YOGA POSES FOR GARDENERS
Gardening is great for the soul and mind but various gardening positions can take a toll on the body. Digging, kneeling, and otherwise overdoing it can make your body feel horrible. Yoga and different stretches can help prepare your body for long days outside in the garden. These simple techniques will protect the muscles and joints that are most overworked. These exercises can also help to relax your mind. These three yoga poses will keep you healthy, limber, and ready for long days of hard work.Yoga and gardening are a natural pairing. Planting a seed, nurturing its growth, and experiencing its beautiful expression in full bloom is not unlike the yogic process of setting an intention, nurturing one's practice.
These three yoga poses will get you started, keep you healthy, limber, and ready for long days in the garden. I recommend flowing through the three poses in order. Spend 15 minutes before gardening, after gardening, or any time!
1. Downward Facing Dog
This classic yoga pose will help open your shoulders and chest and the backs of your legs while strengthening your upper body. For people with stiffer joints, try using a bench for support.
To assume the pose, bend at the waist so your hands are flat on the ground or on a support. Your hands should be six to 12 inches apart. Keep your knees bent, about hip-width apart, and let your heels lift off the ground. Slowly start to straighten your knees—but don’t lock them. Gently begin to move your upper body in toward your thighs until your ears are in line with your upper arms. Keep your hips up (don't let them sag) and at the same time push strongly into your hands. Lift your sit bones toward the sky so that your body makes an inverted V. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, breathe in and out through your nose. To modify, simply keep your knees bent.
This amazing pose will stretch and strengthen your entire back and abdominals.Begin on your hands and knees, with your shoulders directly over your wrists and hips over your knees. Inhale through your nose and slowly arch your back (cat), lifting your chest away from your belly and extending your tailbone upward. As you exhale through your nose, round your back (cow), gently contracting your belly. Complete 8-10 repetitions.
3. Half Moon Pose
This pose helps gardeners stretch the entire side of the body and bring shoulders back into proper alignment.Stand with feet together and knees slightly bent. Begin with hands clasped overhead in line with your ear. Lean to the left and slowly reach to the left. Hold stomach in to keep the body in line and pelvis square to the front. Repeat on right side.To modify, place left arm down alongside the body while the right arm reaches overhead. Switch sides.