As we know in life, business and golf, preparation can be the difference between success and failure. A friend of mine recently returned from Seoul where he shared with me the ritual of preparing for a round of golf. The day begins with a forty-five minute series of exercises and massage therapy. The warm-up section of the ten minute workout will be rolled out to you over a two week period because attention to proper form is so critical. The intention of this sequence is to develop a fluid, rhythmic series of movements that link each pose. Flow yoga is a continuous series of movements, coordinated with breathing and the result is more flexibility and mental concentration. Once you learn the poses you will be able to fly through the practice from one pose to another.
Week one of the warm-up targets the back and shoulders, week two addresses the hamstrings, hips and trunk.
Begin on all fours with the hands placed directly under the shoulders and knees directly under the hips.
On the inhalation, press the spine towards the floor and the roll the shoulders away from the ears. On the exhalation, draw the navel towards the spine and press the spine towards the ceiling like a scared cat. Repeat slowly for ten repetitions. Note: do not hyper-extend your neck.
Now move from the cat/ cow pose to the childs pose. Bring the feet together and the knees apart. Sit back on the heels and stretch the arms forward.
Note: If sitting back on your heels stresses your knees, place a rolled up towel behind the knees to increase the angle of the knee bend.
On the next inhalation, stretch the upper body to the left and then to the right. Keep the gluts connected to the heels and focus on the stretch in the back and shoulders. Stretch to the left and the right five times. This is a great post-round pose!
Now move from the childs pose to the cobra pose. Begin on your belly with the hands placed directly next to your chest. Squeeze the legs together and engage the glutes. Press the tops of the feet on the floor.
On your exhalation, lift the chest off the floor but do not dump into your low back. Repeat five times.
Move from the cobra pose to the down dog pose. Using your core, press from the cobra to all fours and place the hands slightly in front of the shoulders and as wide as your yoga mat. Spread the fingers wide and roll the shoulders away from the ears. Lift from the hips as you come into the down dog pose. Place the feet hip width apart, try to straighten the legs and press the heels towards the floor. Lift in the arches and focus on the sensation of pressing the mat towards the front of the room. Relax your head and focus the eyes towards the navel. Hold for ten breaths.
Stay tuned! Next week will move from the Down dog to a new series of yoga poses targeting the hips, hamstrings and trunk.
Special Note: Beginning on The Golf Channel on July 27th at 9:30 PM ET , Katherine begins her new series featuring Ashley Prange from the Big Break V. Katherine helps Ashley prepare for her LPGA exemption! Click here for airtimes for Game On: Ashley's Big Break!