With the shift of the seasons, gardening is a great way to get outside, exercise a little, and get fresh air and sunshine, but it can also be tough on your body.
If you’re a gardener, you know that bending, squatting, and lifting can put a strain on your muscles and joints.
That’s where yoga comes in!
Yoga for gardeners can help you improve your flexibility, strength, and balance, all of which are essential for your gardening activities.
In this article, we will share with you:
- Benefits of yoga for gardeners
- Tips for gardeners practicing yoga
- 8 best yoga for gardeners poses
If you like to garden and want to support your hobby with a little yoga, read on!
Benefits of Yoga for Gardeners
The practices of yoga, and in particular the asana practice, have many benefits for anyone that chooses to practice, but for those who spend time planting, watering, pulling weeds, and tending the plants, here are some of the main benefits of yoga for gardeners:
- Improved flexibility and mobility
Yoga helps to improve your flexibility and mobility, which can be particularly beneficial for gardeners who often engage in activities that require bending, kneeling, and reaching.
- Reduced stress and anxiety
Gardening can be a therapeutic activity, but it can also be physically demanding and mentally taxing.
Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing gardeners to enjoy their work and reduce the risk of burnout by learning to breathe better, be more present, and be more self-aware.
- Increased strength and stamina
Yoga poses that focus on strength and endurance can help gardeners build the physical strength and stamina they need for gardening tasks such as lifting and carrying heavy bags of soil, planting, and weeding.
- Better posture and balance
Good posture and balance are important for gardeners to reduce the risk of injury and strain. Yoga can aid in developing better posture and balance, helping you move more efficiently and safely around your plants.
- Improved breathing
Proper breathing techniques are essential for maintaining energy levels and reducing the risk of injury during gardening. Yoga exercises often include pranayama practices that can help gardeners breathe more efficiently and deeply.
- Overall physical wellness
Yoga for gardeners can help achieve overall improved health and well-being. This can lead to a feeling of positive energy and vitality, which can help people who garden enjoy their work even more.
Tips for gardeners practicing yoga
For those gardeners who have never practiced yoga and would like a bit of guidance, here are some tips before you get started with yoga for gardeners:
Start with gentle stretching exercises to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for yoga practice.
2# Focus on the breath
Practice mindful breathing as you move through different postures. Take deep breaths and exhale slowly to help you relax and release tension.
3# Explore Variations
Choose variations and options of the postures that are accessible to you and fit your needs instead of forcing yourself into shapes that may not serve you.
4# Core strength
Focus on building core strength and improving your posture. This will help you maintain good posture while working in the garden.
Incorporate stretches that target your lower back, hips, and shoulders; these are essential for gardeners who spend a lot of time bending and reaching.
Practice balancing poses to improve your overall balance and stability.
7# Stay Present
Practice mindfulness as you move through different yoga poses. Take your time and focus on your breathing, sensations, and thoughts.
8# Build the Habit
Practice yoga regularly to get the most benefits. Even a few minutes of yoga every day can make a big difference in your physical and mental health.
9# Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your yoga practice. This helps to prevent fatigue and dehydration, especially if you’re practicing outside in the garden.
8 best Yoga for Gardeners poses
There are no specific yoga for gardeners’ postures that you must practice, rather we recommend you find some that work for you. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, it can be very beneficial to add a few yoga poses before and after you tend your garden.
Here are 8 of the best yoga for gardeners poses to incorporate into their practice:
1# Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This pose is perfect for stretching out your back body and hips and to help you feel present and grounded.
Try it before gardening in order to prepare your body and mind for the task or after working with your plants both can be of great benefit.
- To practice child’s pose, start on all fours, knees a bit wider than your hips, and toes toward each other.
- Bring your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you. Bring your forehead to a block, or to the floor.
- For a variation of the pose that is more accessible for some, consider taking Apanasana, laying down on your back instead.
2# Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana – Bitilasana)
This flowing pose stretches out your spine and neck and invites blood and energy to flow into the body.
- Begin on a tabletop position. Inhale, lift your sit bones, dip your belly down and look forward or up, and exhale to round your back and gaze down to the ground, opening the back of the body.
- Repeat a few cycles, noticing the mobility of the spine.
- If your knees are sensitive, place a blanket underneath, if your wrists feel strain, make fists with your hands instead.
3# Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
A great yoga for gardeners’ posture, Bhujangasana is a back-bending and front-body opening pose that strengthens your spine and back body while opening up your chest and front of the legs.
- Begin lying face-down on the ground, bring your hands underneath your shoulders, and squeeze your elbows toward one another.
- Inhale to lift your chest off the floor and stay there for a few breaths, with your shoulders and jaw relaxed, blackbody engaged.
- Come back down on an exhalation.
4# Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This iconic yoga pose stretches out your calves, hamstrings, and back, and it requires the entire body to be active, making it a great yoga for gardeners asana to warm up.
- From the tabletop position, walk your hands a bit forwards, tuck your toes, and lift your hips up, and back, creating an inverted shape with your body.
- Stay here for a few breaths, or pedal out your feet, warming up through the legs a bit more.
For more on the downward dog, read this article.
5# Warrior Poses (Virabhadrasana)
For people wanting to practice some more activating and strengthening yoga poses for gardeners, consider exploring the different warrior poses.
Warrior 1, 2, and 3 and their variations strengthen your legs and entire body while inviting inner strength as well.Warrior poses also foster balance and focus, making it a great yoga pose for gardeners.
Learn more about warrior poses here.
6# Half Pigeon Pose (Ardha Kapotasana)
This stretching pose relieves tension in your hips and lower back and is a great yoga pose for gardeners, especially after working in your yard for a while.
- To practice half pigeon pose, bring yourself to the tabletop position. Bring your right knee to your right elbow, and slide it to the ground as you bring your right foot diagonally in front of your left hip.
- Extend your left leg behind, making sure the top of your foot is flat to the ground, and place something under your right hip for support if it’s floating.
- Take a few breaths there, or consider lowering your upper body to rest on a block or the ground.
- Come up, shake it off, and switch sides.
7# Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Badha Konasana)
Another great post-gardening yoga for gardeners pose, this is a relaxing and grounding asana that opens up your hips and releases tension in your groin.
- To practice it, lie on your back or on a bolster and bring the soles of your feet toward each other or together, letting your knees fall out to the sides and either supporting them with blocks or letting them come toward the earth.
- Rest your arms next to your body or on your body, and breathe there for a while.
8# Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Great to close your yoga for gardeners session is by taking a few minutes in Savasana, laying on the ground with your arms and legs extended, and letting yourself take up a bit more space.
If it feels okay for you, close your eyes and focus on your breath, or if you rather, perhaps, lay amongst your plants and simply look at the sky and clouds.
Incorporating yoga for gardeners into your before and after gardening routines can help you become stronger, more balanced, and more present.
Yoga for gardeners will not only benefit your body but also your mind and spirit.
For some free classes to get you started, read this next.