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.
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 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:
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.
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