By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
If you ask most instructors which teaching opportunities they were made aware of, during their initial Yoga teacher training intensive, most will readily admit they learned of none outside their studio they were trained in. Regardless of the reason for this, most Yoga instructors are not aware of the wide spectrum of opportunity for working with the public.
Networking with local golf clubs, golf equipment suppliers, driving ranges, and miniature golf courses is an opportunity for Yoga teachers. Yoga sessions would have to be customized for the exact needs of golfers, and it must be remembered that there is a wide variation for pre-existing injury, age, fitness level, and flexibility among golfers. Much like Yoga practitioners, golfers cover a wide gambit.
For Golf Fitness
For the fitness-minded golfers, Yogic exercise may appear to be less of a challenge than it can be. These “alpha types” will enjoy physically challenging sessions – especially Vinyasa Yoga or any style which focuses on continuous movement. These flow Yoga sessions are very effective therapy for personalities, who deal with any kind of discomfort, by challenging themselves physically and mentally.
Many muscles and body parts are being used during a golf swing, including the back, shoulders, abdominal muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. For golfers to get the most out of their game, it’s important to be relaxed and loose. Yoga training can help immensely with this, as well as giving the client a tranquil state of mind.
For Golfers with Pre-existing Injuries
An alarming, and increasing number of golfers, play the game with an injured back. Some ideas for golfers, with back issues, are the knee to chest pose, the cat and cow positions, child’s pose, abdominal work, the table pose, locust pose, the hand to foot pose, cobra pose, downward dog, eagle pose, and a variety of twists.
For golfers, pain and injury don’t stop at the back. Those who have problems with their swing, due to pain in their shoulders, can practice the seated spinal twists, the lunge with a twist, bridge pose, triangle, revolved triangle, camel, camel twist, bow, and the half bow pose.
Customized Physical Yogic Exrecise Sessions for Golfers
For golfers, who are looking for greater hip rotation and hamstring flexibility, some important poses are the happy baby, cobbler, pyramid, staff pose, half moon pose, and pigeon pose. It’s important to pay attention to the position of the hips when teaching or practicing these poses.
Golfers, who are looking for more upper body power, should try poses – such as the single leg downward dog, sage, crow, wheel, firefly, handstand, and dolphin pose. Always remember – that the shoulders should not be crunched up while going into these poses. The shoulders and neck should be loose and limp.
Mental Strength for Golf
Pranayama is essential, when it comes to practicing Yoga and golf. Golfers know that their game requires mental fortitude. Pranayama is the foundation to making the mind and body connection. This helps one to become calm in the worst of times. Getting out of a sand pit, or over a body of water, requires a positive frame of mind. Yogic breath awareness is a successful tool for golfers who want to stay mentally focused and improve their game.
Teaching Yoga to golfers is a huge field and teachers have barely scratched the surface.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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