Ease yourself upright, with yoga

These yoga moves will help straighten you out after a long day in the garden

Downward facing dog yoga position

by Liz Potter |

Yoga offers a form of exercise that can improve strength and mobility for gardening, and help you straighten out an aching back afterwards. “Yoga and gardening really complement each other,” says yoga instructor Laura Lychnos of Yoga Centred. “A short, simple yoga practice can soothe the body after a day in the garden, releasing aches and tiredness, while helping to build strength and flexibility to tackle the garden.”

Gardening can be particularly hard work for the hips and the lower back when digging and lifting. Shoulders and upper back feel especially painful if moving heavy wheelbarrows about, and wrists and knees often object to prolonged periods of weeding and bulb-planting.

Here Laura has suggested a sequence of poses to help you stretch after gardening. They’re not intended as an alternative to attending a yoga class, but should help point you in the right direction – upright!

  1. TADASANA The mountain pose helps to realign your body and make you feel connected with the earth.
Tadasana Mountain Pose
  1. UTTANASANA The standing forward bend should be done with relaxed knees. Allow your arms to hang loose then draw small cirlces.
UTTANASANA The standing forward bend
  1. ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA Downward-facing dog helps to release the entire length of the back.
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA Downward-facing dog
  1. ANANDA BALASANA Hold your feet for this ‘happy baby’ pose. This releases aches in the hips and lower back.
ANANDA BALASANA Happy baby pose
  1. SETU BANDHASANA In this bridge pose, raise your hips as you inhale slowly, rolling back to the floor as you exhale.
  1. BALASANA Child’s pose involves focusing on your breath, then walking the hands slowly to the right, then over to the left.
BALASANA Child’s pose
  1. SUPTA MATSYENDRASANA The cross twist pose releases aches in lower back, hips and shoulders.
  1. SAVASANA Finish by lying flat on your back in corpse pose. Rest five minutes to restore and revitalise the body.
SAVASANA Corpse pose
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