Featured Golf News
Yoga, Golf & Concentration
Have you ever had that experience where you and your object of concentration (golf ball) become one? If you have, you know this experience happens when you least expect it - when your mind is set free from daily responsibilities, expectations, or planning.
For those of you who have yet to experience the one-pointed focus in your game or struggle with concentration in general, keep reading this article! The yoga practice has several useful steps to prepare the body and mind for sustained concentration, which you may find useful in your game of golf.
Start your game with a few stretches to remove common aches, pains, stiffness, or fatigue. When you do some body research-stretching, your attention often settles where it is most needed - where your muscles are holding tension. Finding the edge of tension and relaxation requires some mindfulness, some mental discipline that will lead to stable concentration. Body sensations will often call you powerfully into the moment. Never stretch to the degree that you discover pain! Stretching will energize your muscles and joints so they move easily and efficiently.
Numerous examples of basic stretches to start your game can be found in my book, "Art of Sequencing." Pages 35, 40 and 42 offer poses for the beginning yoga student. Doing yoga after your game is also useful in preventing common aches and pains. Remember: If you don't use the range of motion in your muscles and joints, you will lose it! Visit www.melinameza.com to preview the book or purchase your own copy.
In the past, yogis turned to breath awareness to root their minds into the present moment and deepen concentration. We use breath awareness to cultivate one-pointed focus because you can only breathe for the present moment, you can't breathe for the future or the past. The breath locks you into the moment! By paying attention to the breath moving in and out of the nose you will decrease your habitual mental fluctuations and eventually find the space to create a connection with your desired object (golf ball). It may sound easy to pay attention to the breath, but in reality it takes practice.
Before getting involved in your game, take a few moments to be still, straighten your spine, and breathe in and out of the nose. Follow your breath from your nose to your navel on an inhalation, navel to nose on exhalation. After some time training yourself to be mindful of the breath, you will not be able to forget it.
Intention-setting can be a useful tool in navigating the highs and lows of any discipline, sport or relationship. Consider the possibility of setting an intention before each game of golf to help you stay focused and ensure you receive the most out of your game.
A yoga teacher and nutritionist, Melina Meza received her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University. While attending Bastyr, Melina discovered the art of yoga, which brings together the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga taught her about balance, concentration, and relaxation, essential lessons that reside at the foundation of her own personal practice and the classes that she teaches to groups and individuals.
Melina has been teaching yoga full-time since 1997, when 8 Limbs Yoga Centers opened in Seattle. Her continual growth as a teacher and practitioner has been influenced by studying with numerous yoga instructors and taking annual sabbaticals to deepen her commitment to personal practice.
In addition to teaching private yoga sessions and group classes, Melina is the co-director of the 8 Limbs Teachers' Training Program and Enrichment Program. Throughout the year, she also leads retreats and workshops that allow her to blend her passions of yoga and nutrition education.
Her book, "The Art of Sequencing," the first in a series of practical, affordable, and enjoyable wellness tools, is the next phase of Melina's contribution to those seeking to live more conscious, healthy lives. For more details about Melina and her book, visit www.melinameza.com.