Yoga was first practiced in India more than 5,000 years ago as a way to bring the mind, body and spirit together. Now, some golfers are tapping its secrets.
The word yoga means to join together and the ancient practice is bringing harmony to some select golfers.
An ancient form of exercise called Chi Yoga utilizes the same poses as traditional yoga but with an emphasis on deeper breathing.
Yoga instructor Ana Rinderer says, "The differences in, in yoga, we breathe in and out of the nose, in an, in Chi Yoga we exhale out of our mouth.”
Ana has found that chi yoga can be a great tool for golfers. She says many of the poses strengthen the torso and a strong torso provides golfers with the power and control needed for an effective swing.
Yoga not only increases flexibility but Ana says the breathing helps aid concentration.
“We try to tone our bodies. Not just our, our bodies but also our minds, and by doing so you’re totally prepared to play the game,” she says.
Charles Royter started yoga after a back injury. His improved golf game was an added and unexpected benefit.
“It’s probably helped me 10 to 15 strokes in my golf game,” he says.
That's especially significant when, like Charles, you make your living as a golf pro.
He says, "I think it’s improved my game just, just on the flexibility part. It’s probably improved my golf strength and which obviously if you, the stronger you are, the farther the ball goes, the better you’re going to score.”
To get more information on yoga visit abcofyoga.com.
Fast Facts:Golf is a popular sport. About 12.8 million Americans play golf regularly and 14.6 million golf occasionally.
Golf requires strength, stamina, coordination and concentration.
Some golfers are turning to yoga to relax their minds and improve their flexibility, muscle strength and concentration.
Golfing in the U.S.
According to the National Golf Foundation, about 12.8 million American adults are regular golfers (play at least 8 times a year). Another 14.6 million Americans are occasional golfers. In addition, there are 2.9 million golfers 17 and under in the U.S.
Golfing requires physical strength, coordination, stamina, flexibility and mental concentration. A good swing can send a ball sailing at 100 miles per hour or more at distances of 300 yards or further. The force of the swing places a great deal of stress on the body. Among amateur golfers, back injuries are the most common type of sport-related injury, followed by injuries to the elbow, wrist, hand and shoulder.
Yoga for Golfers
Yoga is considered a form of alternative medicine. It comes from the ancient Sanskrit word meaning “to join,” and emphasizes the union of the body and mind to bring about full awareness. Practitioners use exercises (including specific postures or poses), breathing techniques (to improve health and function of the body and mind) and meditation.
Researchers estimate about five percent of Americans use yoga for health. Some golfers are now finding the practice to be beneficial for their game as well.
Yoga instructor, Ana Rinderer, recommends a technique called Chi Yoga for golfers. In traditional yoga, breathing is done solely through the nose. In Chi Yoga, a person breathes in through the nose and exhales through the mouth. Concentration on breathing warms the body and moves energy resources. The techniques also help the person relax and become more aware of what’s going on inside the body. In addition, breathing techniques enable the body to become more flexible for the traditional poses, which tone the body.
The breathing and poses help the body become balanced, flexible and toned. As a golfer swings, the yoga techniques relax the mind and body, allowing the player to become more aware of movement, position and force of the swing. Rinderer says golfers need to practice the yoga techniques twice a week for about two months before they start to see any significant improvements in their game.
Web ResourcesAmerican Yoga Association Web site
For general information on yoga: