FROM THE MAT: Jennifer Oliver O’Connell

“My favorite go-to these days is called Gate Pose, or Parighasana in the Sanskrit. Between age (I’m 54), menopause, and a more sedentary life, I feel the need to stretch, as well as strengthen, and Gate Pose is a wonderful way to do both.”

Now, because Jennifer is a bonafied anatomical BOSS, of course there is more to this pose than simply putting your parts in a certain place. Observe the breakdown:

“Gate Pose concentrates the frontal plane (side bodies) and taps into all those forgotten muscles from the tip of your heel to the top of your head. Seriously, it opens up the entire spine, and strengthens shoulders, hips, and quads, especially when you uplevel this variation by lifting the top leg, or go into full Gate Pose by lifting the torso laterally. If you hold this for 30 seconds or longer, you definitely feel it all.”

“Thanks to this crazy pandemic, I am not on my mat as much as I used to be, and my practice has definitely changed. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of practicing in order to “teach” to others (which was a lot of my practice), I now practice for me. It’s a slower and shorter practice that is more focused on breath and living in the postures rather than trying to do fancy things with them. It is a commitment to stay strong, healthy, and to take care of the body that exists now, not the one I had 10 months ago, or the one that I will have in the future.”

Jennifer is a highly skilled and experienced yoga teacher (ERYT-500), writer, and Reinvention Coach. You can find out more about Jennifer and her journey on As the Girl Turns Inc.


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