Pose Breakdown: Bananasana

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Nancy Nelson

Let’s talk about banana pose. This posture offers a great stretch for the side body and a myriad of other benefits.


From a supine position, begin to walk the legs and arms/shoulders over to one side of the mat coming into a banana-like shape as the hips stay centered on the mat. Keep the arms and legs unbound or cross the ankles and bring the hands together. The gaze can stay upward or let the head drop over to the side the limbs are resting on.


  • Hips should feel grounded and level without any pinching sensation. Lessen the curved shape a bit if you are feeling too much in the body to really settle in and breathe.
  • You can try doing just the upper or lower body to simplify or focus the sensation a bit more into an area of specific need.

Variations + Options


  • Stretches the side body from the outer ankles to the outer arms
  • Relaxes the joints of the spine
  • Stretches oblique and intercostal muscles to aid in deep breathing
  • Balances emotions
  • Settles heavy thoughts
  • Taps into self-confidence and willpower

Meridians Targeted

  • Stimulates the gallbladder, liver, kidney, lung and heart lines

USE CAUTION: Contraindications for this posture include…

  • Vertebral Issues. In the lumbar spine and SI joint specifically. Be sure to utilize support using props to alleviate possible strain on already sensitive joints.
  • Tingling/Numbness . If you experience these sensations, back out until you feel everything balance out again.

HOLD TIME: 3-5 minutes per side

Counter Postures

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2 Responses

  1. Why do you put that foot over the other? I’ve always practiced it the other way as it then guides you a little deeper into the pose

    1. Hey Sherri! Good question. Depends on your intention. I like adding this foot over because it deepens the stretch into the side body which is where I like the focused sensation in the pose. But you could certainly do it the other way if that feels best in your body!

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Nancy Nelson
Nancy Nelson
Nancy is the fearless leader here at Nancy Nelson Yoga! She has been instructing yoga since 2012 and is certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500, YACEP) with Yoga Alliance. She loves guiding yoga classes in all forms – from sweaty vinyasa flows, to slow mindful movement - but her favorite style to practice and teach is yin yoga. She attended a formal 50-hour Yin Yoga training with Bernie Clark and Diana Batts in the fall of 2018 and it truly propelled her into developing her yin focused website, webinars and trainings.

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