Want to open your side body? Improve digestion? I have the posture for you!
Banana Pose offers a spinal side bend in a supportive, restful fashion. By laying on the ground, you are able to really release into the posture.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the creation of the shape of the posture, benefits, and ways to tailor this pose to your physical needs.
Create the physical shape of Banana Pose
All postures have a physical shape and an energetic feel. Here are instructions on how to achieve the physical shape of Banana Pose:
- Lay on your back with your legs out straight and arms overhead.
- Keeping your shoulders on the ground, slide your arms and shoulder blades to the left.
- Keeping your pelvis on the ground, slide your legs to the left.
- You will now be in a C-curve, or banana shape.
- Soften your belly. As you inhale, breathe into the side and back of your right rib cage. This encourages mobility of the ribs that often hold unneeded tension.
- Hold here for 8–10 breaths then switch sides.
Make Banana Pose work for you
The beauty of a yoga practice is its flexibility (no pun intended!). That is, you can make adjustments to the positioning and use props. Try some of the variations below and make it work for you!
Positioning your hands and feet
- If you are curling to the right, grab your left wrist with your right hand to increase the stretch in your left shoulder and rib cage along your left side.
- If you are curling to the right, cross your left ankle over your right knee for an extra stretch in the left tensor fascia latae (front of your hip which connects to the iliotibial band).
- Or simply relax as described previously without going for the extra stretch. Our goal is not always to stretch, it is often to soften and release.
Supporting your back
If your back does not like to be flat, place a bolster under your thighs. You could also bend your knees and keep your feet flat.
Make it restorative
Transform Banana Pose into a restorative posture.
Banana Pose is similar to Half Moon Pose from a musculoskeletal perspective.
Restorative Half Moon Pose (or Banana Pose) with knees together. Option to put a pillow between your knees or under your head.
Restorative Half Moon Pose (or Banana Pose) with top leg extended to lengthen the muscle that attaches to the IT band.
Why choose Banana Pose?
This posture offers lengthening of the side body. Releasing tension and holding patterns in the obliques can be very supportive for people with back or pelvic pain.
Who doesn’t need to open their chest and shoulder girdle? This posture counteracts the forward pull of typing and texting.
Breathing here offers space at the muscles that are between each rib – the intercostal muscles.
Banana Pose also offers a moment of quiet. Taking a pause in this posture, especially when paired with paced breathing or the Letting Go breath, calms the sympathetic nervous system.
For students with gastrointestinal issues, this can be a helpful posture for releasing gas and getting the bowels moving.
Start with bringing your arms and legs to the left to lengthen along the ascending colon and then to the right to lengthen along the descending colon. This is nicely paired with self abdominal massage. You too can poop like a unicorn with these strategies and more.
Who is this posture good for?
Enjoy and move easefully!