Attaining The Hole-In-One Asana
oga is a discipline with physical and mental benefits that include increased flexibility, energy and vitality; improved muscle strength and tone, respiration and posture; stress reduction and maintaining a balanced metabolism. Yoga can be incorporated into anyone’s life, whether they are a novice or an experienced student.
Athletes attest to the impact and benefits yoga and meditation have made in their routine. Legendary championship basketball coach Phil Jackson, often referred to as the “Zen master”, integrated meditation, Buddhism and other spiritual traditions into his coaching practice. Athletes that practice yoga and meditation include LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and Evan Longoria, among others.
First, no matter what the level of our age or athletic ability, it’s very important to take time out for ourselves every day. Yoga and meditation are a pathway to learning who we are and what it is in our life we want to accomplish. Once we are on that pathway, all things will become clear, as yoga will improve our health mentally, physically and spiritually.
Yoga will teach us how to respect ourself and those around us. By focusing on who it is we want to be, we can and will overcome any obstacle that might be blocking our path. There will always be forks in the road, but with time and practice, we can learn which direction is best.
The mind is the most important part of our being, and daily meditation, whether it’s five minutes or a couple of hours, allows us to learn how to train our thoughts to stay in the moment.
Here are five points to get started in yoga and meditation:
1. Breathing control is an exercise designed to help you relax. Visualize what you wish to be in your life.
2. Meditation allows you to reflect on letting things go, be aware of your surroundings and understand what you can and cannot control. For example, in golf, you can’t control the weather, width of the fairway, height of the grass, etc.
3. Relaxation as yoga and golf both require you to be mindful at all times. Being mindful is learning to be in the moment and not allowing the chatter of the mind to control what you do.
4. Concentration allows you to be aware of your thoughts without being attached to those thoughts. By learning to create options to reset the mind and refocus through visualization, an athlete can control what they’re doing that very moment.
5. Conscious body posture through yoga will help improve your strength and muscle flexibility. Athletes that practice yoga and meditation tend to recover more quickly from injuries. Yoga also improves posture.
Victor Stringer, 78 years old, is a certified instructor of kundalini yoga, member of Kundalini 3Ho Foundation International and National Council on Strength Fitness (NCSF), and author of the international bestselling book Yogi on the Green. He started playing golf 30 years ago and had a three handicap. When he integrated yoga into his life, it helped him emotionally, mentally and physically on and off the golf course. For more information, email [email protected] or visit YogiOnTheGreen.com.