I don’t know about you, but I’ve been spending some time outside in the garden these last few weeks!
I don’t exactly have a “green thumb” but I like color and the nice aesthetic flowers and decorations can add to the look of my home.
One thing I noticed, however, was wow, where did my alignment go?! I’m a yoga teacher after all; I should probably know how to honor my body, especially my spine.
But there I was, hunched over and not offering my core or my knees any support. Needless to say, I was going to need some stretching. So, I started to use my knowledge of poses and postures while I was working in the yard to make the most of my experience, and take it a little easier on my back, knees, hips, and neck.
Here are some poses you might want to try next time you’re out in the garden, too!
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
“This pose is great for creating stability when trimming or weeding for several minutes at a time, but a straight back here is key to protect against pain.”
Forward Fold with a Half Lift
This pose is only recommended for short periods of time—no more than 30 seconds. If you wish to stay longer, take Prasarita Padottanasana.
This is a great counter pose to the first two, and is perfect for releasing low back tension. But if you have knee issues, it’s probably best to avoid this one.
Again, if you have issues with your knees, be careful or avoid this one altogether. You can also try placing a blanket or pad under the knees if they’re a little sensitive. Also important to note: if you lean forward in this pose, it’s important to keep a straight back here as well, as with Wide Legged Forward Fold.
In this pose, be mindful do the bent knee. If it’s too much on sensitive knees, definitely take this one easy. This is a great pose to flow together with Yogi Squat and Wide Legged Forward Fold, to break up the holds and offer a little something in the transition.
Extended Side Angle
This pose is such a big stretch without coming too high off the ground to pull weeds and pick dandelions. Definitely be mindful, though, that the forward knee is not coming beyond the ankle, and that it’s not collapsing inward. You can avoid that last part by planting your lower arm on the inside of the front foot.
This pose is great to include in your yard work if you need to reach over and pull a weed without stepping on a plant you intend to grow. “Practice your balance, get a nice stretch, and avoid flattening your flowers.“
Got some tall bushes, hanging plants or vines, or some low hanging branches do trim? Using alignment in the spine from Upward Salute – keeping a soft tailbone, ribs knit in and shoulders away from the ears – will go a long way to help prevent issues and pain while you’re working!