Yoga for Golfers to Enhance Performance
one needs to be loose, relaxed and have a free mental spirit. Yoga can
help the golfer with all of these. Weakness or lack of flexibility in
one part of the body can affect the golf swing, as stronger muscles try to
compensate. Your yoga routine should work the arms, back, chest, legs,
and abdominal areas.
Many golfers complain of lower
back pain from repeated spinal
rotation from swinging the golf club during a game. Increasing flexibility in
the spinal rotators is key to preventing injuries. One of yoga’s major benefits
is improving core
Stronger trunk muscles result in more spinal support and less strain on the
You can incorporate these yoga
asanas in your routine before you
hit the golf course to warm up your body and cool down your competitive mind.
Vrikshasana or Tree Pose
- Stand and place your feet together. Put your weight on your left foot
and bend your right knee.
- Put the heel of your right foot on your left thigh and push your hips out.
- Raise your arms over your head. Keep this pose for 25 seconds and then
repeat on the other side. This pose will help your balance.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or Pigeon pose:
Golfers tend to hold tension in the hips and a tight rigid hip for an athlete
will always result in more energy and stress released
to the more vulnerable joint which is the knee. The reaching twisting variation
you can do with this pose will also help to open the ribs increasing breath
capacity and deepen the stretch in the opposite quadriceps.
Facing Dog, step both feet
together and bring your right knee forward between your hands, such that
your outer right leg is resting on the mat.
Drop your back leg to the ground. Keep the back leg turned under.
Keeping your front leg bent, place it shin down on floor behind your
Align your right knee straight in front of your right hip and your right
shin parallel to the front of your mat.
Lower your hips, bringing your left knee to the floor and walk your left
foot back a few inches to straighten your left leg directly behind your left
hip. Rest the top of your left foot on the floor.
Walk your fingertips out to 18 inches in front of your right shin and
bring your elbows to the floor, forearms parallel to each other.
Draw your right hip back, and your left hip forward
Take quite a few breaths in Pigeon (3-7 breath) . Make sure your front
foot is well flexed. You may feel this pose in your hips as they open up.
pose is to build strength and stability in the anterior and posterior spine and
to open up the spinal column increasing the rotations. It syncs the movement
with breathing and settles the athlete down.
- Kneel down with your legs together, resting on your heels.
- Then sit to the right of your feet.
- Lift your left leg over your right, placing the foot against the outside
of the right knee. Bring your right heel in close to your buttocks.
Keep the spine erect.
- Stretch your arms out to the sides at shoulder level, and twist around
to the left.
- Now bring the right arm down on the outside of the left knee and hold
the left foot in the right hand, placing your left hand on the floor behind
you. As you exhale, twist as far as possible to the left. Look over the left
Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge )
Anjaneyasana or crescent lunge is a powerful standing yoga pose that stretches
and flexes your entire body.
This variation, with a twist, increases the challenge of balancing,
while also stretching out the spine, shoulders, and chest. Begin in
Downward-Facing Dog ( Adho Mukha Svanasana). With an exhalation, step your
right foot forward between your hands. Bend your front knee to 90 degrees,
aligning your knee directly over the heel of your front foot. Your feet
should be hip-width apart with both feet facing forward, and your front shin
should be perpendicular to the floor. Come on to the ball of your back foot,
lifting your heel and drawing it forward so it aligns directly over your
back toes. Lift your back leg strongly, drawing your knee and quadriceps up
toward the ceiling. Straighten your back leg completely.
With your back leg strong and active, gently draw your left hip forward
as you press your right hip back, squaring your hips so they are parallel to
the top edge of your mat. If it is too difficult to keep your back leg
raised while keeping your toes on the mat, lower your knee to the floor and
slide your leg back a few inches. Un-tuck your back toes and rest the top of
your back foot on the floor.
Inhale as you raise your torso to an upright position. Sweep your arms
overhead. Draw your ailbone toward the floor. Spin your little fingers
toward each other, opening your arms so your palms face each other. Gently
tilt your head and gaze up at a space between your thumbs. Make sure your
front shin stays vertical. Widen your stance as needed to make sure that
your knee does not move forward past your ankle. Tuck your tailbone under
and engage the muscles of your abdomen to help stabilize your core. Extend
up through the crown of your head, lengthening your upper body. Draw your
shoulder blades firmly into your upper back.
Draw your lower front ribs in and down toward your belly — do not let
them poke forward.
Hold for up to one minute. Release your hands back to the mat and step
back into Downward Dog. Repeat on the other side.
Virasana or Hero pose
This sport puts a lot of stress on the bottom of the foot, with the strong push when finishing the swings.
Kneel on the floor (on a folded blanket to pad your knees, shins, and
feet if necessary), with your thighs perpendicular to the floor, and touch
your inner knees together. Slide your feet apart, slightly wider than your
hips, with the tops of the feet flat on the floor. Angle your big toes
slightly in toward each other and press the top of each foot evenly on the
Exhale and sit back halfway, with your torso leaning slightly forward. Wedge
your thumbs into the backs of your knees and draw the skin and flesh of the
calf muscles toward the heels. Then sit down between your feet.
If your buttocks don't comfortably rest on the floor, raise them on a
block or thick book placed between the feet. Make sure both sitting bones
are evenly supported. Allow a thumb's-width space between the inner heels
and the outer hips. Turn your thighs inward
and press the heads of the thigh bones into the floor with the bases of your
palms. Then lay your hands in your lap, one on the other, palms up, or on
your thighs, palms down.
Firm your shoulder blades against the back ribs and lift the top of your
sternum like a proud warrior. Widen the collarbones and release the shoulder
blades away from the ears. Lengthen the tailbone into the floor to anchor
the back torso.
At first stay in this pose from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Gradually extend
your stay up to 5 minutes. To come out, press your hands against the floor
and lift your buttocks up, slightly higher than the heels. Cross your ankles
underneath your buttocks, sit back over the feet and onto the floor, then
stretch your legs out in front of you. It may feel good to bounce your knees
up and down a few times on the floor.
Bhujangasana or Cobra pose
The cobra pose stretches tight chest muscles
and strengthens the back of the shoulders and
the upper back, working as a corrective exercise for rounded shoulders.
Lie on your belly, while your head rests on your lower arms.
Raise your forehead, look upwards and stretch your hands backwards. Let
your weight rest on your chest.
The head falls a little backwards towards your back and the backward
movement proceeds from the neck and the chin. Move your belly further
backward as if someone is pulling your arms. The weight is more and more
shifted towards the belly and the lower back does the real work.
If you cannot raise your chest any further, put your hands and arms next
to your chest on the mat without losing the bend. Stretch your arms so that
they stand perpendicular on the floor and at the same time turn your arms a
little inward. Relax your lower back and bear your weight with your arms.
The buttock muscles remain relaxed during the exercise. Move your chest
further upwards with every breathing out. Do this in a relaxed way instead
of using force. You can tilt your head back. The shoulders are broad in
front and the shoulder blades remain low.
Wind up these asanas with corpse
pose and meditation. Proper
breathing and relaxation keep the mind focused and calm.
Dated 27 August 2012