Side Body Opening Postures

Parighasana (par•ee•GOSS•anna) 

parigha translates to "iron bar locking a gate" 

To come into this variation of the pose make sure to warm up your body amply with a few sun salutations or other physical activity. 

Step 1: 

Begin seated - Extend your right leg out to the right in a half straddle position. Bend your left knee so that your foot lands on the ground and your knee points toward the sky.

Step 2:

Grab hold of your left ankle with your right hand, if needed, bend your right knee to create space in your right hamstrings in order to reach your ankle, we are focusing on this pose as a side stretch for now. Bring the back of your right upper arm to the inside of your right leg. 

Step 3:

Reach your left arm up and over the left side of your head. From this point you may be able to grab your right foot or loop a strap around your foot while holding on to the end of the strap with your left hand. 

Step 4: 

The back of your head may start to turn toward your right leg as you take your gaze up under your left armpit toward the sky.

Send your breath along the left side of your body and notice the way your body reacts and responds to the shape. Modify as needed and allow your muscled to soften into the pose. Try to focus your breath on releasing instead of resisting. 

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