The first Yin posture I have chosen to share with you this month, is also the posture that I usually start with when teaching a Yin yoga class.
Bananasana has rather a cute name and as you can see, very fitting for the shape the body makes.
The idea of this posture is to arch the body much like the shape of a banana, in order to gain an amazing stretch down the whole side of the body.
The focus is on:
• Working the spine for a better side bend (lateral stretch).
• Stretching the IT band.
• Opening the rib cage and inter-costal muscles.
• Stretching the shoulder and armpit
• Opening and stretching the gallbladder meridian
Let’s look at how we practice Bananasana, step by step:
1. Lying on your back, feet together and holding both hands to opposite elbows.
2. Focus your mind on the right hip and on an in-breath drag your chest and shoulders towards theleft, away from the right hip.
3. Hold firm with the hands on the elbows.
4. Keep the right hip anchored and on an in-breath, take both feet together towards the left, away from the right hip.
5. Hold this position (see photo one) for one minute.
6. After the first minute, cross your right foot over the left ankle, keep both legs straight (see photo two).
7. Hold this position for three minutes. The total pose time being four minutes.
8. The focus being to keep the right hip and right shoulder sinking towards the mat and creating a nice deep side bend.
9. On an in-breath, remove the right foot from the left ankle and bring the chest back to centre on completion of the time held and repeat with the left side of the body.
10. Remember that when practicing Yin yoga, we work with a longer out-breath than your in-breath. Allow the in-breath to be its natural length and breathe out for twice as long, this is called a breath ratio of 1:2.
Metta, Kim, oxo