How to use Yoga to Strengthen your Golf Game
Yoga doesn’t have to be done at a studio. That’s one of the best parts about learning this sacred art. Just pull up a yoga mat, find a quiet space and dive into your practice. Not only does it encompass a whole body stretching and strengthening exercise, but it also gives your mind time to wind down and focus. This is an incredible thing for you to learn to do, as golf is a sport that takes both patience and mindfulness.
Pema Chodron, an American, Tibetan Buddhist said, “In meditation and in our daily lives there are three qualities that we can nurture, cultivate and bring out. We already possess these, but they can be ripened: precision, gentleness and the ability to let go.”
Start your practice every day with an exercise in letting go. Take a deep breath in for five counts. Then, slowly exhale your breath silently counting down from five. You are then ready to begin.
Pose 1: Cow & Cat
Begin with hands and knees on the mat. Be sure to place your hands just below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Take a deep breath in and move into Cow Pose, pulling your spine down to the mat, feeling your stomach drop and face lift to the ceiling.
As you breathe out, move into Cat Pose. Draw your spine up toward the ceiling and drop your head. Feel the stretch as you push the middle of your back upwards. Complete five full repetitions.
Benefit: These poses help you elongate your spine and add flexibility to your back and abdomen. You can feel your body warm up during this pose as you prepare for the next. This exercise will help you get ready for deeper stretches that will help you be more flexible and stronger when you golf.
Pose 2: Mountain Pose to Standing Forward Bend
Begin with your feet shoulder width apart on the mat. Stand tall, taking slow deep breaths that begin in your belly. Start with Mountain Pose by raising your arms toward the ceiling and elongating your body. As you breathe in, reach higher.
As you breathe out, begin to come forward in a bend being sure to keep your back straight. Allow your arms to fall beside your feet, planting them firmly to the ground. Repeat this five times making sure not to add any curvature to your back as you come back up into Mountain Pose.
Benefit: These poses help you to strengthen your back and stretch your core, allowing you to gain more reach and more strength. The impact you put on your spine from quick and flexible movements can often have harsh consequences. Allowing yourself expand in an upwards and downwards direction can add length to your spine and give relief to the harsh impact of a golf swing.
Pose 3: Seated Twists
Take a seat on your mat. Bring you right leg up with your knee pointed to the sky. Bring the right foot and rest it on the other side of your left leg. Twist your body so that you’re facing just behind the right leg. Pull the left arm across right knee and wrap your right arm around to reach the left side of your body. Take a deep breathe in and out.
Switch sides and repeat three times on each side.
Benefits: Seated Twists allow you gain flexibility in your back that can affect the impact of your swing. Strengthening and deepening these rotations can help you build more power with every strike of the ball.
Pose 4: Child’s Pose
Begin on your hands and knees. Be sure to keep your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lower your bottom onto your feet and expand your arms across the mat. Allow your head to drop to the mat, close your eyes and let your forehead touch. Breathe in and out for thirty seconds. Let everything go.
Benefits: This pose not only relieves stress, but it also relaxes the hips, back, thighs and knees.
Pose 5: Corpse Pose
Possibly the best yoga pose of all!
Lay down on your back with your hands by your side and legs relaxed. This is your quiet time. Allow your body to let go, focusing your attention on relaxing each body part as you breathe in and out. Rest with your eyes closed and focus only on one part at a time.
Benefit: This is a great way to cool down at the end of your stretching routine. Plus, it gives you a wonderful end to your day, teaching you to be calm and focused. It also allows you to relieve any last bit of tension you might still be holding onto.
The benefits of yoga are vast, but you will soon come to realize that allowing yourself to let go and get comfortable in these poses will help your golf game tremendously. Yoga has been known to heal, comfort and strengthen. If golf is a sport you want to do for your entire life, then taking the steps to preventing injury is important. Plus, you’ll love the feeling of being completely relaxed and stress-free when you come out of your practice.
For a more comprehensive article on the amazing health benefits of yoga, check out this detailed piece from Jenn Miller, packed with practical yoga tips and advice. You can find at https://www.jenreviews.com/