Gate Pose - Parighasana

Gate Pose Parighasana - YanvaYoga


Gate pose, or Parighasana in Sanskrit, is an important side-bending posture that builds spinal flexibility. From a kneeling posture, one leg is stretched out to the side. The yogi reaches the opposite arm overhead and toward the extended leg, opening the side body.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Kneel down, facing the long side of your mat. Stretch your left leg out to the side and externally rotate the leg so that your heel is on the mat with your knee and toes (foot flexed) pointing up.
Step 2
Gently press your right hip forward and open your arms out to the side parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Inhale, lengthen the side waists and exhale, lower the left side body to the left leg, placing the hand down on the leg. Ground through the right knee.
Step 3
As you inhale, lift your right arm up and over to the left, still pressing your right hip forward, knitting your ribs in and rotating your ribcage towards the ceiling. Look up, under the right arm or in front of you.
Step 4
Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
Step 5
To come out, extend through the top arm and come back to centre as you inhale.
Step 6
Bring the knees back next to each other and repeat on the other side.

Benefits and Contraindications


stretches the side of the body from the hips to the fingers

increases flexibility of the spine

builds core strength

stimulates digestion circulation and respiration


Recent or chronic knee, hip, or shoulder injury or inflammation.

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

Practicing Gate Pose can be a great way to counteract a long day of sitting or to prepare your body for other activities. Try these simple changes to find a variation of the pose that works best for you:

If you can’t press the foot of your extended leg flat on the floor, press your foot against a wall.

If you feel unsteady in the pose or if you have a knee injury, practice the pose while seated in a chair:

  • Sit with your legs in front of you with your knees bent, so your legs sit at right angles with your feet on the floor.
  • Extend your right leg out to the side. Perform steps 3 and 4 as directed in the instructions, above.
  • Then come back to the center and repeat on the opposite side.

More experienced students can work toward the full variation of the pose, which is a deep side bend:

  • Perform steps 1-4 as directed in the instructions, above.
  • Bend all the way over to the right and turn your right palm up.
  • Rest the right side of the torso along the top of your extended (right) leg.
  • Press the back of your right hand on the top of your right foot.
  • Reach the left arm all the way overhead and press both palms together.
  • Come back to the center and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Frequently Asked Questions


    • Crescent Moon
    • Half Circle Pose
    • Revolved Head To Knee
    • Gate Pose with a chair
    • Gate Pose sitting on a chair

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    Iana Varshavska
    Iana Varshavska
    Website administrator

    In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.