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An easy way to warm up the lungs and shoulders before heading to the garden
Spring is when gardeners are busy stuffing baskets, amending soil and double digging the compost piles. Activities such as lifting heavy bags of soils, edging, raising hanging baskets and shovelling soil all require strength, flexibility and rotation of the shoulders, not to mention the support the heart requires from the lungs.
An easy way to warm up the lungs and shoulders before heading to the garden is to stand tall and straight with your hands clasped behind your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and pulling your hands towards the ground.
Hold the pose while inhaling and exhaling three to five big cleansing breaths (in through your nose and out through your mouth). While inhaling, fill your lungs deeply, allow your belly to expand, and while exhaling pull your navel back to your spine, emptying your lungs completely.
As you gain experience, increase your breaths up to a maximum of eight.
This pose, Yoga Mudra, helps to open the heart and lungs, while increasing rotation of the shoulders. In this photo, taken in Haiti, I am standing in Yoga Mudra. You may choose to do Yoga Mudra seated on the floor or in a chair, or standing.