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Stretches for Gardeners

Many people have experienced the benefits of yoga and today, there is scientific proof as to how yoga works to improve your health, aches and chronic pain.

According to Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California, “The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body.”

Yoga is the perfect exercise that focuses on your body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing and follows in the osteopathic approach to wellness. Like osteopathy’s style of practice, yoga is part of the preventative medicine method for staying healthy because it is based on similar principles.

In addition to the instant gratification that yoga brings to your well-being, there are lasting transformations to the body. This is important to both your physical and mental state because too much time with too few results can be incredibly discouraging. It can lead to monotonous routines that lead to stagnation and ultimately failure. However, yoga is different than most physical fitness routines because it can change your physical and mental capacity quickly, while preparing the mind and body for long-term health.

Physical Benefits

There are numerous physical benefits to yoga, such as lessened chronic pain relating to lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. You can even lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia with yoga. In addition, you will experience:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Improved respiration, energy and vitality
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism
  • Weight reduction
  • Cardio and circulatory health
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Protection from injury

Help for Gardeners

Spring and summer heralds a time when many gardeners head outdoors to begin a new season of physical work in their gardens, such as weeding, turning over earth, carrying bags of soil and mulch for planting new flowers, shrubs and trees.

These gardening enthusiasts begin the act of tackling very physical landscaping work; the creation and watching the greens and colours pop out of their slumber to celebrate the sun and warm weather. Unfortunately, there is also a downside to the physicality that accompanies gardening - the pain in your back and knees after a day of toiling the earth.

Doing some yoga stretches while you’re gardening is exceptionally beneficial in preventing injuries to your back, knees and neck while you’re out in the yard doing your pleasurable pastime, so try a few poses such as:

  • Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
  • Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Squat Pose (Malasana)
  • Hero Pose (Virasana)
  • Extended Side-Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
  • Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)


Preparing Your Body

By preparing your body to work outdoors in your garden this spring and summer, you can celebrate your connection to the earth while taking your practice outside to prevent aches, pains and injuries.