A weekend all about mom often involves some serious work in the garden. And if bending over to weed or shoveling dirt and mulch has your body complaining, try some gentle yoga stretches to help ease soreness before retiring to the sofa for the evening.
To ease a strained back, try a Low-Back Savasana (deep rest):
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and calves resting on a chair seat.
- Make sure your thighs are close to perpendicular to the floor; a blanket folded under the lower legs may help the waist release downward to the floor.
- Rest in this position for 5-10 minutes. Come out of the pose by bringing knees towards chest, turning on the side and coming up slowly, with the head rising last.
To stretch hamstrings, lengthen inner and outer knees and increase circulation in the hips, abdomen and pelvis try Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
- Lie on your back with legs extended and lift one knee toward your chest. Place a yoga strap (or a long belt or tie) around the ball of your foot.
- With the ends of the strap in your hands, slowly begin to straighten the leg and extend the leg upward, allowing the knee to slightly bend. Keep opposite leg extended on the floor.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
To open the chest and rest the arms try a Supine Chest Opener.
- Use two blankets rolled together to create a long and narrow bolster.
- Sit on the end of the bolster with knees bent and gently lie back, bringing the spine onto the support.
- Rest your arms by your side with palms up. Slowly slide your arms on the floor upwards until you feel the chest muscles begin to open. Rest in this position for several minutes.
- To come up out of the pose, roll carefully on the side keeping knees tucked in and gently coming up to standing.
This is a great stretch after hunching over planting or weeding, or even after working for long periods at the computer.
For more yoga poses for gardeners, many you can perform out in the garden during a break, visit Flourish Yoga by following this link.