Gardening is not always a gentle hobby; sometimes it’s a true athletic event. There is a lot of lifting, crouching, pulling, bending, and other maneuvers that can get your heart rate up and build muscle, but also leaving you sore and aching. Regular yoga practice can help develop strength and flexibility to make gardening easier. To enjoy the fruits of your labor more, why not practice yoga in the garden?
Yoga and Gardening – How it Can Help
There are many documented benefits of yoga, some of which you’ll feel right away, while others come with regular practice. Yoga can help strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, increase mobility, and relieve stress or depression.
For gardeners, one of the most important benefits of yoga is pain relief. Yoga is known to relieve lower back pain, arthritis pain, and all kinds of chronic pain. You can get natural relief from your sore back, stiff neck, and aching knees triggered by those hours spent in the garden.
The best way to get benefits of yoga is with regular practice. A couple of sessions per week will give you lasting results. Also, try shorter sessions or a few poses to warm up for gardening, as a break during a long time in the garden, and to unwind and stretch after gardening.
Gardening with Yoga Practice – Poses to Try
Garden yoga should be done in whatever way best benefits you. Try a few different poses, try doing the poses at different times, and come up with a routine and schedule that helps you the most.
Here are some poses that may be particularly beneficial as a focus for more comfortable gardening:
- Wide-legged forward bend: This is a simple pose that will strengthen your back for bending down in the garden. Practice bending at the hips, feet out wide with knees soft, and back straight, not rounded.
- Squat pose: Squat deeply with feet set apart a little more than shoulder width. Keep your back straight and heels firmly on the ground. This will bring relief to your lower back but avoid it if you have bad knees.
- Extended side-angle: This pose stretches just about everything. With the right leg bent at the knee, reach the left foot back and keep it straight with the foot firmly on the ground. Stretch the right arm up as you bend your torso over your right leg and reach the left arm down to the right foot.
- Revolved abdomen pose: This will stretch out your lower back, abs, and hip flexors. Lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest. Spread your arms out wide to either side, palms up. Twist both legs, knees bent, to one side while keeping your torso as flat against the ground as possible.
- Bridge pose: This pose stretches your neck and upper back. Lying on your back with knees and feet flat on the ground, lift your hips up as high as possible. Your arms should be flat on the ground, palms down.