This is what I came up with when I googled the definition of yoga:
a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
I think those are pretty good things for most people. In general, society is not healthy. Improving on the things that yoga provides would benefit a lot of people.
Yoga is something that resonates with a lot of golfers because of the stretching that comes with it. If I had to guess why a lot of golfers gravitate to yoga:
- they feel better immediately after
- its much easier to do yoga than lift weights
- some still think that stretching is the best way to increase mobility
I think the best parts of yoga for golfers would be recovery and regeneration through controlled breathing patterns.
Yoga for golf is not going to help you with the ball further or have better mobility in your swing.
Mobility vs. Stretching
Holding a static stretch is a classic way to “improve” range of motion at a joint. The problem is that most people do not get the benefits that they think they are getting. 10 hours later we are back to where we started before stretching.
Mobility on the other hand is the ability to move through a given range of motion. You cannot simply hold positions and expect to improve your swing.
Instead, practice moving through different ranges of motion in the upper back, hips, shoulder, and ankles.
Strength Improves Range of Motion
By incorporating resistance training in your program you can get double benefits of increased force production and better mobility.
Yoga and other recovery modalities will not help your ability to improve force production. If that is something you need in your game you will need to get on a strength training program.
The idea that strength will cause you to lose flexibility is actually been proven false recently.
It is implied that all yoga positions are good for everyone
There is often no individualization in yoga. I was actually speaking to a PT the other day that knew someone who was making their back pain worse by doing yoga.
Someone that suffers from extension based back pain, or pain from arching the back, can actually make their issue worse.
Some yoga poses actually force lumbar extension which will make an extension based issue worse. The opposite is true for flexion based back pain and positions.
I know people who have had yoga recommended to them by their doctor to assist with back pain. Claiming that yoga is good for everyone is really dangerous. It could make things worse.
A Better Strategy
Luckily, golfers do not need to do yoga to improve their game. If it something you like and enjoy then it can be a good accessory to training.
Most golfers need to focus on strength and mobility training concurrently. This is the best way to accelerate the progress on both.
Golfers should spend most of their working on strengthening the legs through squats, lunges, and deadlifts. The upper body can be trained with pushing and pulling. Maintaining core stability is a must to help with a rounded program.
Mobility should be trained in the:
if you are looking for a resource on core training for golf, I have a free report for you below