.
  10. Hold the pose for 10 to 20 seconds.
  11. Exit the pose by inhaling and making the torso straight. Now exhale and keep your arms to the side with your knees joined.
  12. Perform steps from 2 to 11 for the other side.

Benefits to body parts -

Stretches the sides of the body and makes the spine flexible. Tones the abdomen and improves circulation.

Other benefits -

Stretches the muscles joining the ribs, helping in lung expansion thus increasing the capacity of deep breathing. Thus helps asthma patients.

Precautions -

Use caution if you have problems with knees, shoulders or hips.

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