April 19, 2016
Yoga for Gardening
The deliciousness of a sweet heirloom tomato, the snap of fresh green beans, the tangy sweetness of a fresh strawberry, the heady scent of a blossoming peony…it’s within reach now that the sun graces the sky for long days. Gardening has approximately equal parts science, weather, faith and hard work. The hard work can lead to a sore back, cranky knees, a stiff neck, aching shoulders and repetitive movements for the wrists and elbows. Yoga is a wonderful addition to your self-care for the gardening season.
Here are some tips for your yoga self-care program.
- Gently warm up your upper back, shoulders, elbows and wrists with wide sweeping arm movements and wrist circles.
- Raise and lower heels to cultivate balance.
- Do some gentle back bending to strengthen the back and counter all of the forward bending that is done with gardening.
- Do some gentle forward bending with bent knees to warm up the low back but not too much since you’ll get plenty in the garden.
- Gently twist the upper back and turn the head/neck to warm up the upper back and neck muscles.
- Keep the muscles that support your spine and major joints (elbows, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles) strong, stable and flexible so that you have more optimal alignment in the spine and joints (which means less nerve impingement and pain).
See the attached short yoga practice that can be done in the garden before or after gardening: Yoga for Gardening handout. Enjoy the gardening season!
Mary Hilliker, RDN, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT is a Certified Viniyoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist and Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist with 5 Koshas Yoga and Wellness Center and River Flow Yoga Teacher Training School in Wausau WI. Mary offers individualized Yoga Therapy and nutrition counseling. She teaches therapeutic and wellness yoga classes, mini-retreats, workshops, webinars and yoga teacher training.