The season of planting is upon us! Regardless of if you are starting seeds indoors while waiting for the last dangers of frost to pass, or already deep into tilling and sowing, growth energy is surging. The benefits to gardening are numerous, but a careful approach is still needed to ensure working bodies stay strong, supple and able to tend the Earth through its most inspiring season.
The work of gardening involves bends, squats, lifts and pulls. Just as you are mindful when in yoga practice, this is a time to pay attention to your body position. Go slowly, lifting and bending with care and using safe techniques. Remember to protect your outer body from the elements too. Your skin and eyes in particular, should be shielded from excessive sun, dust, insect bites, and wear from contact with rough stones and garden tools.
If you reside in a climate zone in which it is still not safe to plant, you have time to build physical strength and endurance that will help you spend hours gardening with ease! Look to your yoga practice to help strengthen your core and arms, and to ensure hamstrings and calf muscles stay soft and pliable. Poses such as Plank, Chest Lift and hip openers like Swan are ideal for this preparatory work. Try sequences like Third Eye, Earth or Gate Opening to help ready you for your growing endeavors.
If you are already able to get out and start tilling and toiling, be sure to take time at the conclusion of your exertions to restore and replenish tired muscles. Poses such as Downward Facing Dog, Lateral Angle and Forward Fold are restorative and cooling. Sequences such as Head to Knee, Seated Twist or Sun Moon are sure to help you feel refreshed and ready to move into your next activity. Try practicing them near your garden, as a way to further absorb the fruits of your labor. Your yoga practice can flourish, right along with your garden, and you can better reap the benefits of both!