Asana, which means comfortable seat, is only one aspect of yoga. Living your yoga means maintaining a meditative state and breathing deeply while functioning in the world – on either quiet or chaotic days – most of everyday we’ll be doing yoga away from the mat.
If you have a lawn, shrubs, or vegetables, herbs, and flowers, you can enrich your yoga practice while watering this summer.
- Try watering barefoot as much as possible. Have water proof slip on sandals or shoes nearby that you can rinse afterwards.
- If the ground is hot and dry, water the spot you are standing in and sink your feet into the thin layer of mud. The minerals from the earth as well as the magnetic frequency of earth will help you to feel (and be) deeply grounded.
- Spread your toes. Settle in, bend the knees just enough so they are not locked and energy is freely running from the earth through the legs.
- Relax your pelvic muscles and very subtly tilt your pelvis forward and back until the pelvis rests in a comfortable position with no pinching feelings in the sacrum, hip, or psoas muscles.
- Keeping the pelvis and sacrum comfy, lengthen the front and back of the spine. As the spine elongates, make sure to lengthen the back of the neck as well. Sometimes a slight nudge of the chin towards the throat will help elongate the back of the neck.
- Breathe deeply. Fill the belly, diaphragm, and then chest on the inhalation. Exhale from top to bottom, chest emptying first on the exhalation.
- Keep the mouth closed and the tongue soft. You are watering your plants and your yoga at the same time. See what areas of the body you can relax – tongue, jaw bones, eyes, face – the idea is to be in a meditative state and water, or enhance, your meditation practice.
- Check your grip on the hose or nozzle. Use only the amount of tension absolutely necessary to maintain your grip.
- Relax your eyes and brow more. Take in the colors, textures, and life force of the plant world.
- Continue readjusting your feet, pelvis, and spine while enjoying long deep breaths.
Some gardens require an hour or more daily in watering time. By watering your garden and your yoga at the same time, your garden will grow vigorously and so will your levels of inner peace and equipoise.
Susan “Yogi Suzi” Grimes loves Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda and manages the pharmacy at www.