We’re starting to thaw out here in the midwest…I think it might even break into the 40′s today… As spring sneaks in, many of us start thinking about a favorite past time, golf. In working with several of my yoga clients, we’re finding that certain yoga poses and stretches are helping to improve their golf swing. Specifically, yoga helps improve spinal rotation, core strength, flexibility and concentration.
Here are just a few of the poses that improve your spinal rotation and in turn, your swing. Enjoy!
Before trying these stretches, make sure your body feels warm either with a brisk walk, Sunflowers or 4-6 full flows (sun salutations). In twists, more isn’t always better, so listen to your body and only twist to where you are comfortable.
Crescent Lunge: From Mountain pose, step the right foot back in a lunge, making sure that the left knee is directly over the left ankle. Keeping the hips forward and pressing back through the right heel. Focus your eyes on something to help maintain your balance. Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.
Twisting Lunge: While in Crescent Lunge, bring your hands together in a prayer position and slowly twist to the left side, taking your right elbow to the outside of the left leg. Continue to engage the right leg and press back through the right heel. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths, slowly unwinding and stepping back to Mountain Pose.
Reverse Crescent Lunge and Twisting Lunge with the left foot back.
Straddle Fold & Twist: Step wide with your feet parallel. Bend your knees and hinge forward, allowing your upper body to dangle toward the floor. With each exhale, lifting your hips up toward the ceiling while allowing your head and arms to relax toward the floor. Hold and breathe for 3-5 breaths.
Gently lift up so that just your fingertips are on the floor. Leaving the right hand on the floor, gently lift the left arm up toward the ceiling, looking either to the side or up toward your left hand. Hold for a couple of breaths, and release. Reverse gently lifting the right arm up toward the ceiling with the left hand on the floor. Relax folding forward for a few more breaths before you slowly come back to Mountain pose.
Spinal Balance: Coming down to all 4′s, make sure that your hands are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. As you inhale lengthen out opposite arm and leg. As you exhale, bring the arm and leg back to the floor. Continue to alternate sides, keeping your core strong and engaged. Repeat 6 times and rest in Child’s Pose.
Seated Twist: From a seated cross-legged pose, cross the right hand over to the left knee and place the left hand beside you. Lifting tall as you inhale, and as you exhale gently twisting to the left side. Allow your twist to begin in the belly and build from the ribcage, chest, shoulders and head. Hold and breathe for 3-5 breaths and gently unwind, reversing to the right side.