Tips for Better Golf and Improved Health Week 1- Breathing

By Katherine RobertsNovember 8, 2007, 5:00 pm
Week 1- Breathing!
 
One of the greatest gifts of yoga is the tremendous health benefits. What does good health mean to you? It is important to be clear regarding your intentions, expectations and goals for your health through the practice of yoga. Take the time to write down your current golf challenges, physical and mental. Be specific. Include, for example, that you want to work on your balance in order to improve a swing that 'breaks down.' Or note a physical component, such as a need to increase club control with the hands, or any mental challenges, such as a desire to increase your concentration. This will help you develop a baseline, a starting point from which to chart your progress.
 
If you have been reading my articles on The Golf Channels website over the last four and one-half years you undoubtedly are experiencing the benefits of the yoga for golfers program in the course.
 
Recently scientists have begun to test yogas effect on medical conditions and the results are impressive. Many feel that yoga will soon become an integral part of treatment of various disorders, similarly to the way society now embraces massage therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture.
 
The following content was selected from a recent magazine on the topics of yoga and chronic back pain, heart disease and depression.
 
Chronic back pain:
When doctors at the HMO Group Health Cooperative in Seattle pitted 12 weekly session of yoga against therapeutic exercises and a handbook on self-care, they discovered the yoga group not only showed greater improvement but experienced benefits lasting 14 weeks longer.
 
Heart disease:
Several trials have found that yoga can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and resting heart rates, and help slow the progression of atherosclerosis ' all risk factors for heart disease, says Erin Olivo, PhD, director of Columbia Universitys Integrative Medicine program. While almost any exercise is good for the heart, experts speculate yogas meditative component may give it an extra boost by helping stabilize the endothelium, the lining of the blood vessels that, when irritated, contributes to cardiovascular disease. Since the lining is reactive to stress and meditation can lower stress hormones, yoga may be causing a cascade of events that could reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
 
Depression:
Low brain levels of the neurotransmitter GABA are often found in people with depression: SSRIs, electroconvulsive therapy and now yoga, it seems, can boost GABA. Preliminary research out of the Boston University School of Medicine and Harvards McLean Hospital found that healthy subjects who practiced yoga for one hour had a 27 percent increase in levels of GABA compared with a control group that simply sat and read for an hour. This supports a growing body of research thats proving yoga can significantly improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
 
You may be asking yourself, Where do I begin? At the beginning! Yoga always starts with awareness of the breath.
 
Here we go!
 
Begin on your back, knees bent, with support placed under the backs of your knees. Place your finger tips on your ribcage. Begin by inhaling to the count of four, exhaling for a count of four. Repeat ten times.
 

 
Remove your hands from your ribcage and place your palms facing up. Keep your eyes closed. Now increase your exhalation to a count of six. Repeat ten times. Continue on your back, feeling the warmth of the increased blood flow throughout your body and pay attention to the quietness of mind.
 

 
Next week we will begin with the most common and obvious benefits of yoga ' total body flexibility.
 
Check out all the new fitness tips on The Turn, Monday nights at 10:00 pm PST starting Monday!
 
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    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.
  • Getty Images

    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated” while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

    Getty Images

    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

    Getty Images

    Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

    The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

    Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

    Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

    “We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”