Yoga for Golfers

Recently, a friend of mine who is an avid golfer told me that his friend has improved on his golf game after going for yoga classes for some time. He asked me if it’s true that yoga can help in this area.

I have learnt that by incorporating elements of yoga practice, you can develop the mental discipline that golf demands. Apparently, all the instructions in the world won’t help you if you allow stress to seep into your game. And in order to reach the mental peak of your game, you need the instrument of your body to be well tuned-a strong and flexible body,

 -The flow of concentration

During the game, the conscious analyzing mind steps in and they begin to think their technique is faulty. They tell themselves they have to practice more, hit harder, and correct their imperfections. In these cases, it’s usually not faulty technique but the stress of negative self-talk that disrupts the flow of concentration, and therefore, impairs the physical aspects of the game. Earl Woods, father of golf great Tiger Woods, reminds his son, “If you don’t clutter your conscious mind with endless pointers and tips, you make it easier for your subconscious instincts to guide you.”

 -The physical game

Due to the fact that golfers swing from one side of the body, there is asymmetry inherent in the sport. Overtraining and repetitive motion manifests as larger muscles on one side of a golfer’s body; specifically, the shoulders, biceps, forearms, and upper back will be more developed on a golfer’s dominant side. These stronger muscles are also tighter, while the weaker muscles are more flexible. The tight muscles, in turn, restrict the free movement of surrounding muscles, ultimately leading to limited range of motion.

To create more equality on both sides of the body, golfers need to hold strengthening poses on the weaker side of the body and opening poses on the stronger, yet tighter, side of the body. This is in addition to a regular yoga program of poses performed equally on both sides. Striving toward symmetry and balance is the essence of a yoga program, which breaks down tension the body has learned to work around. As Earl Woods tells his son, “What you’re looking for is a soft, flexible, fluid swing—that’s power.”