OK, I've been doing hot yoga on and off for about a year now and I can clearly see that my flexibility is increasing. A form of yoga done at about 105 degrees and 40% humidity, it builds flexibility and core strength, focus, balance, all of which are important to golf
See the excerpt from an interview with professional golfer Josh Kendall:
How does yoga help with your balance while golfing?
One of the key things in golf is maintaining your spine angle. When you bend over to swing, you don’t come up and out of your posture. Being able to maintain that position, to be strong enough in that position, is huge. Whenever you want to add extra to get your ball a little further, you can maintain your balanced position without losing form. Yoga, and especially hot yoga, has been a game changer for me.
Hot Yoga Helps with the “X Factor”, or Rotational Torque of a Golf Swing
Do you notice a change in your golf game from practicing yoga?
Yes, I don’t know if there’s anything better for your golf game. I know guys that say they do yoga videos at home, and tell them, no no no , you have to try hot yoga. If I don’t get my practice in regularly, I instantly notice a change in my game. I’ve noticed that keeping up my practice has added at least 12 yards to my tee shot, and if I don’t practice, that extra yardage goes away pretty fast. All the muscles that you use in yoga, especially in my nemesis pose, Half Locust, you’re using all the shoulder muscles to be able to rotate and access your shoulders properly in addition to doing a ton of trunk rotation. I’ve also noticed that yoga’s given me the strength to be able to play golf longer, I have the core and back strength to be able to outlast my competitors. It’s almost like yoga was invented to make golfers better.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
A few years now, I think I’ve been at Yoga Tropics since 2007. I try to do it at home sometimes too, but it’s not the same. It’s even helped improve my surfing, I surf a lot better also because of my practice.
I have a hard time thinking yoga would not help everything. If I do yoga in the morning and then surf in the afternoon, I surf so much better, it’s unbelievable. Being grounded, gripping the earth and having a solid base, and then having the coordination and balance to do stuff up top; there’s nothing that really trains that, you can’t go to a gym and do that. The best part is that contrast; in Warrior pose, one leg is holding all the weight of your body while the other half of your body is being completely stretched out. It’s not just flexibility, its balancing strength and flexibility. I have juniors that are twice as flexible as they are strong, but they can’t hold their posture because it’s not a balance of both.
What edge do you think you have over other golfers?
I think I’m way more consistent than other golfers because of my yoga practice. My body has way more symmetry, strength and flexibility. A lot of golfers are really lopsided because of the nature of the game, and if one thing is off, their whole game suffers. Keeping my body symmetrical is really important.