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Banana Asana- Practice, Benefits and Contraindications of Banana Pose

Common Name(s)Banana Pose in English, Kela Asana in Hindi
MeridiansLiver, Gall Bladder
ChakrasSolar Plexus (Manipura Chakra)

Banana Asana is a side-bend posture done in supine position while lying down on back. It is also called ‘Kela Asana’ in Hindi because the pose resembles a banana. The pose influences the Manipura Chakra of yogic tradition and controls the element of fire. It also regulates the Pitta doshas as per the Ayurveda tradition.

The meridian affected by this pose is the Gall Bladder Meridian which impacts all along the sides of the body. By raising and stretching the arms overhead, the Heart and Lung meridians are also affected.

Contraindication or Precautions

1/2. The people who fee a tingling sensation in arms which stretching these overhead shall make use of some support beneath the arms. If the sensation persists, then it is better to put the hands down, besides the body. 

2/2. Since it requires side-ways bend on either side of the body, if there is a problem in lower back, then you should do only to the extent that it does not hurt. 

How to start this asana?

1/5. Lie on the ground on a comfortable position with your chest upward.

2/5. Pull your legs together and hands over your head clasped together. You can clasp your elbows as well, if you feel comfortable.

3/5. Now start bending to your side from the hip toward the upper portion of your body with the hands clasped together and head between both your hands.

4/5. Make sure that you are not rolling your hips and your hips are perfectly parallel to the ground while doing this side stretch.

5/5. Now move your legs tucked together and to the same side as you have bent your upper body. This bend should be archival and should be parallel to the ground without allowing hips to roll.

Alternatives and options to Banana Asana

This is rather a simple asana and generally most of people would be able to do it. However, if there is a tingling sensation in hands by keeping the hands in overhead position, you can make use of some bolster for supporting the arms.

You can also make another variation to the asana by letting the ankle of the leg in outward direction to cross over to the one which is inner. This increases the stretch in the ankle muscles.

Counter poses to Banana Pose

1/2. The counter pose to this asana is to hold the knees close to chest and release the back by gently pushing it forward. 

2/2. Another counter pose is to perform the exercise on the other side of the body.

How to revert to normal/ counter pose

1/2. Gently come back to normal lying down position, with your legs straight and bring your hands down to your side.

2/2. You can bring your knees to your chest while hugging them as a counter pose. You can also try circling your knees for better massage of lumber and sacrum.

Which part and organs of the body are affected?

1/2. This asana offers a perfect opening and stretch to the Gall Bladder meridian which runs along the side of the body.

2/2. While raising hands, this asana offers its impact on Heart and Lung meridians as well.

Recommended stretch of time

As this asana is one of the simplest asana for you as per your comfort level, you should stay in this asana from 3 to 5 minutes. Depending upon your comfort level and flexibility this asana should be practiced for both side matching your rhythm and timing.

Benefits of the Banana Asana

1/5. It is a good way to stretch the sides of body. This asana helps in movement of rib cage and spine in a lateral flexion.

2/5. It exercises the spinal cord in a lateral manner, from iliotibial band to tops of the side of rib cage.

3/5. It also stretches the oblique stomach muscles and the side intercostal muscles that are present between the ribs.

4/5. By taking the hands over head, it also stretches the arm pit. 

5/5. This form often acts directly on your IT band. This is also a good exercise for movement of gluteus maximus and tensor fascia latae, which are attached with the IT band.

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