There’s an asana nicknamed Gate Pose. It’s one of those random poses that gets forgotten because it’s pretty awkward to get into. You start kneeling and then extend a bunch of body parts to one side and then the other. It’s easier to show than describe and I assure you it’s difficult for anyone to actually pull off. Not only is there a fierce lateral extension involved but balancing on one knee is just plain unnatural. When I attempt parighasana it takes every muscle in my body to stay steady. So today, I did it 3 times.
I’m starting to understand how this gangly half-brother to long, graceful poses like trikonasana fits into my practice. In nearly all standing poses, my torso extends out of my hips to create length in my sides. This is easiest when I’m straight up and down or doing a simple bend in one direction, like uttansasana. Trikonasana involves two directions because I’m extending out of my hips while also turning my chest. It gets even more complicated with twists. Parighasana technically only has one bend, but at the strangest angle. Pulling my leg into the hip while extending my torso all the way toward my thigh. I’m dizzy just thinking about it.
Jan 11, 2016
Continuing my research into this pose. I have discovered my head will go all the way to my leg if I collapse the bent hip and stick my butt out. Once down there, I can then pull my buttocks back into the body while steering my hips to face forward. That increases the stretch on my outside hip more than if I simply lower my body to the side. Then I turn my chest open as much as possible. There are other times I use the traditional Iyengar approach to maintain the most extension