This simple guide will help you discover the benefits of yoga for gardeners. As gardeners (or weekend warriors), we give so much energy to tending and mending the earth. We need to remind ourselves to take care of our bodies with at least some of the same energy and diligence that we put into gardening.
The beautifully illustrated book, Gardener’s Yoga, by Veronica D’Orazio, is both inspiring and practical. Put down your trowel for a few minutes and pick up this useful tool!
Some common sore spots for gardeners are typically shoulders, low back and hamstrings.
Maybe you didn’t lift that fourth bag of potting soil correctly, or you forgot to engage your core while moving wet mulch from point A to point B. Or, you spent too much time crouched over the seedlings, watching them grow and protecting them from the ravenous rabbits nearby.
Ending the day with some stretches helps rejuvenate and relax your body so you can get out in the garden the next day without feeling like you ran a marathon the day before.
“Maintaining a regular yoga practice when we are most inclined to feel sluggish and withdrawn nourishes our spirits and warms us to the core.”
A little stretching goes a long way when practicing yoga for gardeners.
A great chest opener if you hold tension in your shoulders or have spent an extended amount of time in a hunched position. This pose also releases the lower back which can become strained from lifting and shoveling.
Downward-Facing Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana
A stretch for the Achilles tendon and calves which often become overworked from walking, standing and crouching.
This will also stretch your latissimus dorsi (below your armpits) and shoulders if you are sore from raking, mulching, shoveling, extended reaching, etc.
One of the best poses a gardener can do for themselves! Increasing the flexibility in your hamstrings will greatly increase your overall mobility for crouched and reaching positions.
Reclining Leg Stretch Supta Padangusthasana I
Nothing feels better than putting your feet up after a day of hard work. Try this pose with the back of your legs against a wall for a deeper stretch.
Supine Twist Jathara Parivartanasana Variation
If you have tight hip flexors or soreness in your lower back, this pose will help release that tightness and lengthen your spine. This is also a good pose to practice pranayama (the focus of breathing in and out of the nose, softly and deeply.)