With spring right around the corner, you are likely thinking of all the ways you can enjoy this beloved season. One way many North Texans enjoy kicking off spring is with planting cool season flowers and scrumptious veggies like spinach and radishes. If you love digging in the dirt and want to bask in the glory of gardening pain-free, these four yoga poses are perfect for you. You can ward off back and knee pain with this quick flow before and during your time in your happy place.
- Wide-Legged Forward Bend – Use this pose for increasing stability when bending over to weed or plant seeds for several minutes. You can support a straight back with the Wide-Legged Forward Bend. To practice, place your feet wide and keep your belly engaged. Keeping your shoulder blades back, bend forward at the hips so you are pressing your palms like starfish into the earth, the top of your head resting on the ground. Keep your knees soft.
- Half Forward Bend – Perform this pose for no longer than 30 seconds to stretch your hamstrings, a muscle group often stressed when we bend over incorrectly too often. To set this one up, keep your feet hip distance apart. Then, extend your spine, keeping the shoulder blades back, and hinge forward at the hips. Knees should stay soft to protect the knees and back as you reach forward, keeping your back straight, head in line and eyes up, and fingers pointing towards the earth.
- Squat Pose – This pose is perfect for quieting a strained lower back. However, if you have knee problems, it is probably best to ask for a yoga instructor to help you with modifications. Take moments here and there while gardening to stretch out as you plant your feet wide, keeping your heels on the ground. With a straight spine and shoulder blades back, lower your body to the ground in a squat, as close the earth as you can, keeping the knees soft and bent and palms pressed together in a prayer pose.
- Extended Side-Angle Pose – Ideal for stretching the legs, back, and sides of your body, this one is also easy on the knees. Bend sideways to the right with your left arm extended parallel to the ground, above your head, fingertips outstretched. As you do so, your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle, with your left leg extended far behind you to stretch your inner thigh. Place your bottom arm on the inside of your right leg to prevent your bent knee from collapsing inward and to lend more stability. This also doubles as a fancy way to weed.
The next time you are in your garden sowing seeds, remember to take momentary breaks using these wonderful gardening yoga poses. For more ideas on practicing yoga to optimize your outdoors time, check in with Core Fusion about our classes.