A Healthy Back Equals a Bountiful Harvest: Yoga for Farmers

If you have ever tried to grow your own food, you know how much work is involved. From building beds to pulling weeds, gardening is a task that requires a lot of stamina, not to mention flexibility. There is no greater feeling than the satisfaction of knowing where your food comes from, but an achy back, neck or knees can trump your homegrown glory faster than a sprouting weed.

To prevent fatigue, and feel energized, it is important to take periodic stretch breaks. The following yoga inspired stretches will help relieve bodily discomfort brought on by spending hours in the garden.

Half Forward Bend

Your knees may begin to feel stiff and tired after squatting or kneeling over sprigs of parsley, lettuce, and thyme. To refresh your body, stand up and straighten both legs. Fold forward until your spine is parallel to the dirt. Place both hands on your shins just below your knees. Keep your back and legs straight. Hold for 20 seconds and then stand up straight. Repeat often.

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Half Back Bend

Hours of hunching over your budding garden with poor posture will inevitably be bothersome. To relieve upper and lower back tension, stand up, lean slightly back, and reach your arms overhead. Look up at the blue sky and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat often.

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Half Side Bend

Increasing the range of motion in your spine will help you stay supple and relaxed. Reaching for weeds and garden tools from your hands and knees requires a fair amount of flexibility in the muscles of your back. To improve your reach, stand up straight with both arms overhead. Raise your right arm and tip slightly to the left. After holding for 20 seconds, switch sides and repeat.

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A healthy back, hips and knees are a must for gardeners. Follow these simple suggestions to relieve pain and support your efforts. Gardening is no walk in the park, but thankfully, these three yoga inspired stretches will help to make it a more productive and bountiful experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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