Author Katherine Roberts of best selling Yoga For Golfers – A Unique Mind /Body Approach To Golf Fitness asserts that consistent yoga practice offers massive potential to improve ‘our game’.
In her book, Katherine takes a Western approach to yoga, selecting poses and practices specifically to address the physical and concentration requirements a golfer needs.
The main benefits to be gained are:-
- Core Conditioning
- Breathing Awareness
Flexibility is one of the most obvious physical requirements for golfers that can be achieved with a steady, consistent yoga practice. More flexibility in the musculoskeletal system translates to more range of motion in the golf swing, reducing faults caused by tight muscles and this provides more club head speed.
Strength is developed in the practice of yoga postures using our own body weight and gravity. And due to the balanced, whole body approach of yoga, long, lean muscles are developed, which means that strong but bulky muscles are not impeding our range of motion.
Balance, in terms of our ability to understand our own body position in time and space and to maintain good posture and body alignment throughout movements such as the swing plane is a component of fitness which yoga is supremely geared to develop.
Not only does yoga practice develop dynamic balance but the grounding, connection to earth aspect of psychological balance is also fostered.
“In golf, balance in your stance and throughout the entire swing plane is vital for a consistent, reliable golf swing”.
Katherine Roberts. Author – Yoga For Golfers. A Unique Mind/Body Approach to Golf Fitness
Conditioning the core involves strengthening both the abdominal and back muscles and is a critical element for success in golf. A strong core is the foundation of both balance and strength in the extremities.
Working your core leads to improved posture, reduced fatigue and greater trunk rotation to strike the ball. Importantly, developing core abdominal strength has a clinically proven correlation with a healthy low back.
Conscious breathing is the element which differentiates yoga from other forms of exercise. Breathing is controlled and directed to enhance the yoga postures and to bring quietness and focus to the busy mind. The benefits of translating this kind of mindful breathing onto the golf course cannot be over-estimated. Breathing well keeps us energised, relaxed and composed. Conscious breathing is an excellent tool to anchor into at any time to control stressful situations and episodes of anxiety, be this on the gold course or off.
With regular yoga practice breathing becomes intuitive.
Focus, Meditation and Visualisation
When the physical movement part of the yoga is complete students always come to the floor for a relaxation section when the body absorbs the benefits of the practice and we become quiet in both mind and body. This also provides an opportunity to explore some guided meditation when we can consider how to overcome unhelpful thinking which may be hindering our growth within the context of ‘our game’ and also more broadly in our life. (Should you wish to explore the more spiritual aspects of yoga philosophy).
A healthy, well-conditioned body is less likely to fatigue and to become injured. Consider the protective muscle guards the body applies to avoid positions of pain/discomfort. This does not help with fluid movement patterns!
Recovery time is also reduced meaning you enter your next game fresher and ready.
Yoga brings you back into balance.
To find out more about yoga classes specifically designed to enhance golf fitness call Deborah 07973 628 578