Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Yoga and Golf

As each year passes, I constantly look back in time and think about how my life has evolved.  I remember fondly the days when I was in my peak physical condition.  However, time, poor eating habits, and reduced physical activities have taken a toll on my body.  In early 2017 I found myself constantly needing to see the chiropractor, just to get through work each week.  I was spending a small fortune on these visits, and knew that they were only a temporary fix for the root problem.  I knew that something must be done to improve my physical health.  Every time that I tried to start a new exercise program, I found myself in more pain, making it impossible to continue what I had started.  My wife had been attending yoga classes at a studio in Olathe, and I had witnessed firsthand the benefits of yoga on the human body.  I had always believed that yoga was for girls.  I WAS WRONG!!!! 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The thought of going to a yoga class, having never been to one, was a scary step in my life.  The intimidation of being in class with people that have practiced yoga for years, knowing that I will look like an out of shape old man, was a fear that was not easy to overcome.  The studio that my wife attends, Surya Yoga at 151st and Mur-Len in Olathe, has a beginner series of yoga classes that ultimately broke down my fears.  Annie Trotta, the owner of the studio, teaches these classes.  Annie does an outstanding job of methodically introducing new students of all ages to the practice of yoga.  She explains how the body works, and how it changes over time.  She teaches the students the language of yoga, the various poses, and their names.  She points out how all people are different, and that the postures that they are able to achieve are different.  Long story short, this beginner series of yoga classes changed my life.  This series of classes gave me the confidence to attend yoga practice
on a regular basis.  I have built muscle, reduced fat, increased core strength, improved physical posture, reduced physical pain, stronger mental health, and yes, I believe that it has improved my golf game.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I will never play golf professionally.  I rarely do it for fun.  When I do play golf now, I hurt less, I hit the ball straighter, and I feel much better after the round is done.  Golf is a one sided sport.  This means that you use the same muscles on one side of your body for each shot.  Yoga has a symmetry to it that helps to mitigate the asymmetry, and possible physical injury, caused by golf.  Yoga may not be the way to add 20 yards to your drive, but your range of motion will improve.  There are certain types of yoga classes that will help a golf game more than others.  Classes with slow movements, including static positions, and extension poses, are the best for golf.  These isometric poses will improve core stability, and a slow pace will allow you to detect muscular imbalances.  Bikram and Vinyasa classes have their own merits but may do less to improve your golf game.

Knowing that my audience is primarily men, I want to help you to overcome your fears of taking a yoga class.  First, you need to remember that all individuals are different, men and women move differently.  In a yoga class, do not compare yourself to anyone else.  They are not looking at you and judging you.  Second, each and every person in that class had to start somewhere.  It is likely that they started right where you are.  It will not take long for you to see and feel the changes to your body from yoga.  Know your body, know your limitations. Push yourself, but do it carefully. 

My reasons for starting yoga are my own.  I was not looking to improve my golf game.  I wanted to improve my quality of life.  This has definitely happened for me.  I have been practicing yoga for nine months now.  I enjoy each and every class I attend.  When I have back pain, or stress, I long to go to a class.  I enjoy it so much, that I have shifted priorities in my life to ensure that I have time to practice.  If you talk to the people that know me, you will understand that I have become a "Yoga Junkie".  I regularly talk about my personal experiences in each class, and I constantly try to figure out when I can get my next class.  I still focus on the Level I classes.  I feel the best after those.  The relaxation and physical benefits are euphoric for me. 

If you are looking for a better you and a better golf game in 2019, I encourage you to explore the world of yoga.  Surya Yoga has two different sessions of the 8 week beginner series classes that start the week of January 7th.  One of them is on Monday evenings from 5:45 to 6:45, the other is Wednesday mornings from 11:00 to Noon.  If you take this series of classes, you will know if yoga is for you.  Annie will teach you what you need to know to feel comfortable moving into one of the regular classes.  Each and every teacher that I have experienced at this studio has been excellent.  If there is a studio that is more convenient for you, check them out.  I am sure that the benefits you will see will be measurable. 

I hope that you had a wonderful 2018, and I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2019.



Saturday, December 1, 2018

Wild Winter Weather

It is only December 1st today, and it has already been quite a winter.  We have had two snow events that have closed the course for several days.  The cold temperatures have really kept the players off of the course.  Last nights rainfall did a good job of clearing the snow from the course, but with more rain today followed by a week of 30 degree days,  good weather for golfing is still a ways off.  This weather has had a negative impact on our ability to work on many of the scheduled fall projects.  Fall fertilization as well as chemical applications have been postponed until things dry out enough that we can get equipment onto the course.  The construction of the small wall at the end of the first fairway on seven, was completed.  The weather has delayed the sod work that must be done to finish the project.  A picture of the completed wall is below.  The sod work will need to wait until the weather allows for sod to be cut, moved, and watered.

 Because the weather has not allowed for much work on the the course, we have started making a new style of traffic control devices that will replace the little wooden blocks that have been used on the course in the past.  These will take the place of the little blocks, but serve the same purpose.

Hopefully, the weather will not continue to be a bad through the winter.  We definitely enjoy the normal warm weather breaks where we get to see all of the golfers out enjoying the results of the work we do.  I hope I see all of you soon.