Pose of the Week: Parighasana

Saturday, 23 March 2019 09:38
The pose of the week is Parighasana. Parigha means a lock or latch for a gate. Asana means pose or posture.
Preliminary set up for Parighasana - BKS Iyengar in Light on Yoga (1966)
This week in the Beginner’s classes we have been focusing on Parighasana. We are coming toward the end of the course; this week being the 8th week of the course. This asana is taught toward the end of the 10 week course as it really is a combination of many of the previous asanas practiced. 
Parighasana - BKS Iyengar in the full pose (Light on Yoga)
Have a look at the photos of Tania and BKS Iyengar in Parighasana, can you identify any similarities to Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle pose) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (Side angle pose)?
Tania from the Beginner’s Course in Parighasana
You notice how the side flexion of the trunk is similar to Utthita Parsvakonasana, the (front) leg position is similar to Utthita Trikonasana, the pelvis is in a similar position to both of the above-mentioned asanas. The arm position in the preliminary part of the asana is similar to Virabhadrasana 2. How many more can you spot?
It also brings in Ustrasana (camel pose), a backbend which is taught in the Level 1 classes. Parighasana teaches you how to kneel, with the top of the foot on the floor and have the front of the hips open. This is an integral part of Ustrasana. (NB. I’ll blog on this asana next week :))
One thing that has always fascinated me is the naming of this pose. I could never really understand how the asana represented a gate lock or gate latch. In Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar says that Parigha is a beam or bar used for shutting a gate. “In this posture, the body resembles a cross beam used for locking a gate, hence the name.” (p.59)
I’m thinking something like this??
What we are trying to achieve is to latch our outer self with our inner self.  We begin with our physical body and learn to go in through the layers. Our physical body is not a separate entity from our mind and soul. As BKS Iyengar says in Light on Life, "The aim of yoga is to discover our immortal Self. The practice of yoga teaches us to live fully - physically and spiritually - cultivating each of the various sheaths.” (p.5) These sheaths are called koshas. They are like layers of an onion. The layers are: the outermost layer of the body, that is our physical form, our energetic body, our mental body, our intellectual body and ultimately our blissful or soul body. The bodies or sheaths are invariably misaligned and fragmented - through yoga we work to achieve integration and unity.
Learn more about the process of going in: Pranayama/Restorative Class Sunday 31st March 1pm-3pm (next Sunday).
Book your place now:
See you on the mat :)
Nicole Schroeter
Certified Iyengar Teacher (JI3)
Learn more about Iyengar Yoga. Embark on Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training in inner West Melbourne with Nicole. Info here. Apply here
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