The frozen tundra I call home is finally thawing and spring is here! It seems like forever since I’ve felt the warm sun on my face, listened to birds chirp, smelled rain in the air, or seen bright green grass and colorful flowers… Even though the grass is brown and the trees are bare, I’m dusting off my clubs to return to the links.
I am the most important tool in my bag, no club on the market is going improve my game…
Admittedly, like many other golfers a new season means shopping for the latest technology in clubs – do I really believe a new driver is going to add yards off the tee? Well, no… I get anxious to upgrade my clubs and sometimes forget about how much influence small adjustments to my stance or grip have on my swing. I must remind myself that I am the most important tool in my bag, no club on the market is going improve my game – it’s all about my body symmetry, my balance, my alignment, & my mental state.
This year marks my third for golf and like yoga, it’s a progressive practice. Basic yogic principles like breath, alignment and posture can easily apply to my golf practice. While I don’t think it’s fair to associate all types of yoga to golf, I do believe the mechanics of asanas are similar to the mechanics of a golf swing. Building an asana from the foundation up and the core out is the same concept I use in practicing golf. The human body planes (frontal, sagittal, & transverse) all influence my swing plane – instability and weakness with any of these planes will lead to poor swing mechanics. Additionally, golf, like yoga, can be broken down to simplified phases which when put together in practice, can be improved over time to maximize accuracy, control, and consistency.
One of the most common injuries suffered by golfers is back pain which is not a surprise when we consider what we put our spine through during a swing or even a putt. Imagine what increased flexibility in your hip could do to the rotational stress on the lower back in a backswing
Imagine what increased flexibility in your hip could do to the rotational stress on the lower back in a backswing…
– I’m not advocating advanced balance asanas like royal dancer (natarajasana) but a simple low lunge (anjaneyasana) can do wonders to release tension in the hips, stretch the hamstrings, quads and groin, improve balance, and build mental focus. That’s 6 benefits in one pose times 2 legs… you see where this is going and yes, your tight hip flexor is hindering your biomechanics.
Perhaps this season, I will start each round with surya namaskara and end with snagging my ball from the cup in a variation of virabhadrasana III. The question is, how do you want to improve your game?
Jodi Shaw is a graduate of the Sound Method Yoga teacher training. She’s an avid runner, recreational golfer and an all around super fun person to be around. Her Yoga for Golfers Workshop is on April 26th, Register. She also teaches Vinyasa Level II on Saturday mornings at SMY.