Now that you've had a chance to practice Beginner's Gate, you're hopefully ready to try the full expression of the pose. Not only does this posture loosen tight hamstrings, but it also works on stretching the sides of your torso as well.
|Sanskrit Name: Parighasana
English Translation: Cross Beam of a Gate Pose
Also Called: Gate
To hear the description of how to get yourself into this awesome pose,
- Sit on your mat and straighten your right leg out to the side.
- Now bend your left knee and bring your lower leg behind your thigh. If you can, press the arch of your foot against the curve of your bum.
- Very Important - If your left knee is in any pain, straighten out your left leg, and bend your knee, but this time bring your left foot in towards your right inner thigh (going in the opposite direction you just tried).
- Now press your hands together in front of your heart. Relax your shoulder blades back and down away from your ears. Ground firmly with your pelvis, and if you can, try to tuck it in slightly. Bring your ribs in too, lengthening through your spine and following your breath.
- Stay here for 5 or more breaths, and then lean over toward your right leg (the one that's straight). As you lengthen your spine over your thigh, try to rotate your chest towards the ceiling. You want to think about trying to lay your back flat on your leg.
- Reach your left arm overheard towards your right foot. Rest your right hand on your left thigh, and use that hand to pull your right ribs and shoulder forward to help your spine rotate even further.
- Bring your gaze up above you, trying to concentrate on your bandhas (draw your belly in and breath into your chest).
- Stay here for 5 or more breaths, and slowly lift your torso up and switch sides.
This pose is both relaxing and energizing. It gives you an incredibly intense stretch in your hamstring and the side of your torso, so only go as far as you can before feeling any strain. Use each inhale to lengthen the spine, and each exhale to lower and rotate the torso. This is a great pose to do right before bed or after a run.