Yoga and Gardener’s Back

Summer’s sprung, the grass has grown and now there’s all that lawn to be mown!

And sometimes, in our enthusiasm to keep the garden looking bright and beautiful in summer, we go overboard with the digging and weeding…and lifting…and pulling…and planting…and
generally putting unusual pressure on our backs.

Spring and summer is when we Brits are hit hard by the gardening bug and, unfortunately, it’s also the time when “bad backs” abound. That can mean anything from an ache low down, to a general bruised feeling across the midsection, to stiff shoulders, to downright immobility, where it hurts to stand up straight, let alone walk about.

The reasons for a bad back are as varied as the weeds you pulled: you could have put sudden undue pressure on one area because you’ve been digging and “just want to get that last bit
done” instead of standing straight and stretching. Or perhaps you lifted too many heavy sacks of compost or soil, or crouched down for ages to do the weeding.

Happily, avoiding a bad back can be as simple as doing a few simple yoga stretches after your garden workout to help your muscles to relax naturally; it’s often possible to create a customised preventative yoga routine that you can do every day or every other day that will help develop your core strength and make you less vulnerable to muscle strain.

You could do worse than take a leaf out of Jim’s* book: a keen gardener in his late 70s, he always does a lovely, restful sequence of yoga postures after any strenuous gardening and his back is
supple and strong as a result. Or Sally*, also in her 70s, who finds yoga two or three times a week keeps her supple and strong enough to enable to start gardening again for the first time
in years. She says: “I wish I’d started years ago!”

Amanda Turner on how yoga can help protect your back from the rigours of gardening.

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