The Yogic Laydeees Gardening Club

Meet its initial founder and only member, so far…..

I admit I don’t really know my Asanas from my Pryanayama’s, but I do love a good Yoga session. There’s nothing better than coming away from a class with that extra bounce in your step, a healthy glow, and knowing you have benefited – both physically and no doubt spiritually, from the breathing exercises, the physical movements and the pauses in amongst them all. I’ve practised Yoga for over 20 years, on and off, probably a lot of off, but I still go back to it and I still love it. It’s the only exercise I’ve found that gives me that boost, tones me, that my back doesn’t grumble about too much….

I’m not very good at self-practice unless I’m attending a regular class, I just can’t keep up that routine or self-discipline needed for self practice, I truly admire those that can, but I’m weak and get distracted way too easily. I guess I’m a fallible human.

So I love Yoga, and I love gardening. Practising yoga indoors in a busy class is far from ideal. You are constantly on the move, as in to move out of the range of your neighbours arms, arse, whatever, listening to someone elses tummy rumble, farting, distracting wobbling. So I’ve thought about doing a bit of Yoga outdoors, by myself.  You know you see people doing Tai Chi and the likes outside in parks or on the beach, and it looks so healthy and cool. But I’m not an exhibitionist, so the beach and park are out of the equation.

So could I do yoga on my allotment or in my garden?

My allotment is on a large site looking out to sea, but my plot is tucked up in a corner away from most people. My immediate neighbours are rarely there, although other plotholders further along could be able to see, just. As I’m in a corner I have hedges, trees and brambles that run alongside the fence, which does have a few gaps in it. The problem is that the other side of the fence is a path that is used, primarily by dog walkers but also plotholders, a few locals and school kids. Picture it , me mid Warrior pose, when a dog walker comes past and their dog takes a dislike to me and starts barking and yapping at me, or a plot holder walking past and instead of the usual comment on the weather ‘nice day, could do with a bit of rain’, I’d get either stunned silence or some witicisim I can live without.

My idea of hell would be that there I am, in the middle of say Downward Dog pose, arse in the air and along come a bunch of school kids, now take yourself back a few years, would you have stopped and thought ‘ oh, there’s someone practising yoga, outside, how lovely’ or ‘is that a downward dog pose deftly executed’. Let’s face it – no and beyond unlikely spring to mind. As a bare minimum kids would stand and point and laugh, followed by getting their phones out to then take a photo to send to their mates. I can picture it all way too vividly, me, Downward Dog going viral on Facebook and YouTube.

But then I had a bright idea…… I could disguise my yoga in my gardening, so that passers by would just think ‘oh there she is, on her plot as normal….’ So I could develop/combine Yoga Poses with gardening tasks, and develop a whole new branch of Yoga. It would obviously be termed “dynamic”, “natural” etc.  Now I’m sure the yogis of past took a while to develop their theory and practice, but you have to start somewhere: –

  • When doing a Warrior pose be sure to be holding a Trowel,
  • A Cat Pose could be done while doing some light hand weeding,
  • A Side Bend sitting could just be me peering over my shoulder, not sure how I explain the bent knee though,
  • Forward Bends could always be disguised as picking something up
  • At a push a Sun Salutation could be you getting up and stretching your back out,
  • When in a sitting/kneeling pose I could practising my breathing,  I could be simply sitting down staring off into the distance, nobody would notice the difference anyway,
  • A standing forward bend could be craftily done when cutting the paths/triming the edges with some long handled grass shears.

But what about Cobra, the Crow, plank pose,  standing forward bends, Side stretches, Headstands, Half Moons, Tigers, Locusts, Triangles, Child’s Pose, Pigeon, Balancing poses ….. on reflection this needs more thinking, maybe a little paring down of the basic movements. Besides, I’m  shuddering at the thought that a fellow plotholder would take one look at me and call an ambulance or the police, or maybe both.

So maybe I should just stick to the gardening, my neighbours hear enough huffing and puffing as it is, I’m forever having to hitch my trousers up so I don’t have a “builders bum”, and any digging I do I’m instantly covered in soil and muck. But mostly I just don’t think I have the courage or confidence to go ahead and publicly Salute the Sun Yoga style, so I will have to stick to the pottering, muttering, standing-staring and sitting-staring which is otherwise known as gardening.

Do you have the courage to exercise outdoors? Or do you have some gardening yoga poses to add to my routine?

AUM Shanti

note – this article has not been written with the prior knowledge or consent of my Yoga teacher or the go ahead from any responsible adult.

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12 comments

  • Lol I’m constantly hitching up my pants, too! My neighbors must see me do it at least 20 times when I’m weeding. I should really just use a belt, but I can’t be bothered.

    Love your yoga ideas!

  • My sides hurt! Thanks for the early-morning laugh…it’s Yoga for my insides!

    Even though I’ve got a big place, with a tall hedge, I can’t escape view – there’s a helicopter tour operator who flies over all summer long! I imagine he says to his passengers, “And below us now, if you lok close, you can see the Fat Lady gardening…”

    (They’re not flying over to see my gardens, by the way…They want to look at the beach a half-mile from me…)

  • Now this is the way to start a Sunday in Fall, with coffee in hand, dog at my feet, chuckling over a well-written post. Thank you and I hope you find something equally pleasing today.

    • Oh thank you 🙂 it’s a pleasure to share my wonky view of the world.
      and yes we did have an equally pleasing, if not rather alcohol fulled day. Back to the yoga and good behaviour for me!

  • Your post did make me chuckle. I was once caught in the middle of down dog in my lounge by the postman banging on the window with a parcel. When I explained he’d caught me in the middle of yoga he just smirked. I love yoga but haven’t done it for a while now. I moved and classes were hard to find in my new place and then with gardening, allotments, blogging and general life there never seems enough time. But I do swim and the exercise I get from the allotment is quite enough physical activity. I even find a couple of hours at the allotment clears my mind.

    • What the postman sees!!
      When we were in the middle of major building work, I swear the allotment was my escape and my sanity.
      Just been for a wander around your blog, beautiful, and great to meet another wellie wearer 🙂

  • Haha- fabulous! I can definitely see the links between gardening and yoga…I’ve just started back to yoga after a 15 year hiatus. I also struggle to make myself practice on my own…good thing we have the garden for times in between classes!

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