Yoga and golf are two four letter words that seemingly don’t have that much in common with each other, but you’d be surprised with how much it can actually help improve your game.
Golf, despite what most people think, is an extremely physical sport that requires the whole body to work in one smooth motion. It’s also an incredibly mental game. A distracted or nervous mind can end up with the yips, an issue common among athletes wherein they end up over-thinking, which detracts from their performance.
Fortunately, yoga has both mental and physical benefits that can help golfers improve their handicap.
As mentioned before, golf can be an intensely mental game. When you’re up at the tee, it’s all you. There’s no crowd, no teammates to help push you along. You’re alone there and that’s where most people crack mentally. Golfers end up thinking way too much about how every single part of their body moves in unison. Try thinking about how your body moves while you’re walking and you’re likely to trip over your own feet.
Over-analysis is a common mental block that many athletes have to work through. Fortunately, yoga can answer that problem. A large part of yoga is meditation. It’s not just a bunch of stretches. Yoga teaches its practitioners how to clear their minds of distracting thoughts, which can help players work through any mental issues that they may have in golf. It can also help push away any doubts or negative emotions and thoughts that may crop up while playing.
Yoga seems easy. Most people who haven’t tried it think that it’s just a bunch of stretches. In truth, it can be incredibly difficult and is physically taxing. It, in fact, can give you more power on your swing that an hour lifting weights.
Power in golf and in most sports comes from a smooth flow of energy from your feet, through your core, and through your arms. It’s an interesting conflict – you need strength to hit the ball, but you need to relax to allow your body to work at its best. Yoga can give you the ability to relax your muscles so that you can transfer energy smoothly through your body, increasing your body. Its stretches can also make sure that you’re properly warmed up the moment you stand beside your first tee of the day.
Yoga breathing techniques can also help you smooth out your swing. In exercise, breathing is important because it makes sure that all your muscles are being fed the right amount of oxygen when they need it the most.
Any kind of exercise will help you improve your golf game, but yoga is the only one that will also help your mental game. Without a strong mental game, even the most physically capable golfers will find themselves underperforming at the tee. Combine yoga with golf and you’ll find your handicap improving drastically.