parigha = an iron bar or beam used for locking or shutting a gate
The pose described immediately below is a simplified variation of the full pose. Then we describe the full pose afterward.
Step by Step
Contraindications and Cautions
With any serious knee injury, kneeling might be difficult or impossible. In this case, perform the pose sitting on a chair. Arrange your legs either in front of your torso, with knees at right angles, or stretch one leg out to the side, mimicking the full pose.
Parighasana can be used as a preparation for many of the standing poses, including Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)and Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose). It's also a good preparation for Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose).
Beginners might not be able to press the foot of the straight leg flat onto the floor. There are two options: either raise the ball of the foot on a sandbag or thickly folded blanket, or work against a wall, with the ball of the foot pressed against the wall.
Stretches the sides of the torso and spine
Stretches the hamstrings
Opens the shoulders
Stimulates abdominal organs and lungs
Have your partner stand facing your straight-leg side; in this example, we'll use the right leg. Inhale your right arm out to the side, parallel to the floor. Have your partner grasp your wrist and, at the same time, press the toes of his foot into your right groin. As you tip to the side, have your partner pull on the wrist and push on the groin. Lengthen out to the side, stretching the underside ribs and reaching the arm away from the deepening groin. When you reach your maximum stretch, have your partner let go. Then round yourself over to the side into the full pose.