I’ve been ask to write an asana column for this months Iyengar Yoga Center of the Palm Beaches. I have never written an asana article before, so I decided to take on this new task of Svadhyaya (Education of the self by study of divine Literature).

I chose to write about Parighasana (The Gate Pose). I thought this would be a unique pose with lots of things to write about. So without hesitation I got out my laptop and began the search of sources, images and pictures on the World Wide Web. I wanted my debut asana column to be dynamic, well written and the best.

To my dismay there were thousands of images, pictures, articles and information just on “The Gate Pose”.. It was a brain overload, and TMI. I thought, “How will I ever write an article with all this data.” My brain would short circuit for sure.

Then without hesitation I got out my Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
and began to read from the source; the main source and guiding light for my self study and practice over the last 20 some years. Then I put my body on the mat and asked my body to write.

“What can Parighasna teach me that I may share with other yoga bodies?”

So here it goes… this is my Svadhyaya of Parighasna.

As teachers in the Iyengar method we teach from the base and work our way up. We give just a few points , explain some of the actions of the muscles and remind them to breathe. We keep things simple and direct. And then we link. We are masters in linking poses and creating sequences.

The shin in Parighasan is the same shins in Virasna, the extended leg… is the same leg of Trikonasna, the tail bone is in the action of Chatush padasana, the torso invites the actions of Bharadvajasna and the extended side angle pose and last… the arms are in Urdhva Namaskarasna. If we have an understanding of these basic asana poses we can master the actions of Parighasana. And from what I’ve learned, the gate pose is like a portal and prerequisite to many other poses. For example, sometimes before I teach backbends like Ustrasna I will teach Parighasna, it becomes like a spiritual gate; the gate of the body opens and creates space to move deeper in your asana.

I’ve taught this pose many times and practiced this pose many times over the years in my classes using walls, blocks, chairs and blankets. I’m not sure if I will ever master the pose as seen in LOY but through my Svadhyaya I know I’m doing the best I can by incorporating all the poses mentioned above In my Gate Pose.

Thank you Light on Yoga for always being the best source for my Asana Svadyaya.

Love, Stephanie