Per request of a client, I have been asked to write about yoga style of stretching for the gardener.
Since I am still learning as much as I can about Yoga, I had to look up a few names. I know a lot of the moves and the correct form of the ones that I do know but still learning the names. Heck, I still learn names of exercises on a regular basis......Life is a world of knowledge. If you close the door to learning, you close your options to the world.
To excuse my descriptions below, I am a fitness trainer, NOT a yogi, so my words will be more direct than soft as a yogi would speak. 😉
The first two exercises that go hand in hand with each other is a very basic yoga move. Cat Cow. Once you are in each move, you want to breathe slowly. About a 4 count. ie. inhale, 2, 3, 4 - exhale, 2, 3, 4. Do a few of those and really focus on your breathing as you are doing this. If you are doing it outside, listen to your breath, the birds chirping, or whatever else that is in your environment. You want to take it all in. Enjoy it.
Next move is the Bird Dog move. Press back with your left heel and reach with your right hand. Feel this in your flexed foot at the heel area. Really reach out through your fingertips. Hold for a breath and then repeat 5 times on each side.
Uttanasana (those crazy yoga words) --- Get into a standing position. Reach your arms around your back and then with soft (slightly bent) knees, hinge forward at the hips. Repeat your breathing technique and try to lift your arms up to the sky with each exhale. Hold for two or three breaths and then hinge back up to standing position. Repeat 4- 5 times. You should feel this in your hamstrings (back of your legs) and possibly into your calves as well as in your shoulders and upper arm area.
Relax your arms and shake them out loosely. After you are back to your comfort space, grasp your hands behind your back again and lean back and open your heart to the sky. Breathe. Let the sun envelop you.
Don't forget to breathe! Very critical in all aspects of exercise. By practicing yoga regularly, your breathing will come easy with all other exercises and your daily life.
I hope you feel refreshed before and after your gardening. You can do these exercises any time you feel "tight" and want to relax your body.