70/100 ~ Banana Pose Side Stretch (“Bananasana”) – Anytime we lift the arms up overhead, we are opening the torso and creating space in the lungs, allowing for a deeper breath. Here’s a sweet side opener that also releases the lung meridian where grief and sadness is held. Take deep breaths to create space in the body, and then unpeel yourself and notice the release.
Benefits: This pose stretches and tones the side-body; massages internal organs; opens the chest, shoulders and side-body; stretches the hips; brings flexibility to the spine; and calms the nervous system. In yin yoga, this pose releases the lung meridian and invites a sense of relief, well-being and joy.
How to: Rest on your back with legs extended and arms reaching overhead. Step your feet and legs over to the left side of the mat. Both hips should remain on the floor, so if the right hip lifts up, bring your legs back toward center until it lowers. Move your arms and upper body to the left. Both shoulders should remain on the floor, so adjust your body accordingly. Notice the gentle opening in the right side-body. If you’d like a deeper sensation, cross the right ankle over the left, and take hold of your right wrist with the left hand and gently tug. Breathe deeply, noticing the extra stretch in the right rib cage with every inhale. Hold this pose for 3-8 breath cycles. Rest at center before moving to the other side.
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