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Yoga for Gardening

Gardening has been shown to produce many health benefits, including improved mental health, physical activity, nutrition and reduced stress. Gardeners’ bodies soak up these health benefits, but hours pulling weeds, dragging hoses and leaning over garden beds can also do a number on the body, putting it at risk for injury.

Gardeners who incorporate yoga into their summer routine can make time spent in the garden (and after) much more comfortable and pleasant. A specially designed yoga practice can help support the gardening habit in four important ways.

1. Sweet relief: Yoga poses can relieve many of the aches and pains associated with gardening. Many yoga students experience a decrease in neck, shoulder and back pain, areas that often trouble gardeners.

2. Improved balance: Balance poses such as tree pose and warrior three are invaluable to gardeners and can help prevent falls.

3. Increased flexibility: A flexible body, especially improved mobility of the hips, knees and shoulders, can improve the comfort level of your gardening experience a hundred-fold. Squat with strength and no pain while pulling weeds and then give thanks to yoga!

4. Injury prevention: Trip over hoses much? Mindful breathing practices (pranayama) can help link movement to breath and prevent injuries associated with gardening.

A yoga practice – whether at home, in a group class, or outside amongst the tomatoes – can do wonders to support the health benefits that will grow along with your garden. A local yoga teacher will be more than happy to help find a fitting practice.

Elizabeth Bohmier, MSW, RYT teaches at Yoga Center of Collinsville and is in the process of converting her two-acre suburban backyard into an edible landscape/mini-farm.

 

 

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