Parighasana / Gate Pose

Benefits: This releasing pose invites us to open our view of who we are and what shape we make in the world.  As we practice both sides, we improve the circulation of prana, our vital energy

Step by Step

1.  Kneel and step the right foot out to the side with the right heel in line with the left knee.  Place the right hand palm upon the right thigh.  Tuck the tailbone under and lengthen up through the spine.  Inhale and raise the left arm.

2.  Move the right hip forward to bring it directly above the knee.  Exhale and curve inward deeply at the right waist and extend the right arm along the front of the right leg, palm still facing up.  Keep the back of the body on one plane.

3.  Inhale, lift through the entire length of the left side from knee to fingertips.  Exhale and arch the left arm over the head toward the right foot.  Maintain an openness in the left armpit by easing the left arm back so your shoulders are one above the other.  Bring the palms of the hands toward each other and turn the head to gaze upward from under the left arm.  Stay here for five deep breaths, feeling the upper ribs expand.

4.  Release the left arm on an inhalation, raising the torso back to center.  Return the right leg to kneeling.  Close your eyes and take a few breaths while you experience the difference in length between your left and right sides.  Then repeat on the other side.

5.  Counterpose: Paschimottanasana/Double Leg Forward Stretch.