By Kevin Hutto
Golf is both a physical and mental game. In fact, some would even argue that the mental part dominates it more, which is also the reason why a lot of golfers seem to take forever to analyze their ball and swing their club. But the truth of the matter is, successfully driving a ball to the fairway and later sinking the putt entails harmonizing the physiological and the psychological components of a golfer’s game. In no other sport is there such a need for almost seamless synchronization that sometimes the player who scores the lowest is the one who has mastered the art of flexibility and concentration.
Enter Yoga— an exercise that has been stimulating both the body and mind for more than five thousand years. Through breathing and postures, Yoga seeks to develop flexibility, strength, stability and balance. That’s just the physical side. It quiets the mind, too, and teaches the practitioner focus and concentration. And that’s why it’s such the perfect exercise for golfers.
With regular Yoga exercises, golfers swing stronger and better. Yoga undoubtedly increases the player’s range of motion through its stretches and poses. With a supple and more flexible body, you are able to turn your shoulders and hips more efficiently while still maintaining balance and performing the smoothest, most powerful swing to get your ball to the fairway. Since golf usually exercises only one part of the body, Yoga balances the other parts that aren’t too often used. It strengthens the back, abdominal and pelvic muscles that make up the core to reduce the lower back pain that is commonly experienced by golfers.
The rhythmic breathing techniques taught in Yoga allow the golfer to calm stressed nerves and quiet the mind as he or she prepares for a challenging bunker shot or to sink the putt. Golfers who are also Yoga practitioners attest to the soothing quality of deep breathing exercises in tension-filled moments of the game. As a result, their rhythmic inhalation and exhalation patterns also add rhythm to their swings. A relaxed body and a focused mind pave the way for correct technique that ultimately leads to fewer strokes and the ball in the hole.
Yoga is the best exercise for golfers. It works to keep the body and mind in perfect harmony for that perfect golf swing.
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