Which Class Is Right For You?
If you’re trying to use yoga as a method of exercise, then you need to make sure you are practicing the right kind of yoga to improve specifically what you’re looking to develop. Not all yoga is created equal and not all yoga is beneficial to everyone. You’ll need to recognize what you’d like to accomplish and find a yoga method that works toward those goals. Otherwise, you could wind up hurting yourself and accomplishing nothing.
For golfers, the importance of finding a yoga class that deals with strengthening and loosening the muscles is ideal. Using yoga to enhance your performance on the golf course is a great way to give you some edge in your game, but it’s important that you find the right yoga class to help you achieve your goals rather than a streamlined version of yoga that appeals to everyone. You need something specified to help you reach peak performance for your golf game.
Many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to finding the right yoga class, but hopefully, we’ll be able to show you what to look for, and perhaps more importantly, what to avoid when trying to find a yoga class to help improve your golf game.
As most trainers will tell you, it is important to look at the science behind any exercise program before you begin to do it. Some programs that work for others won’t work for you and your fitness goals. Some programs need to be geared specifically to parts of the body you are trying to focus on. Exercising is important to improve your athletic ability as well as your life, but doing it the right way is even more important.
Yoga can be very beneficial to your golf game. Take a look at some of the benefits it provides:
- Yoga teaches proper breathing. Most of us breathe from the upper chest area rather than from the belly or diaphragm. The diaphragm is where the anterior core muscles lie and by not breathing properly, you ignore those muscles. The anterior core muscles are especially important for your golf game because they protect your back when you swing the club. They will also increase the speed of your swing if worked out properly. Proper breathing will also help you to improve your posture and release tension. Most golfers hold tension in their necks and shoulders that affects their golf swing, and proper breathing techniques learned in yoga classes can help release that tension.
- Just about every strength and mobility exercise – like lunges, squats, planks, etc. – is a variation of a yoga pose, so you may have been doing yoga-like stretches all along without even realizing it.
- Yoga can help you keep your focus in stressful situations. Because yoga focuses heavily on breathing, your mind learns to focus on being present while your body is working. It gives you a clear head. For golfers, this is especially useful because it allows you to focus your attention on each stroke rather than having your mind race about everything else that is going on.
- Yoga improves the basic physical elements of every golf game – balance, flexibility and core strength. A good golf swing requires flexibility and core integration, and yoga is a great way to improve those techniques. Many people who play golf cannot even get to a full swing because their range of motion is limited by injury or aggravation of some muscle. Yoga can help to work out that problem and give you the full range of motion you need for a great swing.
What To Look For Out For…
While yoga is extremely beneficial to improving a golfer’s game, there are downsides to it if you don’t follow specified poses that are designed to help with your golf game.
- Not every yoga teacher can help every person in the specific way they need to be helped. When taking a yoga class, you will often experience a streamlined, cookie-cutter class that covers the general poses of yoga. It is important that you find a class that focuses in on the specific goals you want to reach as a golfer, instead of just following the same routines as everyone else. If you don’t hone in on the specific goals you want to achieve, you could wind up hurting your golf game or yourself as a result.
- Yoga has become westernized, which means that it has heated up – both metaphorically as well as literally. Before you embark on one of these “hot yoga” classes that turn the temperature way up in order to help you “cleanse” your body and loosen up your muscles, you want to make sure that it is actually going to help you. If your just starting you shouldn’t take these classes that have been sped up and heated up. It takes years for some people to master certain poses, and you don’t want to get in over your head before you’re ready.
- Yoga has been mislabeled for a long time. It has become known as an “everything” workout, but it’s not the be-all-end-all. It allows you to improve upon your existing strength, balance and flexibility but it cannot create those things for you. It is not a substitute for actual weight training. It is something that can and should be used in conjunction with other workouts in order to improve both your golf game and your life.
- Many yoga classes do not offer a warm-up. Warming up your muscles is essential in any form of exercise. Going from doing nothing to a full-on work out is not good for your body. It can lead to strains, sprains and other injuries.
- Not every pose is a good pose. There are some poses in yoga that are more about showing off than actually being beneficial for your body. Things like head stands and shoulder stands are great for being showy, but as far as having actual benefits? Stick with the basics.
Just like with any sort of exercise routine, yoga has many benefits and problems. It can help you improve your golf game if it is done in the proper way, but if it is not, then it could actually be detrimental.
Yoga connects you to your body and allows you to focus more deeply on whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. It builds strength, both mentally and physically.
So do yourself and your golf game a favor and keep it simple. Do simple yoga poses that are intended to develop a specific part of your body in order to improve your golf game. Your body will thank you, and so will your golf score.