How To Do The Parighasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years

Parigha – An iron beam used to lock the gate, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – par-ee-GOSS-anna

This asana provides a gateway for the oxygen to enter our body and reach those areas that are often left out. While it does this, the intercostal muscles that connect our ribs are also stretched. Basically, this asana has a whole lot of benefits for the spinal, respiratory, and digestive systems.

Everything You Need To Know About The Parighasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Parighasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tip
  5. Advanced Pose Variation
  6. The Benefits Of The Gate Pose
  7. The Science Behind The Parighasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested, and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.

Level: Basic
Style: Vinyasa Flow
Duration: 30 seconds on each side
Repetition: Once on each side
Stretches: Vertebral column, Hamstrings, Sides of the torso
Strengthens: Respiratory system

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How To Do The Parighasana

  1. Kneel on your mat such that your toes are curled under. This will give you stability and will also help open up the soles of the feet. Alternatively, you could place the tops of your feet flat on the mat.
  1. Stretch your right leg out on the right side. Rotate the hip outwards so that the kneecap faces the sky.
  1. The extended leg must be in the same line as the kneeling knee, and the kneeling knee should be right under the hip of the same leg.
  1. Inhale and stretch your left arm overhead, such that the side of your body is extended. Your arm must be beside your ear, and your shoulder blade should be firmly pressed against your back.
  1. Exhale as you hinge over to the right side, and allow your right hand to rest either on your thigh, ankle, or foot.
  1. Look at the sky, and remember to keep the back of your neck long.
  1. Breathe deeply and hold the pose.
  1. Inhale. Draw the inner thighs close to each other, pull the belly in, and lift up to release the pose.
  1. Exhale and slide the stretched out leg back. Relax and repeat the asana on the other side.

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Precautions And Contraindications

These are some points of caution that you must keep in mind before you do this asana.

  1. Avoid this asana if you have a knee injury. In such situations, you could sit on a chair and practice it, instead of kneeling down.
  1. In case you have pain in the neck, or if you feel dizzy, set your gaze straight instead of looking up at your hand.

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Beginner’s Tip

As a beginner, it might be hard for you to press the foot of the straight leg on the floor. You could either raise the ball of the foot on a blanket or use the support of the wall to get this right.

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Advanced Pose Alteration

There are no advanced poses for this asana.

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The Benefits Of The Gate Pose

These are some amazing benefits of the Parighasana.

  1. It gives the hamstrings, calves, and adductor muscles a good stretch.
  1. It helps stretch the intercostal muscles between your ribs. These muscles assist in breathing.
  1. The muscles in the torso also get a good stretch.
  1. Practicing this asana opens the chest and the shoulders.
  1. This asana stimulates the lungs and the abdominal organs too.

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The Science Behind The Parighasana

This asana lightens and energizes the side of the body and allows the breath to become three-dimensional. Parigha means the bar that shuts the gate, and when you assume this stance, the body truly resembles that bar. When you have a cough or a bad posture, the intercostal muscles become tight. This condition constricts respiration and the movement of the rib cage. This asana not only helps to stretch these muscles but also helps relieve respiratory problems like asthma, cold, flu, and allergies.

When you coordinate your breathing with the asana, it calms the nerves and also cleans the circulatory system. It also provides nourishment to the abdominal organs, thereby improving digestion. This coordinated breathing also roots your body and relaxed your mind. To achieve these benefits, you need to breathe and create a wave from your pelvis to your upper chest. You need to inhale through your belly and expand the rib cage and fill up your chest. This asana helps you achieve that wave-like motion in your breathing.

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Preparatory Poses

Adho Mukha Svanasana
Baddha Konasana
Prasarita Padottanasana
Supta Padangusthasana
Upavistha Konasana
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Utthita Trikonasana

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Follow-Up Poses

Utthita Parsvakonasana
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

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Now that you know how to do Parighasana, what are you waiting for? Open up your lungs and let the oxygen in through this asana that truly serves as a gateway.

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Shirin Mehdi

Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer

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