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Stretch of the Week: Gate Pose

by AthleticoLeave a Comment

Week two of April is upon us! This weeks side opener is from the yoga world. It’s called “Gate Pose.” You will feel this stretch all the way down into the hip flexors (front of the hip), and all the way up through the hand. Please stretch using the modified version if you have any groin, feet, or ankle issues. 

You will need a blanket and a yoga block, or stack of books for the Gate Pose.

How to do the Gate Pose:

  1. Place the blanket on the floor and come to a kneeling pose on it. Extend the right leg out to the right as in photo marked 2.The toes will point to the right, as well as towards the floor, reaching the sole of the foot to the floor (If you get a cramp here, just come up on the heel, flexing the toes to the ceiling instead). The right heel will be in line with the left knee. If it is difficult or painful for you to straighten the right leg, bend the knee as in photo marked 1. Place the block, or books, just inside the right foot in either variation. stretch of the week gate pose position
  1. Inhale, expanding through the ribs and torso, and reach the arms out to the sides like a T. Exhale and side bend to the right, reaching the right hand down to the block. As you side bend, keep the left hip and the left knee stacked inline, and keep the left foot in line with the left knee.  Don’t jut the hip out or reach too far out with the extended leg as shown in the bottom two photos.

Tip: If you are not sure if you are inline, do this in front of a mirror! Or have a friend/loved one watch you do it to tell you where you need to adjust 🙂

  1. In whatever variation of the Gate Pose you are comfortable in, rotate the gaze and chest towards the ceiling, and turn the top hand so that your palm is facing behind you, and your pinky finger is facing the floor. Keep the hips open and keep the abdominal muscles engaged throughout.
  1. With each inhale reach up and over, expanding in the ribs, while you reach the left knee to the ground. Try not to crunch the right side, go back to week one, the half moon stretch to see how to keep the bent side from collapsing.
  1. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute. Inhale and pull yourself up with the top arm to come back to center. Switch sides.

Enjoy and read our other weekly stretches here and email me if you have any questions!

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