You’ve probably been out in your garden every day watering since digging, weeding and dropping more seed last weekend. Today is Friday though. Last day of the work week before you pull those garden gloves back on and get busy in the dirt!
While you’re in the garden talking to your plants and waving at the butterflies going by, the bright sunshine does a good job of making you feel rewarded and content.
Then Monday morning shows up and it’s back to work for most. As you climb out of bed you’re reminded of the hard work you put into the garden with a little ache here and a little ache there. I know after six consecutive wheel barrow fills and runs (literal runs- it was fun) I was sore!
My new yoga gal, the smart and stretchy Ms. Heather Grisco dropped by Garden Eats to soothe our aching garden backs with her favorite poses to keep us strong as the gardening days are long (sorry, I couldn’t help myself from rhyming)!
Want to know what makes Heather so cool? She’s offering one our our lucky San Diegan readers a week of classes at her studio, Birdrock Yoga in the heart of Pacific Beach.
Want to get your Downward Dog on with Heather for a week at her studio?
Now for some yoga!
A few poses for the avid gardener. These poses are geared at releasing the pressure and stress in the back that develops over time, while out in the yard or on a daily basis.
Malasana will open your hips and can be used while in the garden to avoid stress on the knees from kneeling or stress on the back from hunching over.
How to: Squat with your feet wider than hip width distance. Keep your heels on the floor if you can; otherwise, support them on a folded mat or blanket.
Separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso.
Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms to together in Anjali Mudra (prayer position) and resist the knees into the elbows. This will help lengthen your front torso.
Cobra strengthens the muscles in the back. Happy back=happy core=happy body
How to: Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Hug the elbows back into your body.
Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.
On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Keep the gaze forward, so the neck is in-line with the spine.
Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward.
Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall) is extremely relaxing and very beneficial. Releasing all the built up stress in the back.
How to: Sit sideways on right end of the support, with your right side against the wall. Exhale and, with one smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly down onto the floor.
Your sitting bones don’t need to be right against the wall, but they should be as close as possible. Check that the front of your torso gently arches from the pubis to the top of the shoulders. Rest and relax into this pose for 5-15 minutes, releasing through the back.
H E A T H E R grisco: After five and a half years of government work, Heather decided that it was time to throw in the towel (and move to the mat) to do something more rewarding. She decided to move back to California, where her original journey of yoga began almost 10 years ago. Drawn to the more dynamic and challenging styles of yoga she began practicing Bikram yoga and progressed to Ashtanga, constantly learning, practicing, and evolving, she has found a her new love in Vinyasa. Incorporating these powerful styles into her classes, Heather is excited to share a style of yoga that will transform your mind, body, and soul. Check her out at Bird Rock Yoga in Pacific Beach!