Stretch your entire side body, arms, shoulders, & more in Banana Pose…
Banana Pose (Bananasana) – also known as Reclining Sidebend Pose, Supine Crescent Moon Pose, or Supine Bending Palm Tree Pose – is a restorative beginner-level yoga pose that is often done in Yin yoga classes.
This pose stretches the entire side body and improves mobility in the shoulders and spine. As a deep side stretch, this pose is great for stretching the oblique and intercostal abdominal muscles, as well as improving lateral spine mobility. Since it stretches the rib area and muscles between the ribs, it is thought to help improve lung function and breath capacity. It may also help to relieve lower and upper back pain, and in Chinese medicine, is thought to stimulate the gallbladder meridian. This is a great relaxation pose, and helps to quiet and calm the mind and relieve stress.
To modify the pose, if you experience tingling in your hands when stretching them overhead, you may support your arms with a bolster, hold your elbows instead of your wrists, or simply rest your arms across your chest in the pose.
For a deeper stretch, you may cross your ankles in the pose (try crossing either ankle over the other to see which gives you a better stretch).
This pose should be quite safe for most people, but those with lower back issues should be careful not to stretch too far in this pose, and if you have a recent shoulder injury avoid this one. If you are pregnant, don’t spend too long in this pose, and if in the later stages of pregnancy, you should skip it altogether.
How to Do Banana Pose:
- Lie down on your back, legs straight, arms overhead.
- With your buttocks firmly anchored on the mat, move both of your legs to the right. You can use your right foot to keep your left foot in place, by crossing your ankles.
- Buttocks still anchored on the mat, bring your upper body to the right allowing your spine to bend to the side, clasping your left wrist with your right hand.
- Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.
- You are looking for stimulation in the side body. You may feel more sensations in the upper body (ribs, shoulders, arms), the lower body (along the hips and thighs), or both.
- To come out of the pose, slowly bring your body back to neutral.
- Lift your head to make sure that you’re lying straight and then take a few moments in Savasana to integrate the effects of this pose.
- Repeat on the other side.
Learn More at EkhartYoga.com, or watch a video demonstration here…