Yoga for Gardeners🌷

We think we are in good shape.  We head to the garden.  We find ourselves digging and pulling, lifting and raking.  Ouch!  Pains we haven’t felt in a while.  Here are a few yoga poses to stretch out those overworked muscles and to keep us pain-free throughout the growing season.  Try the first three in your garden, when you need a stretch.

Overall refresher:

Urdvha Hastasana: Reach arms up beside your ears, extending through the pinky fingers, keeping shoulders relaxed.  Bend to the right on the exhale, inhale to center, then exhale to left.  Repeat slowly several times, moving with the breath.

For low back tension:standing forward fold

Standing Forward Fold with Shoulder Opener

From standing, clasp your hands behind your back, soften through your knees and fold forward, hinging from the hips.

Breathe here for five to ten deep breaths, then slowly come to standing.

For tight shoulders:

Cow-face

While kneeling, reach your right arm to the sky; bend your right elbow, and allow your right hand to fall between your shoulder blades.

Take your left hand to your right elbow and allow the weight of the hand to deepen the shoulder opening.

Stay here for five deep breaths, leaning back slightly into your arms and taking care that the right arm isn’t putting any pressure on your neck.   Repeat on the other side.

Or, hold a strap in your right hand first, letting it drop down your back.  Clasp the strap with the left hand when you bend it back and gently walk the hands together with the strap.

Repeat on the other side.

 

After your gardening, relax with this chest opener, supported FISH, and Legs up the Wall.

 

Supported Fish: Hold 5 minutes, if possible

Sit with legs forward.  Place a bolster  or rolled up towel or blanket width-wise at chest level, then lie back onto the bolster.  Place a folded blanket under your head, if desired. Legs may be extended or bent. This pose opens the throat, heart, and belly.  It counteracts slumping, improves digestion, and reduces fatigue.

 

Legs up the Wall: 5-10minutes

Sit next to the wall with your right hip touching the wall.  Lie down as you lift your legs.  Scoot forward to the wall, if you are not touching it.  Allow the wall to support your legs as you relax the rest of your body.  If desired, you may add a folded blanket under the hips.

 

Happy gardening,

Francy

Yoga Scaling Options for Wrist Injuries

wrisits

wrisitsWrist weakness and injuries often seem to be deterrents to a regular yoga practice, but let’s discuss some ways to keep your yoga going as you heal.

There are a variety of ways to limit the amount of stress put on the wrists.  Here are some options to consider.

If your injury is severe and you have been asked to keep all weight off your wrists, you might consider chair yoga.  All poses are done either seated or using a chair for support.  Without adding any undue stress to your wrists, you can still experience a very good yoga session with the right instructor.

Another option is to use one of a variety of props to minimize stress.

When performing poses such as plank or downward-facing dog, place your hands on a rolled up yoga mat and extend the fingers toward the floor.  This will change the angle of your wrists and may eliminate the unwanted pressure.

Another option is to try gloves or braces offered at sporting goods companies.

My favorite option is to modify poses that will allow you to keep to your routine.

Modifications are listed here for 3 poses and can be adapted to other similar poses that require weight bearing by your hands/ wrists.

  1. Downward-facing dog: Convert this pose to Dolphin by bending your elbows as you lift your tailbone.
  2. Cat and Cow and other poses done from Table-Top: Make fists with your hands and rest on your knuckles instead of your wrists.
  3. Plank pose: Use Dolphin arms for this also, bending the elbows and supporting your torso with your upper arms.

Please keep in mind that some injuries heal slowly, but the time waiting and modifying is not in vain. It teaches patience and it reminds us how yoga is about the function and purpose of the poses.  Not being able to do a pose we want forces us to reach inside to find what really works for us, regardless of what others are doing.

Rotate those wrists and Namaste,

Francy

4 Principles of Yin Yoga

Tea-Tree-Yoga