Yoga for landscapers

These days, it seems like ​everyone is getting on the bandwagon of branding their creative yoga-based fitness ideas.  Amy Weintraub’s Yoga for Depression is a best selling book, Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Abs was a popular workout video, and most recently, Yoga for Yankees has become viral internet spoof.  In light of my new job, I’ve decided to create my own little fad.  So far, I have discovered that a few postures have been saving my overall posture, let me share which ones.

‘Goddess’ of the leaf rake?

Just as each posture has its array of benefits on the mat, I’ve found incredible transfer value on the job site.  Planting my feet sideways allows me to efficiently rake debris between my legs and onto a tarp (featured above).  Stability in prasarita virabhadrasana had helped me to become strong at this task.

For anyone whose ever worked at gardening, they will attest that weeding is a constant battle.  Being able to maintain a comfortable yet versatile position is key here.  I’ve found no better foundation than the low squat i.e. ardha malasana.  I am able to get low, dig, pitch and move, all while retaining the same strong energetic base.

‘Warrior’ of the iron rake?

The landscapers job is not complete until the ground is soft and level.  Flattening a bed is easiest when the strength one’s arms and legs are applied evenly.  I find that the base of virabhadrasana b (featured above) is great for keeping my back and shoulders strong while my larger muscles are recruited to pull against the earth.

Landscaping can be tiring and tedious work.  Yet, when power positions are applied, tasks including debris removal, weeding, and leveling beds become more enjoyable.  Each day, I discover broad intersections between my life on the mat and my livelihood in the yard.  Renowned Ashtangi David Swenson was particularly fond of the famous Zen proverb below.  As I gear up for my third week on the job, I have also discovered exciting new ways to appreciate its core meaning.

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”

-Zen Proverb


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