Any sport that favors regular twisting in a single direction—i.e. golf—can create tension and imbalance in the body. Muscles on one side of your body can become stronger while corresponding ones on the other side weaken. Tension can build in the core and shoulders, creating stiff muscles and, consequently, a less fluid swing—not good. We want your swing to be smooth, balanced and effortless, and these classic yoga poses can help you untwist.

Upward Facing Dog

What it does
Stretches the chest, shoulders and core while strengthening the wrists, arms and spine. Since this is a slight back-bending pose, it can also stimulate the internal organs. It also helps to balance both sides of you’re your spine.

How to do it
Begin by lying on your belly with your legs extended straight back, hip distance apart. Bend your arms so that your palms are by your ribs and your elbows are bent roughly 90 degrees. Inhale and press up so that your arms are straight and your torso and upper thighs are lifted off the floor. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears and imagine your shoulder blades moving closer together while pulling your chest forward through your upper arms. Keep your gaze forward—not up as it can compress the neck. Stay here for 5-10 deep breaths, relax and repeat as desired.

Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose

What it does
Stretches and energizes the spine, shoulders, hips and neck as well as stimulating digestion and cleansing the internal organs. Again, spend a little longer twisting in the direction of your backswing.

How to do it
Start by sitting with your legs straight out in front of you, then bend them in so both feet are flat on the floor. Drop your left knee down to the ground and position your left foot under your right leg so that it’s touching your right buttocks. On an inhalation, raise your left arm straight overhead and exhale to twist to the right and hook your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Place your hands in prayer position in front of your chest. On each inhale imagine your spine growing taller and on each exhale, twist a little deeper. Repeat, twisting to the left.

Twisting Table Pose

Aka thread the needle pose

What it does
Stretches and opens the shoulders, core, chest, arms, upper back and neck. It’s great for relaxing those stubborn muscles in between the shoulder blades that seem like tension sponges. Spend a little longer twisting in the direction of your backswing.

How to do it
Start in table pose —on your hands and knees with a flat back. On an exhale, slide your right arm underneath your left with your palm facing up, letting your right shoulder come all the way down to the floor. Rest your right ear and cheek on the floor and breath deeply, letting all the tension melt away. Repeat on the left side.

This article appeared in Issue 8 of Women's Golf Journal.

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