Gate pose can help one feel less sluggish and aid better breathing in the body. The sanskrit name Parighasana which means iron rod pose. The late yoga master Pattabhi Jois introduced this asana to the world.
While practising this pose, our body resembles a rod on a gate. It allows us to breathe into the side areas of our body by elongating the intercostals muscles that connect our ribs.
Method: Begin kneeling with the buttocks off the ground in the centre of your yoga mat. It’s nice to kneel on a thin folded blanket to protect the knee as you kneel on your Yoga mat. I like to use the line of the yoga mat as a point of reference for proper alignment. First move your right leg out towards to the right.
Place the right foot on the mat firmly. Next extended leg must be aligned with the kneeling Your left kneeling leg must be precisely below your hip, i.e. in a perpendicular position and hence why the mat is an excellent way to check the alinement.
Next in inhale as you raise your left arm up and exhale as you slide the right arm down the right leg. The left arm should be raised, and please keep your shoulders relaxed.
Exhale as the right-hand reaches as far possible down the right leg without losing the alinement. Please never rest the hand on the knee but instead go for below or above the knee.
Look at the sky keeping your neck long. Retain the pose for few minutes and breathe deeply. Feel the rhythm of your breathing and remain focused.
Inhale and slowly release the pose.
Relax and repeat the same procedure to the opposite side.
Precautions: Don’t practice this Asana in case of shoulder or knee injuries.
Benefits: It energises and lightens the side of the body. It opens the chest and shoulders; stretches calves, hamstrings and pelvic region. It stimulates abdominal organs that help in digestion. It makes the spine more flexible.
It also improves our breathing pattern by stretching intercostals muscles which connect the ribs, hence enhances lung functions.