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The yoga move that every gardener should master.
Spotting this image of me on Carol Pope’s blog, readers have been asking for the lowdown on this pose and why I’m suggesting gardeners get to know it.
Downward Facing Dog is not only one of the most popular yoga poses, it is also a great warmup before gardening, and is even beneficial after your digging and planting. A few moments in and out of Downward Facing Dog will stretch the back of your legs, warm up your triceps, and lengthen the space between your ribs.
Downward Facing Dog is done traditionally with both legs on the ground. However, in this picture I am opening my hips – to do this I simply move my left foot to the centre, and raise the right leg, bending at the knee and extending back, then repeat opposite side; usually up to three times for each side.
Opening the hips is particularly helpful if the gardening day entails wheelbarrowing, kneeling to weed or lifting plants and soil.
As with all yoga, respect your body’s limit, and remember to breathe deeply.