Updated: 12/23/2020 | Benefits and Best Practices | Yoga for Golfers
Most golfers do some form of exercise off the course. While golf itself is a decent workout and affords us some mental clarity, being surrounded by nature, often golfers could do with some supplemental exercise to keep their fitness levels up.
Some run, some go to the gym, others hike. Some might do all three! Golf requires plenty of walking (if you don’t take the golf cart), and you’ll need a healthy cardiovascular system to get through a round without flagging.
But flexibility is often underrated as an important part of golfing fitness. Have you considered the benefits of yoga for golfers?
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a low-impact, easy-on-the-body form of movement. As a supplemental form of exercise, it’s a great option that isn’t likely to lead to injury or niggles.
One of the characteristics of yoga is that it’s a slow-moving activity. This allows time and space to get the body into the right position – or, as you might say, get your form right!
Another important focus of yoga is breathing. You may assume that breathing doesn’t need to be worked on, as you do it every day, unconsciously.
But learning how to breathe effectively can be hugely beneficial to health and fitness. Breathing correctly can calm down the body’s innate fight-or-flight mechanism, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and promoting a calm environment for the body to heal and rest.
Regular yoga sessions also develop better body awareness. Those who practice yoga are more “in tune” with their own bodies. This can give them a head start on figuring out when they’re developing a cold, or understanding when they need to take a rest from physical activity.
These are just a few of the benefits of including yoga as part of your daily physical activity!
How Yoga Improves Your Game
Yoga has many great benefits, but how do these apply to golf? You may be surprised to find out how taking part in this mindful, intentional activity can have a positive effect on your game.
Get Your Swing Right
Yoga is a slow, intentional, “aware” activity that involves a lot of stretching and mindful breathing. When you take part in regular yoga sessions, you begin to become aware of your movements in a way you never were before.
If you aren’t already paying attention to your backswing and the flight path of your driver as you hit the ball, you may find yourself more conscious of your form once you begin doing yoga.
It becomes easier to pick up on small irregularities in your swing, and little things you may be able to improve on. Training with conscious movement can help iron out kinks in your form, and mindfulness developed during yoga sessions helps you keep it consistent.
Yoga breathing techniques are all about energizing the body, and utilizing that energy for daily activities.
Simply becoming more aware of your breathing and making sure you’re breathing correctly and effectively on the course can keep you feeling strong and full of energy.
You may find yourself walking the course more often than taking the golf cart!
Improve Your Focus
Mindfulness is an important part of yoga. This isn’t a new-agey, “emptying your mind” thing – rather, it’s learning how to hone your focus in on one particular thing.
As you may imagine, this can be an invaluable skill on the golf course. Being able to focus intently on your next shot, adapt your strategy, and execute your game can take you up a level.
Golfers do more limb-twisting than one may realize! From the body-swivel of a full-on drive to leopard-crawling across the green to check out the terrain before making your putt, golfers have plenty of moments that require good flexibility.
If you’ve ever seen a yoga move, you know they develop some flexibility! It’s all about learning to move your body in effective ways, and of course this can help in many ways on the course.
Accessibility of Yoga
One of the greatest things about yoga is how accessible it is. It’s as simple as joining a class once a week, or, if you’d prefer, setting your yoga mat up in front of your laptop and following a YouTube class.
There’s no excuse not to try it!
Yoga for golfers is a superb way of strengthening the body, developing flexibility, and becoming more in tune with yourself!
Of course, improving your game is another side effect that’s of great benefit to golfers. Don’t just shake your head and assume a slow-moving, thoughtful activity like yoga can’t make much difference!
We challenge you to try it out (wholeheartedly) for 21 days, and apply the same principles when you’re on the course. You may be surprised at how you feel and how your game changes!
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