June 25, 2015

#50 "Yoga Minute" Gate Latch Pose

"Gate Latch Pose", version I'm demoing works the whole body from toes to fingers.

Starting on hands and knees, extend one leg out to the side. With the leg straight press the sole of the foot to the floor. If you cannot place the sole of the foot on the floor you can put your heel on a towel or blanket and have the toes pointed up or place the ball of the foot on a wall with the heel on the floor. The wall helps give you more stability. You can also have an angle with the foot so the sole of the foot is on the floor comfortably.
Inhaling bring the torso up with the shoulders over your hips and hands to heart center.
Inhaling the arms over your head reaching up and lengthening the torso. Exhaling bend toward your straight leg with a lateral curve dropping the same side hand to a comfortable place on the leg. You can either use the palm of the hand for support or let the back of the hand slide down the leg. At the same time extend the other arm toward the same side arching the torso and arm with the palm facing down. Keep the torso over the straight leg without coming forward or twisting the torso or dropping the shoulder. Look under the arm if comfortable. Inhale as you come up reaching through the arms and lengthening the torso.

Usually you only curve to the side the straight leg is on. I'm also demoing and walking you through the opposite side that has the bent knee on the floor. When you come up from the first side keep the legs in the same place and drop the opposite hand straight down from the shoulder placing the hand on the floor or a prop if the floor is to far away. You can use a small stool or something else that is an appropriate height that works for you. You'll be arching the side with the straight leg and have an angle from that extended legs foot to the hand lengthening the whole side of your body.

You want the bent knee below it’s hip and the thigh perpendicular to the floor with the top of that foot on the floor lined up behind the thigh.

Hold each side 20 to 60 seconds or a time that agrees with you.

Feel free to use a chair to place your hand on for balance and safety if you need to.
You may also use blankets to cushion your knees.
Benefits: Stretches the sides of the torso that includes the abdominal oblique muscles (side of the lower torso) and intercostal muscles (around the ribs) as well as the arm, shoulder and spine, opens the shoulders and massages internal organs.

Happy & Healthy,
Yoga Chuck

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