This weeks article will address balance ' a key component and an integral part of practicing yoga. Every standing yoga posture requires balance. In golf, balance means many things ' balance in the musculo-skeletal system as well as the ability to balance when performing various tasks such as the golf swing. As we age, flexibility and balance are greatly compromised. Working on balance will help the body as it relates to proprioception - ones ability to adjust the body and know where the body is positioned in space. Practicing yoga and specifically balancing poses will help you in this area.
Golf Tip: If you have ever found yourself feeling off balance, even on a flat tee box or falling backwards in the finish position, working on balance will help you feel more grounded - more in balance.
In the Yoga for Golfers program I have developed three levels of intensity. Par represents the basics, Birdie is a more intermediate level and Eagle represents the advanced levels. It is important to start at the beginning and these varying levels will give you the opportunity to advance.
Begin by focusing on a spot on the floor approximately four feet in front of you. You can place a golf ball on the floor at that spot. Bring the right foot up, placing it on the inside of the left knee or the inner thigh. Hands come to the waist. Hold for five breaths. Lift arms over the head and hold for five more breaths. Switch sides.
This pose works on balance as well as stretching the adductors and hip area. Begin by focusing as you bring the left heel on the outside of the right knee. Try to press your knee towards the floor. Note: You should feel a stretch in the hip, not the knee. Bring the hands to the waist, draw the navel in working the core and hinge at the hips. Note: Keep the back flat, not rounded. Hold for five breaths. Extend the arms out to the side and hold for another five breaths. Switch sides.
Begin by focusing as you step the right foot forward two feet. Drawing the navel in to protect the back and work on the core, hinge at the hips, bringing the upper body parallel to the floor. Note: Keep the hips level and you will also develop strength in the legs, hips and gluts. Engage or squeeze the buttocks on the left side as you flex the left foot. Hold for five breaths and then extend the arms out to the sides. Hold for an additional five breaths and then switch sides.
Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at email@example.com.