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
Begin by kneeling down, facing the long side of your mat. Extend your left leg to the side and rotate it externally, so that your heel rests on the mat. Keep your knee and toes pointing upward, with your foot flexed.
Step 2
With your arms outstretched to the sides parallel to the floor, palms facing upward, gently push your right hip forward. Inhale deeply and lengthen your side waists. As you exhale, lower your left side body toward your left leg, placing your hand on the leg for support. Maintain grounding through your right knee.
Step 3
As you take a breath in, raise your right arm up and over to the left side. Keep pressing your right hip forward, while simultaneously drawing your ribs inward and rotating your ribcage toward the ceiling. You can direct your gaze upwards, looking either under your right arm or ahead of you.
Step 4
Remain in this position, focusing on your breath, for approximately 5 to 10 breaths.
Step 5
To exit the pose, extend your top arm and inhale as you return to the center position.
Step 6
Bring your knees back together and repeat the sequence on the opposite 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

    A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.