Parighasana (Gate pose)

By Jagadisa-devasri – New York – Photo by Carol Dragon

When I practice parighasana I enjoy the experience of deeply twisting – lengthening the spine – while opening the heart to the heavens. The experience of resting the torso over the extended leg is simultaneously invigorating while allowing me to slip into bliss-filled quietude. When i first began to approach this “pretzel” pose, I was surprised how accessible it was with all its fine details: holding on, twisting, lengthening out, lifting up, not falling over, and of course, breathing. From my experiences, I can understand why the yogis of old named this the gate pose. Because it always make my physical and spiritual hearts feel much more open! OM.


  • Stretches the sides of the torso.
  • Relieves stiffness in the spine.
  • Stretches the hamstrings.
  • Opens the shoulders.
  • Helps to improve respiratory problems.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, kidneys and lungs.

How to do Parighasana

  • Sitting on your mat.
  • Extend left leg wide to the side.
  • Bend right knee and bring it towards the front.
  • Place right foot next to the right hip.
  • Inhale hands to waist with straight back.
  • Take left hand, reach and take your right heel.
  • Reach right hand over your head towards the outside of the right foot, take 5-10 breaths.
  • Inhale sit up, bring hands to waist.