Gardener’s Yoga - Bend & Stretch, Dig & Grow. Veronica D’Orazio, Sasquatch Books.
Essentially, this delightful little manual demonstrates how yoga can help combat the common aches and pains associated with otherwise pleasurable gardening chores.
In this cheerfully illustrated handbook, the author suggests a series of yoga poses that help prepare our bodies for our favorite hobby, protect our limbs from surprising strains, and soothe our muscles after our outdoor work has taken its physical toll.
For both men and women, the objective is to foster awareness how breathing, posture, and deliberate flowing movement can benefit the gardener. For those who have never practiced yoga before, this publication, based upon twenty-one simple poses, also serves as a general introduction to yoga itself.
When Veronica D’Orazio felt her back go out after a strenuous week of weeding, she decided to soothe her sore muscles with yoga. That inspired her to create a yoga program that targets the body’s stress, helps prevent injury, and bolsters strength and flexibility.
Prior to beginning a gardening chore, the reader is encouraged to Break Ground. This group of yoga poses gently warms up the spine and prepares the lower limbs for the day’s work
For the actual outdoor chores, aka Planting Seeds, the author suggests poses that emphasize breathing and balance to reduce body tension and soreness.
In the last section titled Harvest Time, the focus is on poses for relaxation and elongating tired muscles to restore and unwind the body.
A valuable addition to this publication is a chart that readers can consult when seeking guidance to cure specific pain. Seven body parts that are most vulnerable to discomfort are cross-referenced with specific yoga poses that offer relief.
If yoga is a new concept for gardeners, it’s helpful to know that it does more than relieve strain on muscles and joints. It also rejuvenates the mind and spirit, balances the central nervous system, cleanses internal organs, strengthens the circulatory system, and promotes an overall sense of well-being and contentment. In that respect, both yoga and gardening are sources of similar natural benefits and each complements the other.
The author is a certified yoga instructor and gardener. The illustrator, Tim Foss, who gives life and meaning to Ms. D’Orazio’s text, is also a gardener and yoga practitioner. The publisher, Seattle-based Sasquatch Books, has created the ultimate printed product. It is an instructive, affordable gift, beautiful to look at, and fun to read.