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A fitness program that includes several types of yoga can be very beneficial for golfers. Yoga for golf can help a golfer improve his mental focus, physical strength, and flexibility. The golfer may wish to try several different types of yoga to find a combination that most improves his golf game. Golfers may also wish to explore Pilates for golf, which is also instrumental in increasing core strength and mental focus.
Some locations will offer specific yoga for golf classes, but these might be unavailable to all golfers. If specific classes aren’t available, golfers can attend other types of yoga classes to develop their own training programs. Types of yoga that may help golfers include hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, yin, and restorative yoga.
A golfer who is inexperienced in yoga may wish to seek beginning level hatha yoga classes. These classes are often less physically demanding and the student will learn poses, or asanas, that help to build strength and increase flexibility. A hatha yoga class that incorporates breathing techniques may help the golfer with reducing stress. Improvements in strength, flexibility, and relaxation may improve his golf game.
Those who are in better physical shape may want to explore vinyasa or ashtanga yoga classes. These classes also incorporate asanas, and the classes may be more challenging than hatha yoga. The golfer will learn to breathe while flowing through a series of asanas. These skills readily translate to the golf course.
Yin yoga is a more gentle and slower moving type of yoga. The asanas are usually less demanding than the series of poses in vinyasa and ashtanga. Each asana may be held for about three minutes, so muscles and ligaments are gently, yet completely, stretched. A golfer may also choose soothing restorative yoga for stretching and relaxation. In restorative yoga, props are used to support the body, so the positions can be held for longer periods of time.
The golfer may be surprised by the affect the mental aspects have on his game. Many golfers who take up yoga report they are able to concentrate while remaining relaxed. First tee jitters and putting yips may lessen for yoga practitioners.
Some golfers find going through a set of yoga for golf stretches before they tee off gets their bodies warmed up for the game. The stretches can enable golfers to start the round limber and swing freely, which usually translates into more distance. Stretches may also help golfers become mentally focused while remaining physically relaxed.
Pilates exercises can also help golfers improve their game. It strengthens the body’s core, which is important because much of the golf swing’s power is generated from the core. This exercise also increases flexibility, and the mental concentration aspects of Pilates for golfers may transfer to the golf course, as also happen with yoga for golf.