Our objectives for the initial phase of the program will address the foundation for an effective golf swing - core flexibility and strength. The use of props such as your yoga mat, yoga blocks, straps and towels are essential tools in assisting you in getting the maximum stretch with the greatest amount of safety.
Guidelines for an effective yoga practice and the Fit for Winter program are as follows:
1. Modify, modify, modify the pose. You should never feel pain while stretching. Slight discomfort in the muscle is acceptable.
2. Breathe deeply inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Focus on the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm.
3. Align the body carefully. Pay close attention to maintaining the proper physical alignment.
Lets begin with a few fundamental core conditioning exercises!
On all fours, draw the navel towards the spine. Maintain a straight spine angle and do not allow the back to arch. Hold for three breaths, relax and repeat ten times.
Begin on all fours and pull the navel towards the spine. Inhale and lift the left leg and right arm. Internally rotate the left leg, flexing the foot towards the floor.
Exhale and slowly pull the left knee towards the chest and bring the right elbow to the left knee. Repeat five times and switch sides. Note: The objective is to feel the work deeply in the abdominals AND maintain your balance.
On your belly, allow the neck / cervical spine to remain in a neutral position with the face pointing towards the floor.
Place the hand next to the body, palms down. Squeeze the legs together, point the tops of the feet towards the floor and engage the gluts.
Pull the navel towards the spine and press the tailbone towards the floor. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation roll the shoulders back and slightly lift the chest off the floor. Inhale and bring the body down to the starting position. Repeat six times and relax.
After the core strengthening sequence press the buttocks back towards the heels, extend the arms and rest on your heels. Note: If this places any stress on the knees, place a rolled up towel behind the knees. Rest in the Childs pose for ten deep breaths. Focus on the stretch in the lumbar spine.
Next week we will continue our flexibility conditioning and I will give you some tips on staying lean during the winter months.