Yoga for Golfers

This week my parents were in town visiting. Between sitting in the car for the long drive, carrying grandchildren, and moving some heavy boxes, my dad developed some tight and painful muscles in his back. Of course, me being a yoga teacher, I felt compelled to offer him some yoga poses to relax his muscles and ease his discomfort. As he worked on a modified downward facing dog and a few leg stretches, he asked me how he could use yoga to improve his golf game. As those words left his mouth, I think I heard angels singing in the background.

Yoga and golf are two of my greatest passions. You may already know that I was a competitive golfer in high school and college, and I tried to get on the professional golf tour when I was in my twenties. There's nothing I'd love to do more than design a yoga practice to help my dad improve his golf game.

He specifically wanted to know how to improve his flexibility so he could get a better shoulder turn and hit the ball farther. I showed him a few poses, then I decided it would be best to record a short video to help him remember the details when he got back home.

So here it is: Yoga for Golfers (Part I)!

After you watch the video, I'd love to hear from you! In the Comments below, please post any questions or ideas you have about yoga and golf. I look forward to hearing from you!

Lots of love, Zelinda

6/3/11 Yoga for Runners & Athletes

by Emily Various sports and activities work in a repetitive manner. The stride of a runner, the push of the pedals for a cyclist, the swing of a golfer, the swing of a tennis player and so on.  Repetitive activities are doing just as the name implies, repeating certain movements over and over.  In doing so certain muscles are contracting time and again and usually with very little counter movement.  This effort can lead to imbalances in the muscle groups utilized during the sport as well as in related and/or neighboring muscle groups.

Yoga is about balance, both in the literal meaning (think Tree Pose) and in the balance it creates between effort and ease, contraction and then lengthening of muscles.  If we honestly ask ourselves if we are stretching correctly and enough after being active the answer is usually no and that is often because we are not sure how to correctly counter balance the work we have just done.  Within yoga there are great tools to create a healthy, balanced body.  Yoga asanas (postures) create long, strong muscle fibers.  Practicing yoga postures specific to your body's needs will help you open up the muscle groups that might be holding you back in your performance.

Beyond a healthy body athletes need a healthy mind as well.  Having a healthy mind gives a competitive edge.  In our yoga practice we learn tools of presence, mind/body connection, focus and how to breathe deeply and efficiently.  All of these tools translate well into the world of sports.  Knowing how to be present in the body, to detect sensations and to be aware of what areas of your body might need some extra attention at the end of your workout for the day, being able to breathe more oxygen into the tissues can all improve performance.  All of these techniques can be used to help you stay active longer and avoid the common chronic injuries that can plague athletes.

If you or someone you know is a runner, cyclist, swimmer, golfer, tennis player, disc golfer, a tri-athlete, or even an iron man/woman, yoga can help you perform your best and reach your goals.  Join us for our first yoga workshop designed for athletes: Yoga for Runners on Saturday, June 12th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  You can sign up for this workshop here!