Golf and yoga go hand in hand in several ways. Yoga is known for increasing flexibility, which means your golf swing will be smoother than ever before once you’ve begun practicing this ancient form of exercise. Not only does the improved flexibility mean that your physical prowess for the game will improve, but the overall calmness experienced during yoga will help you stay peaceful, focused and composed while on the course. You don’t need to be a pretzel or even that flexible to experience the benefits of yoga. Start off by practicing basic poses like “The Warrior;” the act of maintaining a posture for an elongated period of time will help you develop your concentration and balance.
Katherine Roberts knows. Fifteen years ago, when she realized just how much synergy there is between yoga and golf, she left her corporate job to spread the word. She’s been blending the two worlds together ever since. “The bottom line is that there are a few basic physical components that a golfer needs to have to play well,” explains Roberts, author of “Yoga for Golfers” (McGraw-Hill) and creator of seven specialized “Golf & Yoga” DVDs. She checks the elements off one by one: “Flexibility. Strength – specifically, core strength. Balance. Mental focus. Yoga provides all of these things.”
More and more golfers are seeing the benefits of yoga. Yoga can be enjoyed as a weekly or daily class, or it is something you can do on your own with a DVD (perfect for travel). Once you’ve learned some basics, you’ll be able to better your pre-game and post-game stretching routine. Find a new profoundness on and off the course by practicing breathing and meditation along with the physical postures.
Yoga before and after a game can give you the pre-round warm-up that you need, bettering your posture and reducing common problems such as lower back pain. Yoga helps strengthen your core muscles, and upper body twists will allow you to make bigger turns. Improve your balance for those uneven areas of the course, all the while making your hips, quads, hamstrings, neck, and shoulders, stronger and looser than ever before.
Whether you’re a novice golfer or a pro looking for a new way to better your game by incorporating Yoga, the age-old practice of Yoga is beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels.
This article previously appeared in a print edition of 19th Hole Magazine.