Parighasana stretches the intercostal muscles. The intercostal muscles are one of the principal muscles involved in respiration.
You can think about it this way, a gate is like an access point or an entrance. One could see practising Gate Pose as an access point to your respiration/breathing system. This pose has the capability to improve your breathing. When your breathing improves, the flow of Prana/life energy improves. Your energy increases and your nervous system calms down.
Because of the above, Parighasana is known to help breathing problems that stem from asthma, colds, flu and allergies.
When you have practised the pose, take a moment to sit and observe your breathing. You will most likely feel a deeper breath that feels more free and easy.
A few variations
The picture demonstrates this pose with the extended leg turned out slightly (externally rotated) and the toes on the floor. You can also:
- flex the foot (toes point to the ceiling)
- Point the toes forward (leg turned in)
On different days different options might feel appropriate.
Now try it yourself!!
Click for step by step instructions on Gate pose / Parighasana.