Parighasana, Gate Pose


Genevieve Oswald in Parighasana, by Zoe Zimmerman for Sundara Studios 2013

Genevieve Oswald in Parighasana, by Zoe Zimmerman for Sundara Studios 2013

Life is full of learning. Call them lessons or opportunities, the ability to refine one’s skills and knowledge is truly limitless. The restrictions anyone faces in relationship to broadening and expanding their own individual well of knowledge are mostly self-imposed. Seeing oneself as incapable, limited, confined, bound, and unable in anyway to complete a task is the first and most important gate to move through if one wishes to ever expand their knowledge beyond what comes easy.

This is one of the most profound and beneficial gifts of a yoga practice: to find peace in what is more-aptly defined as uncomfortable. Asana translates to “easy seat” — the translation is not a reference to a false idea that a pose is supposed to feel easy, but rather, an invitation to unveil a sense of ease within while in an awkward, difficult, and uncomfortable posture.

This week, I invite you to move through the gate of discomfort and expand your knowledge and skills while attempting to reveal inner peace in the form of Parighasana, gate pose.

Begin standing on your knees. Extend your left leg to the left, the heel in line with your right knee. The toes of your left foot can be turned forward, away from you, or somewhere between the two — choose what is comfortable. Inhale to stretch your arms long overhead while rooting your tailbone down to the earth. Exhale and extend your arms and spine over your left leg, reaching your left hand down toward your left foot and right arm straight alongside your ear. Inhale to draw your left hip underneath you and exhale to rotate your waist, heart, and gaze toward the ceiling, twisting through the gate of your perceived limitations.

Breath, enjoy, and switch sides.