Howdy readers, today I am taking a break from the conventional golf mumbo jumbo and talking about some new age exercises. These are not exercises you would find in your typical high school weight room, full of jocks using words like “reps” and “pumping”. These are exercises of the future, I am talking about Yoga. I sat down with certified Yoga For Golf instructor, Sarah Chiuppi while she was visiting the CG Headquarters. Here is a little bit of what we talked about.
How did you get in to Yoga?
Well, I was living in Scottsdale and was convinced to go to a couple of classes. I started off with Bikram Yoga, which is the hot yoga (Yoga preformed in a room set at 103 degrees). So I started doing that and sort of fell in love with it. I had been training by running, biking and hiking and then I tried Yoga and had never felt better. It was a complete 180 for me. It was physical and mental for me, I was way more flexible but on top of that the mental advantages are huge. From that experience I realized how much it benefited my golf game, which really inspired me to keep practicing and eventually open my own practice.
So it hasn’t always been just yoga for golf?
No, it started off just as a way to exercise before I saw how much it benefited my golf game. Yoga For Golf was a term coined by Kathrine Roberts, who teaches out of Arizona. I got certified by Kathrine. It is really just a way of correlating all the aspects of yoga and showing how you can apply them to golf. Visualization, breathing and flexibility are all a key factor in golf, and they are all a key factor in yoga. So, it is really just regular yoga but she shows how you can apply it to golf.
Which muscles does it focus on the most?
It definitely focuses on your hamstrings and you quads the most. Also, your gluts and your core. How it works, you watch your golf swing on camera and we identify if you have any swing flaws, (which I sure none of my devoted reader(s) have!) and how we can correct them with yoga. If your posture is messed up, we can help fix it with yoga. For example, if you are not clearing your hips through the swing, we can adjust that with certain exercises.
Is flexibility the number one benefit that you see?
Yeah, you know if you have better flexibility you have a larger range of motion. With a larger range of motion you can create more distance. For me personally, I think the mental aspect is just as important. Just breathing exercises that you learn and how you can use those exercises on the golf course. Yoga is a way of life that you lead, it is how you approach your whole life. It gave me an even keel balance.
Do you have a favorite yoga position?
Well everyone says this but Downward Facing Dog is a great pose. It works so many different muscle groups, it is just a great one.
Do you mix yoga with any cross training?
Oh yeah, I run and get on the elliptical all the time. I highly recommend mixing in some other forms of activity. Too much exercise is never a bad thing!
What do you think readers? Will this inspire you to break out from underneath the bench press bar and turn your dog in a downward facing position?