Gate Pose Parighasana in Yoga

woman doing gate pose
Ann Pizer

Yoga has lots of forward bends and back bends, but not that many side bends. Gate pose offers the rare chance to really get into your side body and stretch the neglected muscles between your ribs. This feels particularly great during pregnancy when you need all the extra room as you can get in there.

  • Type of Pose: Standing
  • Benefits: Stretches the intercostal muscles between the ribs, stretches the inner thighs


  1. Come into an upright kneeling position with your thighs perpendicular to the floor and your hips over the knees. Place a blanket under your knees if they are sensitive.
  2. Straighten your right leg as you extend it out to the right side, keeping the knee and ankle in line with your right hip.
  3. Turn your right toes forward so that the right foot is parallel to the side of your mat.
  4. Inhale and reach your left arm up next to your left ear.
  5. Exhale and lean your torso to the right, stretching the left arm over your head. Let your right arm come down and rest on your right leg.
  6. Bring your gaze up under your extended left arm.
  7. Stay for several breaths, extending your spine on your inhales and deepening the side stretch on your exhales.
  8. Bring your torso upright and return your right knee next to the left one. Repeat the stretch on your other side.

Beginners Tip

Be careful not to place a lot of weight in the hand that is resting on your leg. Keep a light touch so your core stays active.

Advanced Tip

Instead of bringing your right foot parallel, keep the foot in line with the right leg, bringing the ball of your foot to the floor if possible.

Was this page helpful?