A very relaxed pose to take when you need to awaken your inner fire. Banana pose, oftentimes referred to by its Sanskrit name, Banasana, is the best pose for a side body stretch. No other yin pose gets quite as deep along the length that Banana does.
Get into Banana Pose Step-by-Step
- Begin laying on the backside of your body.
- Walk your feet over to the edge of your mat. Your feet may be side by side or cross your ankles.
- Lift your arms above your head, elbows soft.
- Shift your shoulders in the same direction as your feet.
- Bend into your elbows as much as you need to in order to keep both shoulders on the ground. Hold onto your elbows or lower your arms if necessary.
- Physical: A lateral side stretch that focuses on stretching deep into the whole side of the body. This includes the armpit, IT band, side of the rib cage, and oblique muscles.
- Energetic: The lateral bend of this pose stimulates the Gallbladder meridian. If the arms are raised overheard it also stimulates the Heart and Lung meridians.
- Emotional & Mental: This pose can help increase confidence and courage as it taps into the solar plexus chakra, your home for self-esteem.
- If there is any tingling in the arms place a bolster under your arms, hold onto your elbows, or lower your arms by your sides.
- Supported Banana: A restorative variation that can provide a more relaxed side bend. Sit on one hip with your legs tucked beside you. Place a bolster or rolled blanket a bit away from your hip. Lower yourself down onto the prop so that the side of your ribcage rests on the prop. Your bottom arm reaches out from the top of your head and your upper arm rests in front of your chest. Stay here or extend your top arm so it drapes over your head. Additionally, extend your top leg away from the prop.
Get Out of the Pose
- Release your upper body back to the center. Arms come down by your sides.
- Uncross your ankles and drag your legs back to center.
- Hug your knees into a ball and draw circles with your knees.
How Long to Hold Banana?
- 3-6 minutes is an ideal length of time.
- It’s not uncommon for students to get bored or feel like they’re not getting enough of a stretch in this pose. Encourage them to hold.