Yoga for Golfers – Yoga for Golf

Yoga for Golf

Dana Santas works with golfers of all types–from PGA pros to recreational golfers (including many of her pro athletes from MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL, who play golf in their off seasons). Certified through Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), she conducts Radius Yoga for Golf workshops on topics ranging from leveraging proper breathing biomechanics to core power to rotational mobility training. Her workshops are featured at many pro venues, including the Tournament Players Club (TPC).

Radius Yoga Conditioning (RYC) customized yoga for golf programs are available to golfers at all levels:  professional, collegiate, amateur, youth and recreational.  In addition to onsite training, RYC yoga for golf programs can be made accessible to all serious athletes–despite travel challenges–using numerous formats, including Skype/Facetime sessions, as well as customized videos, audio files and manuals accessed via the Private Client Portal. Refer to the Yoga for Sports Programs and Private Training pages for more information on specific program options. And for some insight into Dana’s approach to golf training, check out her “Swing Like Spieth: 3 Yoga Moves to Improve Your Golf Game” article on CNN. Dana’s golf mobility training advice has been featured internationally via CNN, the Titliest Performance Institute (TPI) and other platforms.

To learn more about Dana’s sought-after approach to applying yoga-based techniques into sports training, read her article, “Yoga for Athletes: Why Activation and Inhibition Matter More Than Stretching.”

Let’s be honest—the golfing world only became interested in fitness over the last decade, and only seriously in the last few years. Probably due to the stationary nature of the golf swing, people have long underestimated the necessary athleticism involved in golf. But thanks to fit pros like Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, golfers are recognizing the athletic training necessary to achieve optimum performance and avoid injury on the links.

Taking a full swing off the tee requires stable mobility through an enormous range of motion of two primary areas (the hips and thoracic spine). Any loss of range in these areas will put undue compensatory stress on the low back and knees. Functionally integrated core and pelvic floor strength is required to exert power and control over the club from back swing through impact and follow through. And a strong, functional diaphragm is needed to help properly position the rib cage for core strength and t-spine rotation and stabilize the pelvic floor, enabling the exertion of power and velocity without a loss of balance or control.

In a FitTV interview, famed golf instructor Butch Harmon once said, “The most important thing in golf is stretching. If you are tight and bulky, you will not have a good swing.” So it’s no surprise that golfers are increasingly turning to yoga.

RYC yoga for golf not only helps golfers with the paramount mobility that Butch referenced but also with the development of functional stability to avoid injury and fully integrated core strength and proper breathing biomechanics—the foundation for enhanced golf performance. When conditioning golfers, RYC takes into account the sophisticated series of movements involved in a golf swing and works to individually address each golfer’s weaknesses by creating a yoga-based training practice that addresses the areas needed most.

Maybe even more important than the physical game of golf is the mental game. Golfers are constantly trying to figure out how to “get out of their own heads” while on the course. In most cases, they are inadvertently letting shallow breath and nerves pull them into their sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), which makes them feel anxious and less in control by stimulating increased production of stress hormones. Letting the mind run away with the sympathetic nervous system wreaks havoc on the game. RYC yoga for golf trains the body and mind to work in unison, using diaphragmatic breathing as the bridge to bring golfers back to their parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), lowering stress hormones, heart rate and blood pressure. We also use posture and breathing techniques to increase the production of testosterone (confidence hormone) and increase dopamine and serotonin (happy hormone) to create an internal homeostasis that hones concentration.

To learn about yoga for youth golfers, visit the Yoga for Youth Sports page.