Yoga is extremely beneficial to golfers both physically and mentally. A consistent yoga practice can help alleviate pain from play and prevents injuries from happening on the course. Golf also requires intense concentration; yoga cultivates focus, which results in a better game. This Father’s Day, instead of buying your dad another set of golf balls, introduce him to some postures that will help him on the course.
Here are 4 yoga poses for the dad and golfer in your life:
Modified Revolved Crescent Lunge
Because golfers constantly rotate their spines to swing the golf club, it is important for golfers to increase their flexibility in their spine to prevent injury. Modified revolved crescent lunge is a great spinal twist with which to start. From downward facing dog, show your dad how it’s done. Step your right foot between your palms. Next, place your back knee on the mat for support. Sweep your arms above your head to crescent lunge. Engage your core and relax your shoulders down your back. Draw your hands to heart center and twist to the right. Connect your left elbow outside of your right knee. Stack your right elbow over your left elbow. With each inhale, encourage your father to lengthen his spine, and with each exhale, encourage him to twist deeper. Repeat on the other side.
Stronger core muscles give you more spinal support, which therefore causes less strain on the low back. Take your dad through a few rounds of yogi bicycles to work his oblique muscles. Begin by lying flat on your back. Bring your right knee to a tabletop position and extend your left leg out long. Hover it a few inches off of the mat. Exhale and draw your left shoulder to your right knee. Inhale and return to a neutral position. Exhale and switch sides. Encourage dad to move slowly and with control to strengthen his muscles rather than burn calories. Repeat on both sides.
Supine Half Pigeon
Keeping your hips mobile is crucial to generating a powerful swing. Demonstrate supine half pigeon for your dad, a posture he can do on his own before and after playing golf. Lie on your back and draw your knees into your chest. Bring your right knee to a tabletop position. Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Clasp behind your right knee and gently pull it in towards your face. Feel your hips gently open. Repeat on the other side.
Related: How to safely get into Pigeon pose
A Simple Breathing Exercise
Guide your dad to a comfortable seated position. Encourage him to close his eyes and cultivate his ujjayi breath. Together say out loud “inhale, 2, 3, 4” then “exhale, 2, 3, 4”. Speak slowly and quietly. Repeat for three rounds of breath. This is an exercise your dad can do before he hits the course to calm his mind and gain focus for the game ahead.
“When we do this pose in honor of the cow face, we’re actually honoring Krishna. Krishna’s name means all attractive one. Anytime we do things in reference of yoga mythology, we illuminate that aspect within our self. In regards to Krishna, it is the piece of us that people are really attractive to… Maybe it’s your award-winning smile, your quick wit or your awesome ability to give advice. But whatever people are attracted to, that’s the element of Krishna, that poses like this or words like this or even chants along those lines help to bring about.”
Alanna also goes on to explain that “Gomukhasana is a seated hip opening posture and as we take the shape, our legs become the cows mouth and the arm variation, grasping our fingers behind our back, our elbows become the cows ears.”
Fascinating stuff! Watch the full video below.