Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, doesn’t it? Well to me, it sounds like perfection. Nothing compares to a day that begins with yoga, is followed by the driving range, and ends with wine. I started golfing at the age of 14 and it is by far one of the hardest sports to learn (boy was my dad frustrated when I didn’t pick it up right away). To all the haters who think golf isn’t a sport, try walking 18 holes carrying 14 golf clubs, golf balls, tees, water, etc. You get me? It’s a sport. But I digress.
I started doing yoga in college five years or so later and fell in love when a dear friend took me to my first yoga class. It wasn’t until last fall, another five years later, that I realized how intrinsically alike golf and yoga are:
1) Golf and Yoga are hard to learn.
Both golf and yoga can be intimidating when you first approach them. How the f*** am I supposed to hit this tiny ball? Why doesn’t my body bend like her’s? They are hard to learn; in both mind and body. There are a million little details to pay attention to. Do this, do that, do this, now relax and don’t think about anything at all. It takes dedication, patience, and time; all of which we often have so little of.
2) Golf and Yoga are meditative.
Once you get over the frustration of learning golf and yoga, you can get a lof mental and emotional benefits from it. On the course and on my mat, I can let frustrations go, I can take time to think, or I can take time to focus on the task at hand and not think about anything at all.
3) Understanding your limits is vital.
Swinging really hard is not going to help me hit the ball further. Forcing myself into a pose is not going to make me feel better inside or out. “Slow-and-steady” should be the mantra in both. Form is more important than impressing or competing with the person next to me (on the yoga or driving range mat). In both places, I remind myself that my only competition is me.
4) Golf and Yoga are both expensive.
Not my favorite item on this list, but indeed yoga and golf are expensive if you want to go to the course or the studio rather than roll out your mat or practice chip shots at home. Ask anyone and they will tell you golf and yoga are lifelong sports, but in order to practice all your life you have to be willing to dedicate a significant amount of your time and income to them.
5) Golfers and Yogis get to wear fun outfits.
Yoga and Golf are some of the only activities in which you get to show your personality! Athleisure might be new to the rest of the world, but golfers and bad yogis know how to dress comfortable while looking cool (or maybe a little dweeby in the case of golf, but I think I rock it). There is a whole industry built on this and golfers and yogis know where it’s at.
6) If you don’t use it, you lose it.
Practice, practice, practice. It matters. Golf and yoga are lifelong sports, but you can only get better by regularly getting on the mat.
I have come to love both of these sports dearly and have learned so much from incorporating my yoga practice into my golf practice and vice versa. When we combine the things we love, we can learn so much. And, if all else fails, pour yourself a big glass of wine, have a snack, and try again tomorrow.
How does your yoga practice inform your interests off the mat? Any other golfing bad yogis out there?