As featured in ‘Snap Cambridge’
Meet Mike Chapman – Famous Local Yoga Guru (he doesn’t like to use that word, but he really is the best!)
Mike explains the benefits of regular yoga practice, and the positive effect it could have on your golf game. Enjoy!
Yoga has many benefits for athletes of every sport but in some ways yoga offers specific and unique benefits to golfers. Understanding the different forms of yoga breathing, yoga postures and concentration techniques, can lower your score, prevent injury, or help in injury rehabilitation. To create a framework from which we can understand how yoga accomplishes these things, five areas of focus need to be addressed.
First, breathing is an essential life preserving function we take for granted. What we may not realize is that, by manipulating the breath or using breath control techniques called pranayama, we can harness control over our emotional state, which can have a huge impact on your golf game.
Second, a warm-up for golf should consist of some dynamic movements under strict control as opposed to the conventional notion, that we should stretch statically before a round of golf. Some yoga sequences can serve as an excellent warm-up such as the sun salutation. This flowing set of yoga poses do require some time to master, however, once learned it is a fast and convenient warm-up.
Third, static stretching is considered a necessity after a round of golf to bring muscle tissue back to its resting length. Muscle shortening in response to repetitive patterned movement is the athlete’s silent enemy. This is one of the reasons why so many athletes are turning to yoga for supplementary training.
Fourth, injury prevention and supplemental injury rehabilitation are the welcome side effects of a well designed yoga program. Some very specific considerations should be made in the yoga posture selection for results that will translate to an injury free golf season.
Fifth, the mental part of your game cannot be underestimated. In the yoga philosophy, there are eight steps to enlightenment that a famous sage, Patanjali outlined. Step 6 is concentration, which leads to step 7, meditation. The key to focus in your golf game are these two steps. By practicing a single pointed focus on an object such as a golf ball and visualizing the golf ball being hit by a club, seeing its flight through the air in your mind’s eye, you achieve step 6. As you practice step 6, there can be a moment where the subject, you the golfer, and the object, the hitting or flight of a golf ball, become one, step 7, meditation.
In summation, yoga may be the perfect compliment to golf. Five ways yoga can help your game are through breath control, dynamic but controlled warm-up movements, post-round static stretching, yoga poses for injury prevention, and concentration exercises. Implement these yoga techniques and watch your golf score drop.
Mike Chapman is a certified CPTN instructor, the owner of Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studio in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, and the official Mad4GolfDeals Yoga Guru!