Gate Latch Pose, Parighasana: Stretches the neck, arms, torso, spine, hamstrings, shoulders, and much more.
Feel free to use a chair to place your hand on for balance and safety as you bend to the side controlling the depth of the pose.
You may use a blanket to cushion the knees. Starting on hands and knees take one leg out to the side. Inhaling bring the torso up stacking over the hips and thighs for alignment. With the leg straight out to the side press the sole of the foot to the floor. Keep the knee in line with the heel. If you cannot place the sole of the foot on the floor (I cannot) then 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 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.
Inhaling the arms over your head reaching up and lengthening the torso especially the spine. Exhaling bend to the side 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 in a side bend with the palm of the hand facing down. Keep the torso aligned over the straight leg without coming forward or twisting the torso and shoulders. Look under the arm if comfortable or forward if the neck hurts and for balance.
For the Full pose version bring the side of the torso as close to the straight leg as possible with the top hand in prayer with the bottom hand that’s against the straight leg foot .
Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds. Inhale as you come up reaching through the arms and lengthening the torso. Come back to Table pose and repeat on the other side.
In the next post I’ll demo one of my most requested poses that includes the Gate Latch pose but with movement, called the Movement Loop pose.
Happy & Healthy,