Yesterday marked the end of blueberry picking for me. The local patch is now pretty well picked out and I don’t expect to travel to places that may yet have berries available. But it was a good year for the small patch near my home and I have a few bags of blueberries in the freezer, will be able to share some with family when I visit next week and enough for several batches of blueberry pancakes.
Yesterday also marked the end of my “blueberry yoga” sessions. For those who may not have picked blueberries in the wild, allow me to explain the process and the poses.
First there is the warmup, which involves walking about a half mile to the blueberry patch, all uphill. If you’ve been to Duluth, MN, you know we have hills. Next comes the dodge, crossing the busy road to get to the grassy knoll where the berries grow, followed by stone stepping to get over the large rocks that form the drainage area next to the road.
Now that the warmup is complete the yoga can begin.
Pose 1: Standing stretch and twist, useful for surveying the patch and choosing a starting point for picking.
Pose 2: At the starting point, slowly bring body to kneeling position in an area where you are surrounded by blueberries.
Pose 3: Kneeling twist, begin picking in a circle around your body the berries that are within easy reach.
Pose 4: The side lunge, allows for reaching berries that are just out of easy reach to the left and right.
Pose 5: The down berry, similar to sleeping cat, for getting eyes close to ground so that you see the berries that might be hiding deeper in the plants or for recovering a choice dropped berry.
Pose 6: The sit-twist, when the knees get tired, sit and pick while twisting the body. The side lunge works with this pose also.
Pose 7: The wandering waist bend, bending at the waist as you move through the patch, allows for a sweeping of the area for stragglers before leaving the patch.
Now it’s time for the final cool down. This is a reversing of the warmup routine, but begins with pose 1. Doing pose 1 before leaving gives time to thank the patch for its gift of berries, for a beautiful day for picking and the grand view of the Duluth harbor in the distance. Once gratitude has been practiced, repeat stone stepping and the dodge. Then enjoy the downhill walk home while nibbling on the few berries you nabbed as you walked out of the patch.